Dr. Cornelius Allen Ross, Emeritus Professor of Engineering Mechanics at the UF-REEF, passed away on August 21, 2022.
Dr. Ross, a 6th generation Floridian was born in Holder, Fl. He served in the United States Air Force from 1948-1952, including eight months in the Korean War. After serving his country, he entered the University of Florida and earned a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering with Honors in 1956. Following employment in the private industry, he completed both his Master of Science in Engineering and Ph.D. at the University of Florida’s Aerospace Engineering Department. He joined the faculty of the same department in 1958 and has served for over 44 years. Professor Ross was a founding faculty member of the University of Florida’s Graduate Engineering Research Center at Eglin, Air Force Base, a unique institute established in 1969 to support the research and graduate education needs of the U.S. Air Force in Northwest Florida.
Professor Ross has been instrumental in establishing the engineering mechanics and aerospace engineering program at the institute. He has strived to maintain a balance between innovation and application to simultaneously develop world-class research and to support the needs of civilian and military industries. Through his seminal contributions to the experimental solid mechanics, he has brought international recognition to the department and university. He was a pioneer in the field of dynamic material behavior characterization. The fundamental understanding of the deformation mechanisms under extreme environments was the main motivation of his research. He has developed and designed innovative testing capabilities that enabled to characterize the dynamic response of highly heterogeneous materials and establish the evolution of their mechanical properties, including fracture.
He was an eminent professor and a great mentor. He set the highest standards to himself as well as to the professionals and students he worked with while being inspiring and generous of his time and experience. Three of his Ph.D. students are members of the Senior Executive Service of the U.S. Air Force. His legacy and work will live on and grow in the international mechanics community and in our university.