Tuesday, August 12, 2003

David Cochran was an executive for GE

Former Cincinnatian set up Evendale lab

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

David Cochran, a retired vice president of General Electric, organized the flight propulsion laboratory at its Evendale plant and was a philanthropic leader in Cincinnati during the 1960s.

He moved to Cincinnati in 1951 after co-inventing an ultrasonic device used by the U.S. Navy for locating underwater mines when he worked for GE in Schenectady, N.Y.

"He recruited many of the young engineers who became leaders of the company's jet engine business," said his daughter, Ann Strasser of Cincinnati.

While here, Mr. Cochran spearheaded the building of GE's major jet engine facilities.

Mr. Cochran, 87, died July 15 of complications after falling in his Orlando, Fla., home.

He had served as director of the Engineering Society of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Council on World Affairs. He also was chairman of the 11th Annual Conference on World Affairs, held in Cincinnati in 1965.

The GE executive was division chairman of the United Appeal in Cincinnati from 1961 to 1963 and for the Planned Parenthood Drive in 1963-64.

From 1958 to 1965, Mr. Cochran was on the board and the building committee of Armstrong Chapel in Indian Hill.

He moved to Bethesda, Md., in 1965 to head GE's Washington, D.C., office of field sales for missiles and space vehicles. As vice president, he assumed responsibility for field jet engine marketing.

Mr. Cochran graduated cum laude from Montana State University in 1938 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. The university gave him an honorary doctorate in engineering in 1974.

In all, he served GE from 1939 to his 1977 retirement. In 1985, he was inducted into the GE Propulsion Hall of Fame in Cincinnati.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include: Rosemary, his wife of 63 years; two sons, David A. Cochran of Hudson, N.H., and William E. Cochran of Virginia Beach, Va.; another daughter, Mary Jean Cochran of Washington, D.C.; and three grandchildren.

Memorials: Montana State University Foundation, P.O. Box 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717-2750.


E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com

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