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Norman Davids, Class of 1933

Norman Davids, 92, of State College, died on Friday, September 3, 2010 at Foxdale Village.

Born in New York City on March 17, 1918, he was the son of the late Max and Sarah Davidowitz.

He married the former Frances White of Boston in 1945, who died in March 2006.

He is survived by a sister, Ruth Affens of Adelphi, MD; two sons, Gerald and Stuart, both of State College; a daughter, Laura D. Todd; and three grandchildren, Rebecca Rodrigues, Aaron Todd, and Jeremy Todd, of Phoenixville, PA.

He was a graduate of Townsend Harris High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the City College of New York, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and Master and Doctorate degrees in mathematics from New York University. He spent a post-graduate term at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.

During World War II, he assisted the Corps of Engineers and the Navy and received the Naval Ordinance Development Award for his contributions to the war He then taught at Johns Hopkins University. In 1947, he joined the Ordinance Research Laboratory at Penn State. He then joined the Department of Engineering Mechanics in 1950, and became a full professor in 1953. He was a member of the University faculty since 1947, and retired in 1978 as Professor Emeritus of Engineering Mechanics.

His research interests ranged over a number of fields in engineering science, which included the University's Ionosphere Research Laboratory, the Army Research Office, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, NASA, and other research organizations.

He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship from 1959 to 1960 at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), Haifa, Israel.

An advocate of outside professional experience during the summer for students and faculty, he served in the Faculty Development Program at Boeing Company, Seattle, WA in 1963, and was a Senior Scientific Advisor at the Army Research Office, Durham, N.C. More recently, he helped develop the computer as a tool in biomedical research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Insitute (NIH) in Bethesda, MD., where his work on the mechanics of arterial blood flow has been considered significant to the understanding of cardiovascular injuries.

He helped found the American Academy of Mechanics and served as its Treasurer and as a Regional Director for the United States. He is a Fellow of the Academy, and a member of the Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Dr. Davids, in 1974, received the College of Engineering annual award for outstanding achievements in research. He is cited in 'Who's Who in America', 'American Men of Science', and his work is reported in numerous papers in professional journals.

After retiring in 1978, Dr. Davids continued his active career in research, working as a consultant to the NIH for several years. In 1980, he was invited to serve as a computer specialist to the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland, and in 1983, to the University of Milan, Italy.

He was a member of Congregation Brit Shalom of State College.

He is a Founding Member of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity of State College, and for a time, was a member of the Elks. Long an ardent hiker, he especially enjoyed exploring abandoned railroad routes in Central PA. He enjoyed listening to classical music, studied the piano, and sang for recreation.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p. m. September 17, 2010 at Foxdale Village, 500 E. Marylyn Ave., State College, PA Interment will be in Centre County Memorial Park, 1034 Benner Pike, State College.

Memorial Contributions in his memory may be made to Congregation Brit Shalom, 620 E. Hamilton Ave., State College, PA 16801 or the Community Fund of Foxdale Village, 500 E. Marylyn Ave., State College, PA 16801.

A guestbook can be signed and condolences sent to the family at www.heintzelmanfuneralhome.com.