Professor Emeritus Ronald Probstein, world-renowned knowledgeable in fluid mechanics, dies at 93 | MIT Information


Ronald Probstein, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, handed away on the age of 93 on Sept. 19. Probstein, who joined MIT’s school in 1962, was a number one knowledgeable in fluid mechanics. His analysis superior quite a lot of fields together with spacecraft design, hypersonic flows, desalination, and the removing of poisonous waste from soil.

Born and raised in New York Metropolis, Probstein labored for the mathematician Richard Courant whereas finding out for his bachelor’s diploma at night time at New York College. After receiving his grasp’s diploma and PhD from Princeton College, he joined the school at Brown College as assistant professor of engineering and utilized arithmetic in 1954. Eight years later, he joined the school of MIT’s Division of Mechanical Engineering, the place he would spend the rest of his profession.

Lots of Probstein’s analysis contributions had affect within the subject of aeronautics. His work in fluid dynamics knowledgeable early spacecraft design and deepened the understanding of the physics behind ballistic missile reentry. Alongside Wallace Hayes, Probstein co-authored the e-book “Hypersonic Inviscid Circulate,” which is acknowledged as a extremely influential work within the subject of hypersonic flight. His curiosity in aerodynamics prolonged past the manufactured to celestial objects. He proposed a idea on the habits and form of the tails of mud that path behind comets.

Probstein additionally developed options for issues associated to the well being of the planet. He carried out analysis within the improvement of artificial fuels in addition to superior desalination and water purification know-how. Within the Nineteen Nineties, he patented a technique for the removing of poisonous contaminants in soil — a course of generally known as electrokinetic soil remediation.

A prolific author, Probstein wrote quite a lot of books and over 125 analysis articles. His e-book, “Physicochemical Hydrodynamics: An Introduction,” was chosen as a Greatest Engineering E-book by the Affiliation of American Publishers. Extra just lately, he wrote a non-research associated e-book concerning the lifetime of his father, “Trustworthy” Sid Probstein, entitled “Trustworthy Sid: Memoir of a Playing Man.”

All through his profession, Probstein was awarded quite a lot of prestigious honors. In 1989, he was appointed as Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Bodily Society, American Affiliation for Development of Science, and American Society of Mechanical Engineers, along with being a member of each the Nationwide Academy Engineering and Nationwide Academy of Sciences. In 1997, he obtained an honorary Physician of Science diploma from his former employer, Brown College.

Probstein is survived by his beloved spouse Irene (Weindling) Probstein, his son Sid Probstein, daughter-in-law Laurie (Greer) Probstein, and his three grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations could also be made to the Jewish Household & Youngsters’s Service.

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