Farewell

Bhaskar Thapa (Photo courtesy Jacobs Associates)Bhaskar Thapa (Ph.D.’94 CEE), a lead designer of the Caldecott Tunnel’s fourth bore, had worked on the project for eight years before his death in June at age 49. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony in November, Thapa was recognized posthumously for his contributions to the project, and his family received a standing ovation. “Bhaskar enjoyed seeing the fruits of his labors when the tunneling and final lining were completed for this challenging project,” said Michael McRae, principal with Jacobs Associates, the engineering firm working on the tunnel. “He was incredibly proud of this achievement, and we often spoke about the pride he would feel when driving his two boys and wife through the tunnel.”

Bruce Del Mar (B.S.’37 ME) died in February at age 100. Del Mar worked at Douglas Aircraft, where his most significant contribution was his patented method for pressurizing commercial aircraft cabins. In 1952, he started his own aviation and defense company, where he developed tools used in weapons training for the U.S. military and NATO. Del Mar then switched from aerospace engineering to developing ambulatory heart monitoring. His company, Del Mar Avionics, became the leading producer of medical devices worldwide and led the transition from hardware-intensive analysis devices to sophisticated software-based systems. Several of Del Mar’s inventions are on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National History and Air and Space museums in Washington, D.C.

Philip T. Gardner (B.S.’40 ME) died in September at age 95. Gardner shipped out with the Merchant Marines to the Pacific and Indian Oceans during World War II, then returned to Los Angeles after the war to begin a 34-year career with the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation. Gardner designed equipment used in drilling oil and gas wells for the National Supply Company and was an aircraft design engineer for Lockheed Aircraft. He later developed and tested the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missile.

Mark Ketchum (M.S.’77, Ph.D.’86 CE) died in February at age 60. A prominent Bay Area bridge designer and structural engineer, Ketchum co-founded the engineering firm OPAC in 1992. He has been internationally recognized for engineering projects and bridges throughout the world, including the pedestrian crossing over Interstate 80 in Berkeley.

This winter, the college lost three professors who came to campus as undergraduates in the 1940s:

  • Frank E. Hauser (B.S.’48 ME, M.S.’50 MSE, Ph.D.’57 ME), professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, died in November at age 89. A member of the Berkeley faculty for 36 years, Hauser researched plastic deformation and causes for fatigue and fracture in materials. He also served as an expert witness for court cases involving metallurgical engineering. In addition to membership in the American Society of Metals and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Hauser was a lifelong member of the Sierra Club.
  • Charles W. Radcliffe (B.A.S.’45, B.S.’47, M.S.’50, D.Eng.’56 ME) died in December at age 91. Radcliffe served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In 1956, he joined Berkeley’s mechanical engineering faculty. Radcliffe was a member of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, traveling the world to deliver lectures. He invented the 4-bar Radcliffe knee and SACH (solid ankle cushion heel) foot and worked with medical colleagues to improve techniques for fitting artificial legs.
  • Jack Washburn (B.S.’49, M.S.’50, Ph.D.’54 Metallurgy), professor emeritus of materials science and engineering, died in October at age 92. Washburn served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He joined the Berkeley faculty soon after graduation and was a principal investigator in the materials science division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His research focused on materials properties, dislocations and ion implantation semiconductors. Washburn received the Berkeley Citation in 1996.

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