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BY PHILLIP EISENBERG
Roger Emile Marie Brard, elected in 1976 as a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering, died in Paris, France, on July 14, 1977. He was born in Pontivy, Morbihan, Brittany (France), on June 17, 1907. ...
Roger Emile Marie Brard, elected in 1976 as a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering, died in Paris, France, on July 14, 1977. He was born in Pontivy, Morbihan, Brittany (France), on June 17, 1907. He attended the Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Génie Maritime, and the University of Paris, where he received the degree of Doctor of Science (mathematics). Roger Brard was a most unusual man of many accomplishments, combining a career as a professional naval officer, attaining the rank of Ingénieur Général de l'Armement (Vice-Admiral) in the French Navy, with simultaneous scientific and engineering contributions of the highest caliber and recognition.
He had a remarkable ability for the most complex research in the hydrodynamics of ships and propulsion and the ability for practical design and utilization of research results in design. He also made important contributions in pure and applied mathematics. For his contributions to science and engineering, he was elected to the illustrious French Academy of Sciences (Institut de France), which is limited to 100 of France's most eminent scientists. He received the very high honor of being elected President of that institution for the year 1972.
He served as Director of the Bassin d'Essais des Carènes (the Paris Ship Model Research Laboratory) from 1941 to 1969, the date of his retirement from active duty but a date marking the continuation of a very active period of theoretical research in ship hydrodynamics. During his career, he served some six years in the naval shipyard in Brest in charge of the construction and repair of cruisers. His naval assignments included management of nuclear propulsion research as well. He held the post of Professor of Ship Dynamics at the Ecole du Génie Maritime and succeeded to the position of Director of that important institute from 1958 to 1962. He had also been Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Ecole Polytechnique, and, in the years since 1969, was Professor at the University of Nantes, where he established the first program in naval hydrodynamics. He was a Visiting Professor of Naval Architecture at the University of Michigan on several occasions and lectured extensively in American universities, where he was greatly in demand.
In the world of mathematics, his contributions to probability theory and random function theory are well known. Recognition of his reputation in mathematics is reflected in his election to the presidency of the Societé Mathématique de France in 1950.
His research in naval architecture and ship hydrodynamics dated back to 1930, when he published his first paper on the problem of determining the ship hull surface to assigned properties. His work on marine propeller theory forms the basis for the design of all French naval ship propellers. His methods were used in the design of the propellers for the ships Dunkerque, Strasbourg, Richelieu, and Jean Bart. He was responsible for the design of the propellers on the liners Normandle, Flandre, Antilles, and France. Dr. Brard was personally responsible for the design of a number of French combatant vessels, as well as liners. The best known of the latter was, of course, the France.
He made important contributions to ship wave theory; the physics of rolling of ships and ship motions in general; maneuverability; rudderhull interactions; and movement of ships in restricted waters-subjects that have very important bearing on modern problems of the control of ships. His work on stability of submarines is well known in the United States; he was responsible for the development of the theory and usage of the rotating arm as an important early facility for measurements of hydrodynamic coefficients of submarines and surface ship models. In recent years, he was concerned mostly with research on wave-making and viscous resistance and methods for better extrapolations of model results to full scale.
Roger Brard was an active member and contributor to the professional societies and journals of a number of the maritime nations and the recipient of many honors for his contributions. In the United States, among other honors, he was awarded the David Taylor Gold Medal of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the first foreign member to receive this high recognition.
When all of his activities are added together-his naval career in ship construction and repair, nuclear installations, weaponry, hull and propeller design, research and development; his career as an educator and mathematician; his innovations in ship and submarine design; his experimental contributions and development of ship research laboratory facilities such as the rotating arm; and his many scientific contributions in theoretical ship hydrodynamics-he came as close to being a Renaissance man as one can find in this day and age.
Roger Brard was very proud of his associations in this country. His many friends will miss his keen insight into technical questions and his good-natured discussions of philosophical and linguistic peculiarities. He took great delight in understanding and comparing the ethnic humor of his colleagues around the world and always brought warmth and importance to any gathering. He will be sorely missed.