Professor Librescu died as he lived, devoted to his students and to his profession. Professor Librescu loved his position as professor. A prolific researcher and wonderful teacher, he devoted himself to the profession, solely for the love of it. His son, Joe, says it best: "He was a scientist who did not work for money, but for the pleasure he got from his occupation." Always available for students, a caring teacher and devoted advisor to graduate student researchers, his last act was to sacrifice himself to save the students in his classroom. He blocked the door and ordered his students out the window. He saved all but one.
Professor Librescu survived the Holocaust and earned his Ph.D. from the Academy of Sciences in Romania (1969) where he also rose to academic prominence. He had a thirst for freedom. He immigrated to Israel from Romania during the communist regime with the help of then Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Fortunately for us at Virginia Tech, he chose to spend his sabbatical (1985) in our Engineering Science and Mechanics Department, where he stayed and continued his research in aeroelasticity, thermal stresses and in composites. He recently published a book (Thin-Walled Composite Beams: Theory and Application, with O. Song, Springer, 2005) and has published more journal articles and conference papers than anyone else in the field.
He was a devoted colleague. He was always ready to talk about research with anyone; he was always available to students. His attitude towards the profession was based on total devotion to knowledge. He would help anyone. We will continue to remember him as one who had a kind word to say and was thoughtful. He was selfless to the end.
We will miss him greatly and fulfill our mission with greater resolve in order to honor his memory. He will not be forgotten.
-- His colleagues and friends from Virginia Tech