BEHROUZ TABARROK, D. PHIL., P. ENG.


Behrouz Tabarrok died unexpectedly on April 20, 1999, at the age of 60 years. Bez - as he was affectionately known - had been serving as the Canadian Director of the American Academy of Mechanics. He had previously served as the Chair of the Canadian National Committee of IUTAM (1980-93), and as a member of the IUTAM Congress Committee (1988-1996). He was also involved with numerous other professional organizations. He was on the editorial boards of at least 7 journals, a member of several professional organizations and often served on their executive committees. Notably, he was President of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (1993-94), Chair of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Grant Selection Committee for Mechanical Engineering (1994-95), and Chair of the Canadian Congress of Applied Mechanics (CANCAM) Central Committee. The 1999 CANCAM Award was presented to him in recognition of his achievements.

Bez was born in Teheran, but he left his home and country for boarding school in England at age 13. He never lived in Iran again, but over the years, he returned as a visiting scholar and to see his family.

On April 20, 1963, Bez married Carolyn Croft. Two years later he was awarded a D. Phil. from Oxford University. The couple had the opportunity to come to Canada in 1965, when Bez became an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto.

He is survived by three children. His son Alex was born in 1966, followed by Nicholas in 1968. Jeremy was born in 1970 in Hanover, Germany, where Bez was visiting on an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship.

Through the 1970s and 80s, Bez was an active teacher, scholar and consultant, rose to Full Professor, and received many fellowships and other honors. When the University of Victoria in British Columbia decided to create a Faculty of Engineering, Bez was selected to become the founding Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1987.

Moving to Victoria from Toronto was a major change for him and his family, but they quickly made this community home and began building many cherished friendships.

Bez remained Department Chair for a decade, during which he devoted his tremendous energy, good will and sense of humor to building an excellent department. One of the things that impressed many was how he would put his own career needs second so that younger faculty members would have greater opportunities. In 1993, he was pleased to have co-authored a book with his good friend Fred Rimrott, called Variational Methods and Complementary Formulations in Dynamics. His research contributions covered a wide span of topics, ranging from his early interest in variational methods to his more recent applications to logging truck dynamics and the modeling of crystal growth. He produced excellent fundamental research while simultaneously promoting the practical applications of mechanics to industrial problems.

Just in the last year, Bez took on a new position as Executive Director of the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems. Typically, he described this job (a major career shift that might have frightened others), as ``great fun.''

Bez was a great socializer. He loved entertaining, get-togethers, cookouts and dinner parties. Over the years, many thousands of students and friends enjoyed his and Carolyn's hospitality.

Bez Tabarrok has left a strong legacy; many former students from around the world attest to his teaching and dedication. Bez expected from other people the traits that he himself exhibited: good will, fairness, modesty, maturity, principled courage, and a sense of the ridiculous. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.



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