Celebrating the life of Dr. Martha Salcudean

Dr. Martha Salcudean was a professor emerita who served as Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UBC from 1985 to 1993. She passed away on 17 July 2019.

Professor Salcudean was born in Romania. At the age of 10, Martha and her parents were interned in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where they survived for many months. Martha then lived for decades under totalitarian regimes in Romania, before emigrating to Canada in 1976. She was a Professor at the University of Ottawa for nine years before moving to UBC in 1985 to serve as Head of Mechanical Engineering.

Professor Salcudean was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 1998 and became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2004. The citation on her investiture into the Order of Canada reads:

Martha Salcudean is an inspiration to women in engineering. Professor Emerita and former head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia, she was the first woman in Canada to hold such a post. An expert in computational fluid dynamics, she has been actively involved in the transfer of technology aimed at improving industrial processes. A fellow of both the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Canada, she has offered sage counsel to scientific and professional organizations, including the Science Council of British Columbia and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, among others.

Professor Salcudean was a beloved friend and mentor to many. She will be missed by her family, colleagues and many friends at UBC and around the world.

For those wishing to contribute a donation in honour of her memory, the Development Office is establishing the Martha Salcudean Memorial Fund. This award will support students of Mechanical Engineering at UBC, with final details arranged in consultation with her family. Financial donations or contributions of stories, photos or videos can be made here. The Faculty of Applied Science is hosting a Celebration of Life on Thursday, September 12th at 4:30 pm; please enquire with communications@mech.ubc.ca for further details.