BY SALOMON LEVY
RALPH A. SEBAN, professor of mechanical engineering and world-renowned expert in heat transfer and fluid flow, died on June 13, 1993, at the age of seventy-six.
Elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1978, Ralph was a dedicated teacher and researcher known for his technical expertise and his willingness to pass his knowledge and the latest technical advances on to his many students and the broader technical community.
During his career, which extended over forty-five years, Ralph worked on a variety of heat transfer topics, equipment, and conditions. He had more than sixty publications covering boundary layer, pipe, film, and separated flows as well as natural and forced convection, radiation, boiling and condensation, freezing and ice formation, and wall jets. His publications are noteworthy not only because of the breadth of areas covered but also because they are of the highest quality. They generally include both experimental and analytical work. Many of his papers have opened the way for subsequent contributions by others.
Ralph received all of his university degrees, including B.S., M.S., and Ph.D., from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to his research and teaching on the Berkeley faculty since 1946, he served for seven years as the chairman of the Heat Power Systems Division (1958–1965) and for four years as the chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department