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Hans W. Liepmann

Longtime Caltech physics professor

July 09, 2009|Times Staff And Wire Reports

Hans W. Liepmann, 94, a longtime Caltech physics professor and researcher who specialized in aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, died June 24 at his home in La Canada Flintridge, the university announced. The cause of death was not given.

Liepmann arrived at Caltech in 1939 and became a full professor in 1949. He was director of the university's Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories from 1972 to 1985, when he took emeritus status.

Among the honors he received were the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology and the Ludwig Prandtl Ring.

Born in Berlin in 1914, Liepmann followed his family to Turkey in 1934 after his physician father took a post at the University of Istanbul. He earned a doctorate in physics from the University of Zurich, then decided to study experimental fluid mechanics under aeronautics pioneer Theodore von Karman at Caltech.

Besides working at the Pasadena institute, Liepmann taught courses on high-speed aerodynamics to engineers at Douglas and Lockheed aircraft companies during World War II.


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