Irwin P. Sharpe was born in 1921. He was recruited for the Manhattan Project by his employer, General Electric, after he graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in engineering in 1942. His work took place in the Woolworth Building in Manhattan, where he played a key role in developing pumps and seals to transport gas and oil. He and his team encountered several challenges to create the proper equipment and maintain the standard of cleanliness. He made several trips to Oak Ridge to test the products that they developed in Manhattan.