OBITUARY, OLDRICH BENDA
Norbert Frištacký - Daniel Mayer
The field of electromagnetic theory, ferromagnetism, microwave-ferrites
and technology, and non-linear electrodynamics lost a widely recognized
expert. With the fall of death, at the age of 75, passed away Oldrich
Benda, Professor Emeritus at the Slovak University of Technology,
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, in Bratislava.
Since 1948 he has been with the Department of Electromagnetic Theory
at his alma mater. Gradually, he has passed all the positions starting
from Assistant Professor until he became a Full Professor at SVŠT in
1963, as the first one from own university graduates. Later he took over
the position of Head of Department, after his teacher Professor Kneppo,
in period 1970-1986. In the age about 35 he had already held important
academic office of Vice-dean, and successively of Vice-rector and Dean
of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. He was a long-term member of
the Scientific Board of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, of the
Scientific Board of the Slovak University of Technology, of the Scientific
Board of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Comenius University in
Bratislava. Professor Benda was involved in the Slovak Academy of Sciences,
since 1953, in the Laboratory of Electrical Engineering as one of its first
members. In 1956 he was awarded the Academic Prize for invention of the
Ballistic Wattsecond-meter for direct measurement of the energy supplied
to welded joint using huge press-welding machines in pulse regime.
After the creation of Scientific Commissions for Electrical Engineering
and Technical Cybernetics of the Czechoslovak and Slovak Academy of
Sciences he became a member of both, and since 1945 he acted as a Head
of the newly established Scientific Association for Mathematics Physics
and Electronics. Since 1970 he was a member of the Presidium of the
Slovak Academy of Sciences, later, in 1974, acted as Vice-president of
the Slovak Academy of Sciences and a member of the Presidium of Czechoslovak
Academy of Sciences. In the frame of contemporary fundamental research he
has been working as the President of the Advisory Board of the Key Research
in Electronics and a Vice-president of the Advisory Board in the project
Theoretical Fundamentals of Technology.
His research work influenced considerably several domains of electrical
engineering. The characteristic features of his work are the high scientific
level, in many respects achievement of world priorities and orientation
onto problems of utmost importance to humanity.
The extent and quality of Professor Benda's scientific work commands
respect and admiration. He has published or delivered at conferences
over 250 papers, a hundred of them being published in renowned scientific
journals. Each of them is a witness to the high creativity and invention
of the author and many of them have received considerable response
abroad, results have been included in world literature and have been
cited frequently, especially during recent years.
As a member of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences and Vice-president of
the Slovak Academy of Sciences he has contributed considerably to the
development of these top scientific institutions. He has received many
awards of high distinction in appreciation of the multi-faceted nature
of his scientific work. He has been regularly invited to be a member or
honorary member of organizing committees of international conferences.
Professor Benda was very well known also to the readers of the Journal
of Electrical Engineering (former Elektrotechnický časopis) as author
or coauthor of many papers and mainly, as the long time (till 1991),
the Editor in Chief of this Journal. He contributed significantly to
the rigorousness of the review process and to the promotion of the overall
quality of the Journal, namely to its international character, even during
the period in which Czechoslovakia was rather isolated from the part of
world where the majority of original works in science were born.
His sudden, untimely death on 11 July 1999 has left permanent void in
the international scientific community. The friends and colleagues of
Professor Oldrich Benda had to mark sad and irreplaceable loss.
He made many positive to the people he touched as a friend and a
professional, and his contributions will be remembered for a longer
time. We are grateful to have had him among us.