Gene Preston Rutledge was a nuclear energy scientist and chemist. During World War II, he worked fulltime to fund his education. He studied Chemistry at Spartanburg Methodist College, Converse College, and Clemson University. He then completed a degree in Chemistry at Wofford College. He later earned an M.A. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
In the summer of 1945, he began to work at Oak Ridge in the National Laboratory (ORNL). Here, he worked with uranium that would become part of the original atomic bomb test at Trinity.
After the war, and earning his M.A. degree, he returned to Oak Ridge to work as a nuclear researcher. He developed a procedure to prevent the Oak Ridge plant from shutting down, and worked on numerous nuclear energy start up projects. He was the led engineer of a project to create the first nuclear submarine, and he then helped train the naval officers on how to operate it.
While working as the Director of Idaho’s Nuclear Energy Commission, in the mid-1970s, he hosted weekly television programs and published academic papers. He also worked as an energy scientist in consultant in Alaska, beginning in 1976. He continued to lecture and publish papers after his retirement. On September 28, 2008, Rutledge passed away at the age of 82.