Elected in 1980
“For contributions in applied mathematics and its use in solving important engineering problems in ship design.”
BY RONALD W. YEUNG, SARAH WIKANDER, AND J. RANDOLPH PAULLING
JOHN VROMAN WEHAUSEN, professor of engineering science, emeritus, at the University of California, Berkeley, and a world leader in the field of marine hydrodynamics, died peacefully at the Kaiser Oakland Medical Center on October 6, 2005, at the age of 92.
John Wehausen was born on September 23, 1913, in Duluth, Minnesota, and grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. At the University of Michigan he received his undergraduate degree in mathematics in 1934, followed by a master’s in physics in 1935, and a doctorate in mathematics in 1938.
In 1937, Wehausen began his first teaching position as an instructor in mathematics at Brown University. It was there that he met his future wife, Mary Katherine Wertime, a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics. They had been married 62 years when she passed away in January 2001.
After holding teaching positions at Columbia University and the University of Missouri, Wehausen contributed to the government’s efforts at the end of World War II by working for the U.S. Navy in operations research. He joined the David Taylor Model Basin in Bethesda, Maryland, as a mathematician and, during his three-year tenure there, met George Weinblum, the renowned German ship hydrodynamicist. His interest in water-wave theory and ship hydrodynamics can be traced to that time and mentor.
Used with the permission of the Academic Senate of the University of California.