In memoriam: Uri Vandsburger, professor of mechanical engineering
February 22, 2021
Uri Vandsburger, a professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, died January 29, 2021. This date would have been his 71st birthday.
Vandsburger is survived by his wife Etty; children Tomer, Leron and Moriel; and grandchildren Alianna, Ari, Celen and Marguerite. The family asks that in lieu of flowers to consider donating to the local public radio station WVTF or to the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Vandsburger obtained a bachelor’s degree from the Israel Institute of Technology in 1976. He obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees at Princeton University before joining the faculty of the department of mechanical engineering in 1989. He served as an instructor, researcher, and mentor to students until his retirement in 2014. As a researcher, he was also the principal investigator and director of the Virginia Active Combustion Control Group/Reacting Flow Lab.
In 2013, he led an initiative to study combustion with colleague Srinath Ekkad, funded by the Department of Energy.
“My relationship with Uri started the day I interviewed at Virginia Tech in May 2007,” said Ekkad. “He was extremely insightful in his knowledge of combustion dynamics. It was clear that he was a world leader in that subject. I learned many aspects of combustion research from him when we decided to write a large proposal to the DOE UTSR program. Without his help, we wouldn’t have been able to receive funding for the project. He will always be remembered for his wit and dry sense of humor.”
Robin Ott, associate professor of practice in the department of mechanical engineering, remembers being a student in Vandsburger’s class with fondness.
“Dr. Vandsburger was my fluid dynamics teacher in the early 90s,” Ott said. “I remember sitting in the front row of a classroom in Randolph Hall watching him write furiously on the chalkboard. He wrote so excitedly that his unruly hair would bounce – that’s how I knew he loved what he was teaching. He was witty and often used humor to help explain more difficult topics. It seemed easy to learn from him.”
A virtual memorial service will take place using Zoom on Wednesday, February 24, at 12:00 pm ET. If you wish to attend, please register to receive the Zoom link and password.