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Industry Surprised to Hear of Well-Known Fluid Power Researcher’s Death

Purdue University’s College of Agricultural & Biological Engineering announced the unexpected death of Professor Monika Ivantysynova, who passed away early August 11, 2018, following a four-month battle with cancer. Initially, she kept her health condition private until she required constant stay in a hospital for the last few weeks of her life. Ivantysynova was extremely active in the international fluid power research community, and her passion for the subject inspired researchers and engineers all over the world.

Ivantysynova was born in 1955 in Polenz, Germany. After completing her Ph.D. at the Technical University of Bratislava in 1983, she worked for seven years in industry, gaining expertise in hydraulic systems and component design, modeling and system simulation, and in the development of hydraulic pumps and motors. In 1990 she returned to academia, where she researched hydraulic actuation systems and control for aircraft applications at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, Germany.

Professor Monika Ivantysynova

In 1996, Ivantysynova served as the chair in Hydraulic Systems and Control at the University of Duisburg, returning to TUHH as Professor of Mechatronic System Design three years later and established a comprehensive fluid power research laboratory. In 2004 she was appointed professor and director of the MAHA Fluid Power Systems Center at Purdue, where she pushed ahead with her many research passions, including comprehensive simulation and optimization methods for hydraulic piston pumps, and energy-efficient mobile hydraulic machines using pump-controlled actuation.

In addition to her dedicated leadership of her own research team, she energetically engaged with fluid power researchers throughout the world, travelling to major conferences on all continents. Her seminal book, Hydrostatic Pumps and Motors, was published in German and English, she wrote countless papers, and founded and was editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Fluid Power, published by Taylor & Francis, a division of Informa, which also owns Hydraulics & Pneumatics. She was a pivotal figure in the multi-university Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, re-establishing organized fluid power research with education in the United States.

More than a researcher, she taught research method, effective teamwork, appreciation of diversity, and how to face even the most difficult research challenges. She cared for every member of her lab, knowing and appreciating the important and sometimes delicate balance between personal life and everyday work.

Her accolades were many. She received both pre-eminent international awards for fluid power: the 2009 Joseph Bramah Medal from the UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and the 2015 Robert E. Koski medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She was awarded two honorary doctorates, and too many best paper prizes to list.

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