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Tony Evans passed away

evans Tony Evans passed away on Wednesday after a long and valiant fight against cancer.  He was Alcoa Professor of Materials, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Center for Multifunctional Materials and Structures at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

From 1998 to 2002, he served as Gordon Wu Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Princeton Materials Institute at Princeton University. During 1994-1998, he was Gordon McKay Professor of Materials Engineering at Harvard University. Prior to that he was the founding Chair of the Materials Department and Director of the High Performance Composites Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara (1985-1994) and a Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Mineral Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley (1978-1985).

Author of over 540 publications, Evans has been honored with numerous awards and is one of the most highly cited authors in Materials Science, as well as in Engineering and Physics. A native of Wales, Evans earned his Ph.D. (1967) in metallurgy at Imperial College, London. He worked as a research project leader at AERE Harwell and at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards, before joining the Rockwell International Science Center, as a group leader. Evans has been vice president of the American Ceramic Society (1984-1988) and for four years, served as chair of the Defense Sciences Research Council.

We mourn Tony's passing and remember his vitality and friendship fondly.


Teng Li's picture

My deep sadness for the loss of a giant in materials science and engineering community. 

Craig A Steeves's picture

I had the enormously good fortune to work as a post-doc for Tony in Santa Barbara from 2005 until late last year.  Tony's honours, publications and positions clearly speak for his scientific brilliance, but Tony was also the most optimistic, energetic and generous person I have had the privilege to know.  Tony inspired countless students, colleagues and collaborators with his boundless enthusiasm and wonderful scientific insight.  Many times I entered his office feeling somewhat dejected and shortly thereafter left his office brimming with confidence and eager to apply some new ideas to a problem.  Tony had the rare ability to elicit the best from the people around him, and this gift contributed significantly to his extraordinary research accomplishments.  This is a terrible loss to the entire mechanics community and to all those who knew him.

This is one of the posts to which I wanted to add, but in the rush and the time constraints, it slipped by...

The only contact I had with him was purely apersonal: I was impressed by his work, as a graduate student at UAB (1990--93). His overview ("Perspective") on toughening mechanisms in ceramic composites, written for JACS, had a strange effect on me: it simultaneously cleared up things for me in so many neat ways and gave me so many potential leads that I wanted to either go and work under him, or, if he would decline me (an easy possiblity given my GPA) beat him.  (Honestly, I even said so to my the then guide, Prof. Patterson.)

If you are of the type to consider this form of wanting to beat somebody as an indication of some sort of animosity/jealosy, then this note is not for you.

I had a moment or two of the most genuine sadness upon reading the news of his untimely death. ... Indeed, the first thought that crossed my mind was that this photograph which they have put up here doesn't quite capture what I saw as the essence of the man---they should have chosen his photograph as used to appear in those JACS articles of the early 1990s.

May his soul rest in peace.


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