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You are here : Obituaries : Articles : Prof. Pavel Novak (1918-2018)

Prof. Pavel Novak (1918-2018)

IAHR Honorary Member Professor Pavel (Paul) Novak passed away on the 24th of February 2018 at the age of 99. He was born on the 7th of September 1918 in Stribro, now located in the Czech Republic. He lost family to the Holocaust and first came to England during WW2, studying engineering at the University of London, and making a contribution to the war effort by interrogating German POWs and as a member of the Home Guard. He met his future wife Elizabeth (Eli) in 1943 while staying in Nottingham. After the war he returned to Czechoslovakia, was from 1950 to 1955 Deputy Director of the Water Research Institute in Prague and later Director of the Institute of Hydrodynamics, the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. In 1968, when the Soviet army invaded Czechoslovakia, he returned to Britain where he was offered a position at Newcastle University Read More

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Roger Falconer
" I was very saddened to hear recently of the passing of Pavel Novak. He was a great inspiration to so many of us in IAHR. I first worked with him in the early 1980s when he and Peter Ackers invited me to join them in establishing the UK IAHR section. Pavel was really inspirational in developing IAHR within the UK and he did so much to promote hydraulics with an enthusiasm and dedication second to none. His legacy of a UK IAHR Section continues to this day."

Joseph Hun-wei Lee
“I am saddened to hear the passing of Professor P. Novak.  It is a great loss to the hydro-environment engineering profession. I have never met Prof. Novak in person. Nevertheless, his exquisite writings have had an indelible impression on me – his books on “Hydraulic Structures” and the “Developments in Hydraulic Engineering” are permanent fixtures on my bookshelf.  His writings are exemplary in its conciseness, connection of theory and engineering problems, and usefulness for the uninitiated. My friend John Ackers of Black and Veatch (UK) told me last August in Hong Kong that he met Pavel (Paul) Novak and that was the last time I heard of his name.”

Amir Reza Zarrati
"It was an honor for me to have known such a great person. I was his student in University of Newcastle upon Tyne in hydraulic structures and would like to express my sorrow and condolences for such a great loss."
Jean A. Cunge
"Sad news. He was a great engineer, great teacher, and also personal friend, partially we have analogous histories and understood one another."

Helmut Kobus
"Pavel Novak has been a top figure in IAHR promoting international cooperation in a way to be admired. I came to know Pavel when he was Institute director in Prague and organized an IAHR event which I attended from Berlin West in the 1960ies, when the confrontations between East and West where still very hot. I came to know Pavel as a brilliant researcher and an open minded friend who managed to establish internaional contacts across many barriers. For decades, we had many contacts and interactions in IAHR. Pavel Novak will be honoured in our memory as a great scientist, an engaged colleague and a good friend! Helmut Kobus, Universitaet Stuttgart, Germany" 

Christopher George
"Paul Novak introduced me to hydraulics and IAHR. He was an excellent teacher and very supportive! One of my PhD papers was published in JHR!" 

Corrado Gisonni
"I had the honour to meet prof. Novak. It was he who asked me the first question after a conference presentation. A unique scientist, a true gentleman!"

Peter Ackers
"Such sad news about my good friend Pavel. He lived in care home just 45 minutes drive from my own home in Northumberland. So we saw him regularly. He would have reached 100 in September  and had a good life and when we last met he reminisced about mutual friends. He lost his parents and most of his family in the hollocaust. Thanks for letting me know.
Best wishes, Peter Ackers"

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