R.I.P. Savitsky

Discussion in 'Hydrodynamics and Aerodynamics' started by Ad Hoc, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Dr. Daniel Savitsky of River Vale, NJ, 98, Professor Emeritus, Stevens Institute of Technology
    After a career spanning over 70 years, Dr. Savitsky passed away peacefully on March 23,

    A great loss to the world of hydrodynamics.

    On a personal note, I was fortunate enough to meet him in the last 1980s during my travels around North America. I was searching for a Uni to do my Masters degree and i meet him at SIT to seek his advice and opinion and any thoughts/recommendation.
  2. BlueBell
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    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    That is a huge loss Ad Hoc.

    When you sought his advice and opinion and thoughts/ recommendation what did he tell you?
    And where/what is SIT?
  3. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Sail on Dr Savitsky, on that eternal hydrodynamic wave - you were a household name held in high esteem by all naval architects.

    Here is a nice tribute, copied from View DANIEL SAVITSKY's Obituary on NYTimes.com and share memories https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?n=daniel-savitsky&pid=195825488&fhid=17136

    SAVITSKY--Dr. Daniel. 98, of River Vale, NJ.
    After a career spanning over 70 years, Dr. Savitsky passed away peacefully on March 23, 2020. Dr. Savitsky was born in New York City on September 26, 1921. He attended Stuyvesant High School, and the City University of New York (CUNY) where he earned his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering. He served in the Army from 1944-1947 as an aeronautical research scientist, and later earned his Master of Science degree in Fluid Mechanics/Naval Architecture from Stevens Institute of Technology. Dr. Savitsky earned his PhD from New York University in Oceanography.
    His professional contributions to the fields of naval architecture and marine engineering are vast. Dr. Savitsky retired as Professor Emeritus from Stevens Institute of Technology, where he taught graduate classes in marine engineering while also directing research on high speed marine craft in the Davidson Laboratory. It was there that he devised a mathematical model that became the Savitsky Method still widely used across the world. At 94, Dr. Savitsky delivered a follow- up paper to his seminal work from 1964, and at 95 published his last professional paper.
    The most important thing in his life was his family, and he couldn't do enough for them. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary, his sister Emily, as well as his three children, two sons-in-law, and his granddaughter.

    Published in The New York Times on Mar. 29, 2020
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  4. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Ad Hoc - Thanks for letting us know.

    I saw Dr. Savitsky at several of the Chesapeake Power Boat Symposia in the last decade. He always had a lot of knowledge to share and his questions were frequently insightful. He could be somewhat opinionated which was understandable given his long and productive career. The Savitsky method of analyzing planing hulls has undoubtedly been the most widely used method for predicting planing hull performance. He most recently updated it in 2012 with a method for accounting for bottom warp. In 2014 he presented SEMI-DISPLACEMENT HULLS---A MISNOMER? at the 4th Chesapeake Power Boat Symposium.

    Obituary at View Daniel Savitsky's Obituary on NorthJersey.com and share memories https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/northjersey/obituary.aspx?n=daniel-savitsky&pid=195824903&fhid=17136
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  5. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Pretty much the same as everyone else. Follow your passion and dreams.
    I was a very young wet behind the ears naval architect, just graduated, in those days...so it was all new to me, no matter what I did!

    Stevens Institute of Technology - Hoboken, NJ.

    Indeed, as we all become such too, as the years roll by.
    Our opinions are based upon what we have learnt. And academics/researchers much more so, as that is their only frame of reference - academia!
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
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  6. BMcF
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    BMcF Senior Member

    My boss, mentor and, eventually, business partner, worked for Dr. Savitsky at Stevens for a couple of years. Gave him a great start on what became a very successful career in the advanced marine vehicle world.

    I regret that I never met or worked with Dr. Savitsky. I sure relied a lot on all the things he published!
  7. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    I first encountered his work in 1972 while taking engineering courses at a small community college in Port Angeles WA. I was in the city library and there was his book on designing planing hulls with all of his formulas. I bought a copy, and still have it. In 1986 (or 7) I was sitting in my office at CG HQ Office of Boating Safety when a man walked in and asked to speak to my colleague Peter Ball, who was a naval architect of some renown. Peter wasn't there at the moment. The man introduced himself. It was Dan Savitsky. Frankly, probably for the first time in my life, I was speechless. How do you react when you meet someone who is considered an icon in his field? I finally managed to blurt out something and we had a nice chat until Peter Ball came back. Since then I have had many conversations with Dr. Savitsky and attended some of his presentations. He was a remarkable person. It was a privilege to have known him. Fair winds and following seas Dr. May God bless you and your family.
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  8. Christos Sp.
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    Christos Sp. New Member

    A remarkable person and professor. It was a privilege and my honor meeting him and taking his excellent graduate course “The Hydrodynamics of High Speed Planning Craft” while he was teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken NJ in 1986-1987.
    Nobody ever missed a lecture and he inspired all young engineers and naval architects.
    Fair well and God bless you Dr. Savitsky, you left us an invaluable amount of research work.
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  9. Alan Gilbert
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    Alan Gilbert Junior Member

    I was first introduced to Dan in the early 60' while an NA & ME student at the University of Michigan. His paper on planning craft speed predictions was the core of the course on high speed craft. Later, as a student in the graduate Ocean Engineering Department at Stevens Institute I had the good fortune of meeting him on several occasions, as well as at various symposia where we both were presenting papers. Having had the opportunity to professionally travel to 40 countries, his work is universally used and universally respected. Most important his work formed the basis for others to build and expand. I don't think the phrase William Froude of planning craft would be an exaggeration.

    I have no doubt that Dan would feel his work is yet unfinished.

  10. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    I concur, it would not be too much of a stretch to phrase him and his work in that way.
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