Bar-Cohen, Distinguished University Professor and Thermal Packaging Pioneer, Passes at 74

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Avram Bar-Cohen, Distinguished University Professor in the A. James Clark School of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering died October 10. He was 74.

Bar-Cohen was an internationally recognized leader in thermal science and technology and was a guiding force in the emergence of thermal packaging as a critical engineering domain.

“Avi was a beloved figure in his academic and professional communities,” said Dr. Balakumar Balachandran, Department of Mechanical Engineering Chair and Minta Martin Professor. “He inspired his students and collaborators, to constantly strive for greater contributions, and in the process, touched them with his warm heart.”

Bar-Cohen’s research, publications, lectures and short courses, as well as his U.S. government and professional service in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), helped create the scientific foundation for the thermal management of electronic components and systems.

Beginning his academic career in 1972, Bar-Cohen would go on to serve as the Chair of the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering from 2001 to 2010 and author or co-author more than 400 journal papers, refereed proceedings papers, and chapters in books. He delivered some 100 keynote, plenary, and invited lectures at major technical conferences and institutions and advised to completion 70 master’s and Ph.D. students at the University of Maryland, the University of Minnesota, and the Ben Gurion University (Beer Sheva, Israel).

Bar-Cohen served on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Electronics Packaging Society and was a Distinguished Lecturer for more than 15 years. He was a past Editor-in-Chief of the Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology (CPMT) Transactions (1995-2005), and in 2014, IEEE honored him with the prestigious CPMT Field Award. Previously, Bar-Cohen had been recognized with the CPMT Society’s Outstanding Sustained Technical Contributions Award (2002), the ITHERM Achievement Award (1998) and the THERMI Award (1997). He also received the Luikov Medal from the International Center for Heat and Mass Transfer in Turkey (2008) and ASME’s Heat Transfer Memorial Award (1999), Edwin F. Church Medal (1994), and Worcester Reed Warner Medal (1990).  He became a member of the European Union Academy of Sciences in 2020.

In an announcement made by the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE), CALCE Director Dr. Michael Pecht said, “Avi’s scientific accomplishments are prodigious, but it was his commitment to helping others that will be his enduring legacy. He will be missed.”

He is survived by his wife Annette Bar-Cohen, his children Talia, Barak and Rannan, and their families.

The Clark School community asks that you keep Bar-Cohen’s family in your thoughts.

A graveside service will be held Tuesday, October 13, at 11:00 am. Shiva will take place on October, 13, 14, 15, 17, and 18. Please contact Adas Israel Congregation if you wish to attend either.

The family has requested that those who wish to honor Dr. Bar-Cohen's memory, can make a contribution in his name to one of two foundations that were of great importance to him.

Masorati Foundation

Project Desert Nova Fund at Ben-Gurion University
Please select ‘where it’s needed most’ and they will ensure that it is designated for Project Desert Nova.

Published October 12, 2020