Alumnus Charles “David” Brandle Passes Away

John McKetta and David BrandleCharles “David” Brandle Jr., who received a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering at UT Austin between 1963 and 1970, passed away September 2, 2013.

David grew up in Victoria, Texas and after two years at Victoria Junior College enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduating in 1963, David and his wife Patty relocated to Indianapolis where David secured a job with Union Carbide’s Speedway Research Center – within the year, Patty gave birth to their daughter Wendy.

After two years, David returned to UT Austin to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering.  His son Chris was born in 1969 and David obtained his doctorate in 1970.  The family relocated to the east coast when David joined Bell Labs in 1970 to work on the growth and development of oxide single crystals for magnetic bubble applications.  During this time, he developed the basic equipment and many techniques currently used today to produce large oxide single crystals for device and substrate applications.

In 1975, the Brandles moved to San Diego, where David re-joined Union Carbide as Director of Research.  Five years later, the family returned to New Jersey.  David resumed his work at Bell Laboratories, and stayed until his retirement in 2002.  Throughout his career, David wrote countless articles and received numerous patents in covering oxide materials, devices, and applications.

He served on the Executive Committee of the American Association for Crystal Growth, and was elected President from 1990-1993.  As a result of his lifetime of achievement in Crystal Growth, David was made a Bell Laboratories Fellow in 1998.  At the time, this seminal honor had only been given to approximately 160 individuals in the history of Bell Laboratories.

In his free time, David enjoyed gardening, woodworking, cheering for the Longhorns, making his famous lemon meringue pies and smoked briskets, and spending time with his family.  After David and Patty retired to their home state of Texas, David continued his life’s work consulting for various crystal growth firms around the world.

David & Patty Brandle during his time at UT Austin David is survived by his wife of 49 years, Patty Brandle; children Wendy Grant and Chris Brandle and wife, Dana; 2 grandchildren, Connor and Bryn; twin sister Judy Brandle and brother Richard Brandle and wife, Carol; extended family members and a host of friends and colleagues.

A memorial service was held Friday, September 6, 2013 at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas.  The family asked that desired memorial donations be made to the Challenge for McKetta.  Their thoughtfulness to include the department as a means to honor David’s life is deeply appreciated. Support will further the education of future engineers and carry on the legacy David has left.

 Click here to give online to the Challenge for McKetta in David’s memory

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Assistant Director of Development Michael Barasch at

David Brandle with his grandson Connor     David Brandle with his granddaughter Bryn

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