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Robert H. Page, BSME '49, graduated from the prestigious Central High School of Philadelphia during World War II. Having previously enlisted in the Army, he was sent to Virginia Military Institute and then to Armed Forces Radio Services for duty in Honolulu, Hawaii. After returning to civilian status, he received a B.S.M.E. degree from Ohio University in 1949 and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1955. He held leadership positions with Esso Research and Engineering Company, as well as the University of Illinois and Stevens Institute of Technology. Page served as the head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rutgers University for 15 years. Between 1979 and 1983, he was the Dean of Engineering at Texas A&M before becoming the James M. Forsyth Professor of Mechanical Engineering, a position that he held until 1994. Page also served as a consultant to NSF, NBS, NIST, NRC, and companies such as ABB, Boeing, Schering-Plough, Singer, and Xerox.
His research specialty was flow separation analysis and its application to practical problems, work for which he gained international recognition. He was invited to present over 170 lectures, and his publications include over 250 professional papers. He is noted for his research and teaching on non-isoenergetic supersonic base flow, thermodynamic second law solution of subsonic base flow, and impingement jet flows. Under his tutelage and guidance, students were honored for excellence in many areas of engineering. Page noted his principle accomplishments to be the development of strong, successful engineering education programs.
In 1984, Page was honored as the first non-German scientist to be appointed an Honorary Professor at Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany. He continued to assist cooperative research in Germany as well as Australia. He was elected to several scientific societies and was an honorary member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Elected a fellow of ASME in 1971, he served as a fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics (AIAA), fellow of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET), fellow of the American Astronautical Society (AAS), and fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was a leader on various national task forces and was a past president of the American Society for Engineering Education and past chair of the ASEE Academy of Fellows. He was an elected member of the Pan-American Academy of Engineering.
For his accomplishments, Robert H. Page received numerous awards, including the University of Illinois College of Engineering Alumni Honor Award, the Ohio University Medal of Merit, the James Harry Potter Gold Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Ralph Coats Roe Award of the American Society for Engineering Education. From 1981 to 1994, Page served as a member on the Russ College Board of Visitors. He was listed in biographical data sources such as Who’s Who in Engineering, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World.
Robert passed away in October 2016, survived by his wife Lola, five children, and eight grandchildren, whom he credited with inspiring many of his successes.