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P.C. Tobias de Boer


1930 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
P.C. Tobias de Boer Obituary
de Boer, P. C. Tobias

P. C. Tobias de Boer died peacefully at Kendal Ithaca on May 2, 2016. He was professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University for over forty years. Tob was born in Leiden, the Netherlands on May 21, 1930, and grew up in Gouda. He completed his undergraduate and Master's degrees at the Delft University of Technology in 1954. There, he rowed competitively and developed lifelong friendships in his fraternity. After graduating, he served in the Dutch military, earning the rank of lieutenant. In 1956 he married Joan Lieshout and they moved to the United States, where Tob earned his PhD in 1962 in physics under Professor J. M. Burgers at the University of Maryland. During this time, Tob and Joan's three children were born. At Cornell, Professor de Boer taught courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, combustion and mathematics, and conducted research in the areas of shock wave physics, engine emissions control, fuel injection, hydrogen fuels, Stirling engines and pulse tube generators. He took summer and sabbatical leaves in which he conducted research at the Aerospace Corporation, the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Delft University of Technology, Centre National de la Recherche, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Tob was an avid athlete. One memorable achievement was setting a national record by cycling 448 miles in 24 hours at 48 years of age. Tob participated vigorously in the long distance running, bicycling, orienteering, cross country skiing and triathlon communities, locally and nationally. He was president of the Finger Lakes Cycling Club and founding president of the Cayuga Nordic Ski Club. He was treasurer of the Cascadilla Rowing Club. Outside of professional work and sports, Tob enjoyed reading and conversing in Dutch, English, French, and German and playing piano. Throughout his life, Tob remained in close contact with family in the Netherlands, including some fifteen first cousins, returning to visit nearly every summer for fifty years. He was predeceased by his sister Willemina. He is survived by his wife Joan, his son Maarten (Pittsburgh, PA), and daughters Claire (Hershey, PA) and Yvette (Ithaca), and five grandchildren, Cobus, Ilona, Willem, Rowan and Ayla, who will miss his continual support, high energy, inquisitive nature and great enthusiasm. Donations in memory of Tob may be made to the Cornell Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering or to Hospice of Ithaca. There will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Bangs Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Published in Ithaca Journal on May 5, 2016
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