Faculty Tributes


These faculty tributes were provided by the families.

Tributes may be added or removed by contacting us.


Jamie Bishop

USA Today Video – Jamie Bishop: Remembering and moving forward (long load time)

Kevin Granata

Kevin P. Granata Faculty Fellow, established in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, to recognize teaching and research excellence.

Kevin P. Granata Biomechanics Laboratory located in Room 208 of Norris Hall, named in honor of Dr. Granata

Obituary: Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology – Tributes-Faculty-Granata

KP Granata Young Scientist Award – Tributes-Faculty-KP-Granata-Award

Kevin P. Granata Pilot Research Program in the Occupational Safety and Health Research Center, part of the Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (link gone)

G.V. Loganathan

Library and Portrait of Professor Loganathan

Painting, entitled “The Journey”
Painted by Robert Tuckwiller, to honor the ten individuals lost that day in Professor Loganathan’s classroom

A floor to ceiling interactive waterfall in the Christopher and Susan Burke Hydraulics and Hydrology Laboratory in the Civil Engineering Building at Purdue University, named for Dr. Loganathan, a civil engineering alumnus of Purdue. (link gone)

Jocelyne Couture-Nowak


Liviu Librescu


First Announcements

Fox News

Israel National News – Slain Israeli Professor Saved Others in Va. Tech Massacre 

https://www.5tjt.com/featured-news/1448-israeli-professor-killed-in-virginia-tech-attack (link gone)

Official Reactions

A) U.S. President Bush

At Holocaust Museum Washington DC

Again at Holocaust Museum Washington DC

On Thanksgiving speech

At Jerusalem Museum

B) U.S. Secretary of State

Secretary Clinton

C) U.S. Senators

Senator Kennedy

Senator Hardiman commemorates Holocaust victors (Michigan)

“It took incredible courage to survive the Holocaust, and that courage has remained with the survivors,” Hardiman said. “One of the victims of the recent attack at Virginia Tech was also a Holocaust survivor. According to one of his students, Professor Liviu Librescu demonstrated great courage by sacrificing his life while trying to block the killer’s entrance into the classroom.”

Senate of Texas


In Memory of Liviu Librescu

WHEREAS, The Senate of the State of Texas honors and commemorates the life of Liviu Librescu, who died April 16, 2007,at the age of 76 while courageously defending the lives of his students at Virginia Tech University;

D) U.S. House of Representatives

State of Arizona


Liviu Librescu was an Israeli engineering and mathematics lecturer. A survivor of Nazi killings and the repression of Communist Romania, he died trying to protect his students.

State of California

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — Extensions of Remarks E809


Mr. LANTOS. Madam Speaker, it is with deep sorrow that I rise today to mourn the passing of Liviu Librescu, a world renowned professor of aeronautical engineering who was tragically gunned down while saving the lives of his students at Virginia Tech this week.

Madam Speaker, I am compelled to honor Mr. Librescu, not because he is a fellow Holocaust survivor and college professor who persevered and overcame so much, but because he was a human being so extraordinary that his life’s journey embodies the word hero.

Madam Speaker, I do not think the English language has words worthy enough to describe the selfless courage and boundless humanity of Livui Librescu. The world has suffered a tragic loss with the end of this one life.

I ask my collogues to join me in honoring the legacy of Liviu Librescu, which lives on in the people that he saved and in the hearts he inspired world wide.

State of Florida

U.S. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek Regarding Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day

“This year, as we commemorate Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day on Capitol Hill, we pause to remember one Holocaust survivor, Professor Liviu Librescu, who was tragically killed on the campus of Virginia Tech protecting his students from a gunman who killed 32 innocent people.

Professor Librescu sacrificed his life, so that others may live. His selfless action in the face of such terrifying danger epitomizes the heroism and courage that defined Liviu Librescu’s life.

“May the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, the victims of genocide in Darfur, and Liviu Librescu be blessed for all eternity.”

State of Illinois


As today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, I would like to extend special recognition to one of the 32 victims of this unbelievable catastrophe. Liviu Librescu, 76 at the time of his death, had known tragedy since childhood.

State of New York

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — Extensions of Remarks E790


I particularly want to recognize the heroism of Virginia Tech Professor, Liviu Librescu, who was gunned down while blocking his classroom door while he and his students were under attack, ultimately sacrificing his own life for those of his students. I think New York State Assemblyman, Dov Hikind, said it best when he remarked about Mr. Librescu that, “not only was he a hero of the Jewish people, but a hero of all people”.

State of Texas


Mr. AL GREEN of Texas

Mr. Speaker, I rise to thank God for Mr. Liviu Librescu. Monday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Liviu Librescu was a teacher for 20 years at Virginia Tech. He was a husband and a father, 76 years of age, and a Holocaust survivor.On Monday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, he blocked the doorway to a classroom to protect the students in that classroom from almost certain death. And in so doing, he sacrificed his life. He survived the Holocaust and made the ultimate sacrifice. He gave his life so that others could live. Thank God for him.

May God bless his family and all of those who have suffered at Virginia Tech.

State of Virginia

Tragedy Sets Aside Politics Mr. Bob Gibson

“We’ve learned the story of Liviu Librescu, a 76-year-old internationally respected aeronautical engineer,” Bolling said. “Mr. Librescu was a survivor of the Holocaust but he lost his life when he was gunned down while he tried to barricade a door to save his students.”

Students in Librescu’s solid mechanics engineering class said their professor held off the Norris Hall gunman long enough so that every one of his students escaped from the second-floor classroom’s windows, jumping to safety before he was shot and killed.


A) Journals

Collegiate Times


Los Angeles Times

The Sydney Morning Herald

The New York Times


New York Daily News

The Times

The Christian Science Monitor

The Baltimore Sun

USA Today

USA Today

Washington Post

B) Powder Tracks and Fever




C) Blogs

ABC News


Bridge for Peace


Best religion block


Debbie Schlussel

Exploration in learning

Kobayashi Maru

Meryl Yourish

My hero project

National Review

person to person

The Christian Science Monitor

The Christmas cactus blooms in April


D) Letters

Clarkson University

Professor Liviu Librescu (August 18, 1930 – April 16, 2007)

We Remember.

The International Conference of Adaptive Structures and Technologies wish to pay a tribute to the memory of Professor Liviu Librescu.

Professor Librescu died in the senseless tragedy of Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. He was a dedicated, caring and inspiring teacher, devoted to the education of his student and to the engineering profession, just for the love of it. He was always available to colleagues and students, and his last act was to sacrifice himself to save the life of the students that were in his classroom. He blocked the door with his body so his students could escape.

Professor Librescu received many academic honors through the years and was a worldwide well respected scientist for his work in advanced structures, aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, and foundation of refined theories of laminated composite and sandwich structures, work that brought him to academic prominence. His contributions to the engineering discipline are countless, way too many to list them here. People attending the ICAST forum and working in the adaptive technology arena will always remember him as one of the leader in many research areas including adaptive technologies for aircraft, rotorcraft and spacecraft systems, integrated advanced structures, smart material structures, control strategies, and structural optimization.

We all will remember him as a very knowledgeable scientist, very enthusiastic and passionate about his research, professional and formal, looking always to perfection in research and life. He was a true gentleman with a good sense of humor, humble in many situations and engineering forums. His fortitude and courage distinguished him until the very last moment, selfless to the end.

We will miss him greatly. Our prayers go out to his family, friends, students, and colleagues at Virginia Tech and in the field.

Pier Marzocca, Clarkson University

Congress of the United States House of Representatives

May 29, 2008

Dr. lshwar Puri Ph,D, Chairman

Engineering Science anti Mechanics Department (0219)

Virginia Tech

223 Nonis Flail

Blacksburg, VA 24061

Dear Dr. Pun:

Please extend my appreciation to all who has e gathered at the Mechanics Conference to honor Professor Liviu Librescu.

The Bible teaches that the greatest lose a person can show is to lay down his life for a friend, Professor Librescu’s brave actions in physically blocking the door to his classroom so that his students could escape the charging gunman demonstrated courage and selflessness that I suspect few others would muster,

Professor Librescus life was devoted to research into numerous areas that is applied to enhance life as we know it. The results that his research produced will he integral in this century as science further develops a variety of structures and as flight, both in our atmosphere and in space, evolves. Throughout his career, and evident in his last act, Professor Librescu was devoted to the future, especially to the young persons whom he helped prepare to he tomorrow’s leaders. While there is no explanation for the senseless tragedy that took Professor Librescu from our midst his legacy lives in the product of his research and in the scores of students whom he inspired over the course of a lifetime, and for that we are blessed.

Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Governor:

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I would like to extend warm greetings to everyone attending this year’s Mechanics Conference at Virginia Tech. It is fitting that at this year’s conference you honor Professor Liviu Librescu a man whose scientific contributions to the fields of engineering and mechanics are important and numerous yet his greatest work was the fullness of his life and the sacrifice lie made so that others may carry forth his legacy.

Professor Librescu was truly a man of unfailing talent and courage who embodied the idea of freedom in many ways. Faced with resistance in his early life Librescu developed a passion for overcoming obstacles. As a young Jewish man in Romania during World War II, immersion in his life’s work — reading, research, and understanding science — was a welcome diversion. Librescu became a highly respected and promising researcher of aeronautical engineering in Romania during a period of brief liberation from the War hut when he requested to emigrate to Israel lie was denied that opportunity and fired from his workplace.

Mr. Librescu was a survivor who sought liberty and truth during his lifetime.

He continued studying until he was granted enter to Israel in 1979 where he taught at a university.

In 1985, after a sabbatical to the United States, Librescu decided to permanently teach at Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Science and Mathematics where he gave his life protecting his students from an enraged gunman on April 16. 2007.

Liviu Librescu gravitated towards freedom: freedom from persecution, intolerance, and finally, from oppression. His courage through adversity speaks volumes. Professor Librescu will be remembered for his humility and his intellect, but more than that. possibly his greatest contribution to society was his fascination with actively solving problems. a passion that ultimately saved lives.

His final problem solved, Liviu Librescu’s sacrifice of his own life allowed his students the freedom to live theirs.

I am honored to welcome everyone attending this memorial in honor of Liviu Lebrescu, and I hope his extraordinary life and legacy will continue to inspire you in your own life and career.

Dr. Marek-Jerzy Pindera, University of Virginia; and

Dr. Piergiovanni Marzocca, Clarkson University

March 30, 2008

Dear Friends,

As you gather to remember and celebrate the numerous achievements of Liviu Librescu, I wish to join his family, his numerous colleagues and the entire Virginia Tech community in remembering this extraordinary man.

Professor Librescu will be remembered as an educator of great talent and dedication to his colleagues and his students. His courage and constant search for freedom, both personal and intellectual, led him to Virginia Tech. His legacy and contributions to the scientific community and to Virginia Tech will not he forgotten.

Liviu Librescu Session Organizers

The Mechanics Conference at Virginia Tech

May 29-30, 2008

Dear Professors Pindera and Marzocca:

Thank you for organizing a session in memory of Professor Liviu Librescu at The Mechanics Conference that will be held at Virginia Tech from May 29-30, 2008 to mark the centennial of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM).

This session is a fitting tribute to the memory of Professor Librescu’s heroic sacrifice on April 16, 2007. It is perhaps even more fitting that the session is being held during the ESM centennial year, since the history of our department and Professor Librescu’s ultimate sacrifice are inextricably intertwined. Because of his actions, service to students is now indelibly etched in blood in the fabric and traditions of our department, and indeed in those of the institution. We are very fortune that Dr. Librescu lent his name and distinction to ESM and Virginia Tech.

Professor Librescu was not only a brave man, he was also a high scholar of great international repute, a loving husband, a caring father, and a generous citizen of the world who endured many years of conflict and subjugation. His life offers many inspirational examples for us and future generations — through his survival during the Holocaust, his high and distinguished scholarship in Romania despite his struggle for freedom, his mentoring of scholars from around the world regardless of race, religion and national origin, and his remarkable and now immortalized concern for the welfare of students.

While we miss Professor Librescu’s presence, the session that you have organized will allow us to celebrate his life and accomplishments, and also ensure that his memory will live on, as it should. The world owes an immeasurable debt of gratitude to Professor Librescu. Your efforts to honor his memory help redeem at least a small portion of that debt, and for this I am very grateful to you on behalf of our department.

Yours sincerely,

lshwar K. Pun

Professor and Department Head of Engineering Science and Mechanics


Professor Liviu Librescu Memorial Sessions

at the ESM 2008 Mechanics Conference

Virginia Tech, May 29-30, 2008

Distinguished scientists, distinguished lecturer to the Liviu Librescu Memorial,

Dear friends,

I can honestly feel Liviu’s sorrow for not being able to be here and participate at this prestigious scientific event and 100 year anniversary of ESM.

Who knows better than me, how much effort and hard work Liviu has devoted to such events in order to finally make it to the conferences, congresses, and be very well prepared to present and share as many as possible of his new results.

Not being allowed to participate in such events for many years while in Romania, upon his arrival in Israel at Tel Aviv University and afterwards in Blacksburg at Virginia Tech, Liviu has made it one of his top priorities to participate in as many scientific events that covered his topics of research. On many occasions I have heard colleagues and friend asking Liviu why he spends so much time preparing and participating in conferences. They were questioning if it won’t be more beneficial for him to spend some of that time, for instance, on writing another book. I never heard Liviu answering to anyone regarding this, but once, I asked, since I was curious to understand as well. Liviu’s interest to conferences and congresses was due to the interaction that such events presented. The feedback he received from the audience and the follow up discussions were his catalysts for future ideas and work. He told me that he is able to feel how the audience received his new results, when he present interesting results and when no.

Liviu always tried to bring new ideas and improve himself professionally at the same time. Right before April 16th 2007, Liviu was finalizing his presentations for the summer of 2007: for the AIAA SDM Conference in Hawaii, his Invited paper and the paper for the Symposium honoring Prof. Jozef Ignaczak at the Thermal Stresses Congress in Taipei, and a paper for a conference in Japan.

I would like to extend to all of you my gratitude for your commitment and time to honor in such a special way the memory of your teacher, advisor, colleague, collaborator, and friend and last but not least, my dearest husband and my best friend, Professor Liviu Librescu.

Liviu enjoyed life, had many planes to accomplish, was very devoted to his research, his students and his family. His last act, to sacrifice himself in order to give to the young students the opportunity to live gave to them the most important lesson of his life. He shows the goodness that is present in the human race.

Thanks for having the opportunity to speak to you all, and please receive all my gratitude and best wishes for many accomplishments in all your endeavors,

Marilena Librescu

The 48th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference (SDM), the 15th AIAA/ ASME/AHS Adaptive Structures Conference (ASC), the 9th AIAA Non-Deterministic Approaches Conference (NDA), the 8th AIAA Gossamer Spacecraft Forum (GSF), the 3rd AIAA Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Conference (MDO), and the AIAA Dynamics Specialty Conference (DSC) convened 23-26 April 2007 in the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii

Tribute to Professor Liviu Librescu

Virginia Tech

The 48th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference (SDM), the 15th AIAA/ ASME/AHS Adaptive Structures Conference (ASC), the 9th AIAA Non-Deterministic Approaches Conference (NDA), the 8th AIAA Gossamer Spacecraft Forum (GSF), the 3rd AIAA Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Conference (MDO), and the AIAA Dynamics Specialty Conference (DSC) convened 23-26 April 2007 in the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii, one week after the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech on April 16th.

Accordingly, before the initial plenary lecture on April 23rd, tribute was paid to the 32 victims of the shooting, and in particular to Professor Liviu Librescu, who has contributed to and attended many AIAA conferences and who was a co-author on several papers for this conference.

In addition, to further honor Professor Librescu, this book with blank pages was made available to conference participants so they could express their condolences, remembrances, and thoughts to the Librescu family. This book was available in the conference registration area and was on a table next to a poster with Professor Librescu’s picture. To follow is a pictorial summary of the tribute activities at the conference. Following that are the comments from the conference participants.

Poster honoring the memory of Prof, Liviu Librescu

Letter from AIAA President, Roger Simpson

The Heroic Life and Works of Professor Liviu Librescu

(1930 – 2007)

Thermal Stresses Conference – 2007

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology

Taipei, Taiwan


Professor Liviu Librescu was the general chair of the Thermal Stress Conference in 2003, at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. He had also been scheduled to be one of the six keynote speakers at the Thermal Stress Conference in 2007, here in Taipei, Taiwan. As a world renowned expert in vibrations, structural mechanics and aeronautical engineering, his lecture was to cover the recent developments in multifunctional thin-walled structures. But due to the tragedy at Virginia Tech on April 16, the keynote session in which he had originally been scheduled to speak, has been re-organized into a special one-hour session devoted to his bright memory. During this time, Prof. Librescu’s friends, colleagues and students will have the occasion to speak in honor of him, and to remember his life and research activities through photographs and personal testimonies. The session will be concluded with a short keynote speech presented by one of his former students, D. Hasanyan. The session will be chaired by J. R. Barber.


Prof. Librescu lived a remarkable life. He gave his life to his career, and to his students, and he has become a shining example of courage and success; one who inspires, yet humbles the rest of us. In addition, he has left behind an incredible body of achievements from his lifetime.


The shooting at Virginia Tech was grave news to me, but I cannot tell you how shocked I was to learn that Professor Librescu was one of those killed in the massacre. Considering Liviu Librescu as one of my mentors, I have taken it upon myself to collect a complete listing of his work, combine it with a short biography, and have it compiled it into a final epilogue to commemorate his achievements and heroism in this work, to be distributed to the academic community by those attending the Thermal Stress 2007 Conference.


The information contained in this work was provided by Professor Librescu’s family, his colleagues, and his former students. References of his work have been collected from his website at Virginia Tech. Additional details have been taken from newspapers covering the event of his death.


I offer my appreciation to G. A. Porter, who has diligently compiled and edited this work in its’ final form.


Ching-Kong Chao
General Chair of the Thermal Stress 2007 Conference, June 4-7, 2007
National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
Taipei, Taiwan