Seymour M. Bogdonoff


Professor BogdonoffSeymour M. Bogdonoff of Princeton died on January 10, his 84th birthday, in Capital Health Systems Fuld Campus, Trenton, of injuries sustained in a fall in his home.

Professor Bogdonoff was one of the world's leading authorities on supersonic and hypersonic aerodynamics. His work influenced the design of many aeronautical and space vehicles.

He was granted a B.S.E. in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1942, and an M.S.E. in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University in 1948. He joined the Princeton faculty in 1948, was named Robert Porter Patterson Professor of Aeronautical Engineering Senior Research Scholar in 1953, and was an active faculty member until 1989. He was the director of the Gas Dynamics Laboratory from 1953 to 1989, where he was instrumental in the development of Princeton's supersonic and hypersonic research facilities. He was chairman of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from 1974 to 1983. He continued his involvement with the University as Professor Emeritus until his death.

His affiliations included the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, National Science Foundation, Office of Science and Technology Policy of the Executive Office of the President, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, International Academy of Astronautics, International Astronautics Federation, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Society of Sigma Xi.

Prof. Bogdonoff's awards and honors included the Exceptional Civilian Service Award, twice awarded by the U.S. Air-Force; the Paul Hemke Lecturer, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; the Fluid and Plasma Dynamics Award, AIAA; the Dryden Lectureship in Research, AIAA; and the Von Karman Lecture, Israel Annual Conference on Aviation and Astronautics. He was also elected to the French National Academie of Air and Space.

The author of more than 200 reports, publications, and presentations, he was a consultant to government and industry on a wide range of advanced aerovehicles, from ground effect machines to superorbital reentry bodies.

A lifelong automotive enthusiast, he attended numerous track events in his various Porsches. A strong advocate for older drivers, he was active in driver training research and had developed a curriculum for older driver training.

With his wife, he loved to travel around the globe from Outer Mongolia to Antarctica. He was a founding member of the Jewish Center of Princeton and of Community Without Walls. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Harriet; three children, Sondra, Zelda, and Alan; a brother, Harold; and five grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at the Jewish Center of Princeton, 435 Nassau Street, on Wednesday, January 12 at 11 a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Princeton Area Community Foundation, Seymour M. Bogdonoff Scholarship Foundation, 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville 08648.