Tobias de Boer

Last updated
Tobias de Boer
Pieter Cornelis Tobias de Boer

(1930-05-21)21 May 1930
Leiden, the Netherlands
Died2 May 2016(2016-05-02) (aged 85)
Alma mater University of Maryland, College Park
  • scientist
  • sportsman
Joan Lieshout
(m. 1956)
Scientific career
Fields Thermodynamics, fluid mechanics
Institutions Cornell University

Pieter Cornelis Tobias de Boer (21 May 1930 – 2 May 2016) was a Dutch scientist. He was a professor at the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of Cornell University. His research interest were in the field of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics.



De Boer was born on 21 May 1930 in Leiden, the Netherlands. He studied mechanical engineering at Delft University of Technology, where he obtained his Bachelor's degree and in 1954 his Master's. [1] He subsequently served in the Dutch Armed Forces for two years. [2] De Boer married in 1956 and a short time later moved to the United States where they settled in Maryland. He continued his studies and obtained his doctorate at the University of Maryland in 1962 under Jan Burgers. [2] He subsequently was an assistant professor at the University until 1964. [1]

The de Boer family then moved to Ithaca, New York and he was employed by Cornell University as an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Aeronautical Engineering. In 1968 he became associate professor. In 1972 the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering was founded and two years later de Boer became a full professor there. He retired in 2000. [1]

At the University, de Boer did research on pulse tube cryocoolers, the physics of shock waves, and Stirling engines, among other topics. [1]

In 1988 de Boer was elected a corresponding member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. [3]

Personal life

De Boer married Joan Lieshout in 1956, the couple had three children. [1] Joan recorded the Dutch text on the Voyager Golden Record. [4]

De Boer was a sportsman and especially fond of cycling. [5] When he was 48 he cycled 448 miles (721 km) in 24 hours, thereby setting a national record for his age category. [1]

He died on 2 May 2016 in the retirement community of Kendal at Ithaca, age 85. [1]

Related Research Articles

Delft University of Technology Dutch university

Delft University of Technology, also known as TU Delft, is the oldest and largest Dutch public technical university. Located in Delft, Netherlands, it is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the Netherlands, and as of 2020 it is ranked by QS World University Rankings among the top 15 engineering and technology universities in the world.

Frank de Boer Dutch association football manager

Franciscus de Boer is a Dutch football manager who was most recently the head coach of the Netherlands national team. A former defender, De Boer spent most of his professional playing career with Ajax, winning five Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups, three Super Cups, one UEFA Cup, one UEFA Champions League, and one Intercontinental Cup. He later spent five years at Barcelona, where he won the 1998–99 La Liga title, followed by short spells at Galatasaray, Rangers, Al-Rayyan and Al-Shamal before retiring.

Cornell University College of Engineering Engineering school

The College of Engineering is a division of Cornell University that was founded in 1870 as the Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanic Arts. It is one of four private undergraduate colleges at Cornell that are not statutory colleges.

John Edson Sweet

John Edson Sweet was an American mechanical engineer, inventor, professor, business man and president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1884-85. He is known for building the first micrometer caliper in 1873, for making tools, and for inventing the “straight line” engine.

Robert Henry Thurston

Robert Henry Thurston was an American engineer, and the first Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Hiram Sibley

Hiram W. Sibley, was an American industrialist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who was a pioneer of the telegraph in the United States.

Harold G. Craighead is an American professor of applied and engineering physics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he holds the title of Charles W. Lake Professor of Engineering.

Benjamin "Ben" Nichols was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University and mayor of Ithaca, New York. He was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and as such was one of few Socialists elected to public office in the United States in the late 20th century.

Clemens van Blitterswijk

Clemens A. van Blitterswijk is a Dutch engineer in tissue engineering who contributed to the use of biomaterials to heal bone injuries, especially using osteoinductive ceramics. In collaboration with Jan de Boer and others, he has contributed to the use of high-throughput screening to study cell-biomaterial interactions on microtextures, an approach termed materiomics.

Joseph Burns is a professor at Cornell University with a dual appointment in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) and the Astronomy department. His primary area of research is dynamics in planetary sciences.

John Leask Lumley was an American professor of mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering at Cornell University. He is widely known for his research in turbulence and is the coauthor of A First Course in Turbulence along with Hendrik Tennekes.

Ernest Merritt

Ernest George Merritt was Dean of the Graduate School, Cornell University; Chair of the Physics Department.

Jan D. Achenbach Dutch-American scientist in engineering

Jan Drewes Achenbach was a professor emeritus at Northwestern University. Achenbach was born in the northern region of the Netherlands, in Leeuwarden. He studied aeronautics at Delft University of Technology, which he finished with a M.Sc. degree in 1959. Thereafter, he went to the United States, Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1962. After working for a year as a preceptor at Columbia University, he was then appointed as assistant professor at Northwestern University.

René de Borst Dutch civil engineer

René de Borst is a Dutch civil engineer who is known for his work on computational mechanics and fracture mechanics. Since January 2016 he is the Centenary Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Sheffield.

Francisco Valero-Cuevas Mexican engineer

Francisco Javier Valero-Cuevas is an engineer of Mexican origin, and a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He is known for his work on how the human hand works, and its clinical applications. He is notable for several inventions, including devices for measuring hand function and leg function, and the construction of archways in civil engineering. Among his scholarly contributions is a textbook on the mathematical foundations underlying the study of motor control and biomechanics. He is an Elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2014), an Elected Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a Thomas J. Watson Fellow.

Clarence Floyd Hirshfeld was an American electrical, mechanical and consulting engineer, educator, chief of research for the Detroit Edison Co., now DTE Electric Company, author, and inventor, who was awarded the John Fritz Medal posthumous in 1940.

Leroy S. Fletcher

Leroy Stevenson (Skipp) Fletcher is an American mechanical and aerospace engineer, and college dean, who served as the 104th president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1985–86, and was recipient of the 2002 ASME Medal.

Christopher J. Hernandez American engineer and scientist

Christopher J. Hernandez is an American engineer and scientist who currently serves as professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and biomedical engineering at Cornell University and is also an adjunct scientist in the Research Division of the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Lance Collins is an engineer and professor for mechanical and aerospace engineering at Virginia Tech. He was previously the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering at the Cornell University College of Engineering and is now the inaugural vice president and executive director of the new Virginia Tech Innovation Campus.

Helen Louise Reed is an American aerospace engineer. Her research interests include hypersonics, energy efficient aircraft, laminar–turbulent transition, and small satellite design. She is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Physical Society, and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Tom Fleischman (12 May 2016). "Emeritus engineering professor Tobias de Boer dies at 85". Cornell Chronicle. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  2. 1 2 "P.C. Tobias de Boer". The Ithaca Journal. 5 May 2016. Archived from the original on 12 May 2016.
  3. "P.C.T. de Boer". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 16 May 2016.
  4. Joost Mollen (15 October 2014). "We vonden de enige Nederlandse vrouw wier stem in de kosmos is vereeuwigd" (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  5. Steve Lawrence (11 May 2016). "Remembering His Endurance: Tob de Boer was sure you could it". Retrieved 16 May 2016.