In memoriam: Dean Mook, professor emeritus of biomedical engineering and mechanics
July 15, 2020
Dean Mook, professor emeritus of biomedical engineering and mechanics at Virginia Tech, died June 19, 2020. He was 84.
Mook received his first two degrees from Virginia Tech — a bachelor’s in 1954 and a master’s in 1960 — each in engineering mechanics. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in engineering mechanics in 1966 from the University of Michigan. Mook joined the Virginia Tech engineering faculty in 1966 and stayed until his retirement.
Upon retiring in 2003, Mook was the N. Waldo Harrison Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the College of Engineering, where he enjoyed a long, illustrious, and rewarding career. He was subsequently conferred the title of professor emeritus.
As a result of his 37-year career at Virginia Tech, Mook left a legacy in nonlinear dynamics, computational aerodynamics, and aeroelasticity. He helped to graduate many doctoral students who became scholars in academia and industry all over the world. He was an inspiring teacher, admired deeply by his students.
“I have known him since 1977, when I was a Ph.D. student, and later as a colleague and friend,” said Saad Ragab, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics. “Even after retirement, he continued to teach and advise students. He appreciated people for who they are. He was a genuine gentleman with a big heart. Even just seeing him — always greeting you with a smile — was uplifting.”
Mook co-authored a book, "Nonlinear Oscillations," with the late Ali Nayfeh, a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech. The book, considered top in the field, describes perturbation methods to analyze the important pre-chaos nonlinear vibratory phenomena exhibited by discrete and continuous structural systems. It has been used by a generation of students and practitioners to learn and apply the subject, said Romesh Batra, a University Distinguished Professor and the Clifton C. Garvin Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics.
“Dean was a superb teacher of both undergraduate and graduate students and was blessed with exceptional mentorship,” said Batra. “Twenty Ph.D. students and 23 master’s students have been fortunate recipients of his wisdom and deep understanding of engineering science.”
No service is planned. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a charitable donation in support of any cause that holds a special place in your heart.
The original notice can be found here.
- Written by Laura Weatherford