Prof. Lin Bingnan (1920-2014)
Prof. Lin Bingnan, senior academician of Chinese Academy of Science, honorary member of IAHR and honorary president of China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR), passed away on January 3, 2014 at the age of 94 years old. Read full obituary
"I am much privileged to have a number of things that are common with Professor Lin Bingnan. I started my graduate work (MS) at the Univ. of Iowa, had the same adviser as his, Professor C. J. Posey. Although I worked for my Ph.D. at the Univ. of Michigan, the major field was in the unsteady flow, same as Prof. Lin's. Only the sub-field was in a different area - the pipe flow. In computer solution of my thesis problem, I applied the fixed-time-interval scheme of the method of characteristics. Later, this was found to be a little similar to the work Prof. Lin derived in the pre-computer era. After completing my Ph.D. study, I was able to land on a research job in the U.S. Geological Survey, with the research area in the Surface Water discipline. I continued to work on the unsteady flow, and this time, it was the unsteady open-channel flow! When Prof. Posey saw my first report of unsteady estuarine channel flow by the method of characteristics, he quickly introduced us each other and made arrangement for us to meet each other. Since then, Prof. Lin became my admirable "elder brother" and respectable guide. As against the many similarities mentioned above, one clear dissimilarity exists. I was born exactly ten years after he was, and the years I finished the BS, MS, and Ph.D. works were each exactly ten years after he did. And this difference of ten years brought up a computer age, and enabled me to work out every research subject with the use of computer, while Prof. Lin had to do many earlier works without. When I looked into his earlier works, I could not but admire his unusual talent. Some of such works he did before computer, could be used as a guide or check for the works we are doing with computer. Another amazing fact is the width or the extent of his research coverage. By comparison, my research areas does not seem to come much out of just delving into unsteady flows. Alas, the world has lost a rare hydraulics specialist! Chintu Lai, Ph.D. Scientist Emeritus, U.S. Geological Survey"
"Prof. Lin Bingnan (1920-2014) was learned person, I came to know about him through Prof Jian Huwa Tao when she visited CWPRS. I pray to God let the holy soul may live happy in the heaven and power to wear this sorrow may be given to the family members so that they can wear this sorrow boldly. I condole the same. Hradaya Prakash"
"I am saddened to learn about the passing away of Professor Lin Bingnan from IWHR last week. I have only met Professor Lin several times. I recall meeting him the first time in September 1985 in Beijing, when I gave a few lectures in IWHR, in which Prof Lin attended and gave some comments â€“ it was related to experiments on buoyant jets in a linearly stratified fluid. He has led delegations to Hong Kong to explain the Three Gorges Project in the early 1990s. I have also worked with one of his former doctoral students, and some who have worked closely with him. I probably only talked to him on a few occasions, but I always think of him as a gigantic figure in Chinese hydraulics. His remarkable reputation both as a top scholar and as a fair and caring person will always weigh heavily in my mind. My sincere condolences to the family of Professor Lin, may he rest in peace. Joseph Hun-wei Lee Hong Kong University of Science and Technology"
"The sad news that our highly esteemed honorary member Prof. Lin Bingnan has passed away is received with great sorrow. our condolences go to his family and to all our Chinese colleagues. IAHR has lost an outstanding member who has advanced our profession in research and practice in many ways. In particular, he has been a key person in establishing the Chinese hydraulics commumity in the international scene of IAHR. Prof. Lin Bingnan was a graduate from Iowa (USA), where I was a student one generation later. In difficult political times, the contacts from Iowa were still alive through our former honorary member Ben Chie Yen. And when we prepared our "International Symposium on Scale Effects in Modelling Hydraulic Structures" in 1984 in Germany, Prof. Lin Bingnan was the key contact who managed that the major Chinese hydraulics laboratories could attend this symposium - a new start after a long time of international absence. This event opened the door for our Chinese colleagues into the IAHR family, which since 30 years has led to an ever increasing activity within IAHR. I had the opportunity to meet Prof. Lin Bingnan on several occassions, visits, conferences and meetings in China. He had to be admired for his far reaching horizon and clear visions, and I appreciated his personal kindness. I am sure that many IAHR members will join me in keeping his memory in very high esteem. Helmut Kobus Prof.em., Stuttgart University Germany"
"To the family of Prof Lin Bingnan Please accept my sincere condolences for the passing away of Prof. Bingman whose contributions to IAHR and to the fields of hydraulics and environment engineering were profuse. Etienne Mansard Past President of IAHR"
Henk Jan Overbeek
"To the kind words of our President Roger Falconer there is not much which can be added. I was shocked by the news of the sad demise of my great friend. As former secretary of our Association I had the privilege to work closely with the Chinese IAHR members, often spearheaded by either Bingnan Lin or Lianxiang Wang. Our meetings were always a pleasure and I recall the extremely wise and friendly guidance of prof. Lin to the issues we were dealing with in those times. I'm sure he will be dearly missed by many. My deepest condolancies, Henk Jan Overbeek"
“Dear Dr Chen,
Thank you for letting me know of the sad death of Prof. Lin Bingnan.
I have had the honour of meeting him some years ago during a visit of our GESINUS group in China.
I am very sorry for the loss his death means for the IRTCES.
Please accept my sympathy.
Prof.Dr.-Ing. habil. Andreas Dittrich“
"Dear Mrs Lin and Family
On behalf of the International Association for Hydro-Environment and Research, I write to you to express our most sincere condolences for the very sad news that your husband and relative passed away on 3rd January 2014. I personally met Professor Lin on several occasions and enjoyed his company immensely.
Professor Lin had a very active professional career and we owe so much to him in our profession for his immense contribution to hydraulic and environmental engineering. He was renown internationally as a Senior Academician of the Chinese Academy of Science - regarded internationally as the highest academic accolade that your country can bestow on one of its citizens. Furthermore, our Association bestowed on Professor Lin our highest recognition for his contribution to the IAHR, wherein he was made an Honorary Member of IAHR – an honour which is only bestowed on a maximum of 3 members every two years.
Professor Lin's contributions in the application of hydraulic principles to river engineering and management will remain as guiding research and design information for young engineers and scientists to follow for many decades to come, both in China and globally. China and the rest of the world face massive challenges in river basin management, now and in the future, and because of the legacy of knowledge left by your husband and relative many of these challenges will be addressed with more confidence and competence in the future.
IAHR has lost one of its leading international scholars and a close personal friend and supporter of our Association. He will be missed dearly by those of us that knew him, but his name will live on through his published work and the enormous contribution he has made to our association and others such as UNESCO and WASER.
Once again, please accept our very sincere condolences.
With best wishes
Roger A. Falconer
President of IAHR"
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