Harry Brandt: Mechanical engineering professor

Harry Brandt, professor emeritus of mechanical and aeronautical engineering, died Jan. 28 surrounded by his family. He was 80.

"Harry will be remembered with the respect of all who knew him. The loss of a faculty member whose career goes back to nearly the earliest days of the college is indeed a profound one," said Enrique Lavernia, dean of the College of Engineering.

Born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1925, Brandt initially studied marine engineering during World War II because the program was not under the control of the German occupation. Later, he went into hiding to avoid conscription into the German army.

In 1946 he emigrated to the U.S. and received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley. He worked at Chevron Research in La Habra, Calif. for 10 years before joining UC Davis in 1964 as a professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering. He chaired the department twice, from 1969 to 1974 and from 1985 to 1991.

Brandt's research covered a wide range of interests, including fluid mechanics, oil and gas drilling, solar power and energy issues. From 1997 to 2005 he was chairman of the board of Clean Energy Systems, a Sacramento-based firm set up to develop new technology based on rocket engines for gas-fired power plants.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Muriel; daughter and son-in-law, Joyce and Craig Copelan of Winters; daughter Marilyn Brandt of Stewartsville, N.J.; and a son, Robert Brandt of Santa Barbara.

A memorial service was held Feb. 3. Donations in memoriam may be made to the American Cancer Society, University Covenant Church, Davis Community Church or the Yolo Hospice.

— Andy Fell

Media Resources

Andy Fell, Research news (emphasis: biological and physical sciences, and engineering), 530-752-4533, ahfell@ucdavis.edu

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