Colleagues will be sorry to learn of the death on 27 January of Dr Tadeusz (Tad) Blazynski, former Reader in Mechanical Engineering, who retired from the University in 1989.
Tadeusz Blazynski was born in Przemsyl, Poland and received his school and general technical education in Eastern Poland. His life was traumatically disrupted during the Second World War when Poland was partitioned between Russia and Germany. His father disappeared during the Russian occupation, but Tadeusz and his mother found their way to German-occupied Warsaw, where he served in the Polish Underground Home Army until 1944. Following the Warsaw Uprising in that year he was taken prisoner of war and held in various camps, including Stalag XIIIc Austria, until May 1945. He then joined the 2nd Polish Corps in Italy, with whom he served until 1948, being transferred to the UK in 1946. After his service, he studied Mechanical Engineering at the Polish University College in London and was awarded a BSc Honours Degree of the University of London in 1954.
As a postgraduate, Tadeusz obtained industrial experience in the Research and Development Department of Tube Investment Ltd in Birmingham, transferring to the TI Technological Centre in Walsall, as a section leader, in 1957. He joined the University as a Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1963 and developed research in metal flow, particularly in high energy rate forming, welding and compaction, and was awarded a PhD in 1967. Tadeusz went on to extensive study of the parameters of cold and hot-working metal-forming processes. His research interests whilst at Leeds included methods of tool design (widely implemented in the USA, Japan and UK); general stress analsyis of static elastoplastic situations; and a major research programme on the development of implosive welding techniques employing chemical explosives later extended to the mechanisms of implosive welding and compaction of polymer powders and their mixtures with applications including the manufacture of bimetallic tubing and arrays of rods for use in the aircraft, chemical and atomic power industries.
Tadeusz published widely, and influentially, in his field, leading the development of his subject, and supervised numerous research projects. He was promoted to a senior lectureship in 1970 and to a Readership in Applied Plasticity in 1980. Throughout this period, he was in great demand as an examiner at home and overseas, developing particularly strong associations with academic institutions and industrial partners in Poland, but also travelling to universities in Cairo, China, West Germany and Czechoslovakia; and working for several years with the European research arm of the US Army Research Centres in both Illinois and Massachusetts. In 1985 he was appointed to a visiting professorship at The Queens University, Belfast.
Tadeusz Blazynski was a dedicated scholar and researcher. His commitment to his subject, his research students and his colleagues did a great deal to raise the research profile and academic reputation of Mechanical Engineering at Leeds, but it also enriched his students lives individually, inspiring many of them to follow an academic path and to go on to make new discoveries and contributions. He will be remembered with enormous esteem and genuine warmth by all those with whom he worked and studied, at the University and in the wider academic community.
Dr Blazynski leaves a son, Stephen, and daughter, Marianne Watkins. The funeral will take place at 12 noon, in St Josephs Catholic Church, Wetherby, on Friday, 5 February; as a mark of the Universitys respect, the flag on the Parkinson Building will be flown at half-mast at this time.
Published: 4 February 2010