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Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited
The 2000 Tribology Gold Medal awarded to Professor Lou Rozeanu
The 2000 Tribology Gold Medal awarded to Professor Lou Rozeanu
Professor Lou Rozeanu was born in Romania in 1912 and graduated with a BSc in Physical Chemistry from Bucharest University in 1934, following which he did two years' post-graduate research work at the Harold Moore Petroleum Technology Laboratory, at Whiteleafe, Surrey, which resulted in a patented process for refining lubricants. He received his MSc at the Institute of Petroleum Research in 1936. He became advisor to the Romanian Petroleum Research Institute and was so successful that the Romanian Minister of Oil appointed him to a new position as first advisor to the Oil Ministry.
In 1960 Professor Rozeanu emigrated to Israel, where he joined the teaching staff of the Materials Department of the Mechanical Engineering Faculty of the Technion-lsrael Institute of Technology, Haifa, as an Associate Professor. Two years later he commenced teaching tribology, then a new subject at the Technion, to graduate students. He published a tribology education book for his students and became a "Lecturer of Distinction" in the Department of Materials Engineering in the Technion. In 1963 he received a MSc degree from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
Professor Rozeanu continued teaching Tribology until his retirement in 1998, during which period he educated in the field of tribology over 2,000 students, who by the knowledge of control of friction and prevention of wear contributed to optimising designs of mechanical systems as well as effecting considerable savings on a national scale.
In 1968 he was appointed Head of the Danziger Laboratory for students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Technion and in 1970 he received two professorships, one from the Ben Gurion University, BeerSheva, the other from the Technion, Haifa.
Since many of his students had been serving in the Airforce/Navy of the Israeli Defence Force prior to their academic studies, they were looking for the "how to" knowledge involved in failure analysis of systems under sliding or rolling conditions. For this Professor Rozeanu used failed parts, salvaged from the military industry "grave yard". He disassembled these failed systems and used their components for demonstration and assignments as part of his tribology course. This enabled the students to become acquainted with failures and common tribological mistakes made in industry and in general were excellent learning materials as students approached graduation. In particular it showed them how by the application of elementary rules, such tribological failures could be avoided and also – as Professor Rozeanu pointed out – that there was no magic in his expertise.
Professor Rozeanu's basic teaching can be regarded of timeless value to the areas of surface finish, metals, composites, and plastics and nowadays the semi-conductors field.
Throughout his time in Haifa he continued his research on oils and lubricants, investigating the shearing rate of lubricating layers and the behaviour of multi-grade oils, which led to breakthroughs and world inventions on the subject of the Viscosity Index of oils. He believes that the performance of additive oils is not a function of the long chain lengths of the additives, per se, but rather of the large volumes they occupy due to thermal agitation in the dispersing medium (their "space occupancy", akin to electrons rotating around a nucleus). The effect of additives on viscosity is thus determined by the size and shape of their space occupancy, which also results in directional effects due to shear.
Professor Rozeanu researched and tested thermal failure phenomena of friction systems, developed theories relating to surface fatigue, and researched behaviour of thin coating layers as thermal barriers. He was the first to postulate the conditions in which materials fail at high rates of surface shear where high local temperatures are involved. This led to his concept of two temperature gradients, which solved many problems of friction behaviour in high speed sliding. This theory directly associates surface failure to the reversal of the hardness ratio of the interacting surfaces. Thus the conditions for failure require some surface cooling – either by externally controlled speed reduction, by direct cooling of the hotter surface or by raising the temperature of the colder face of the interacting system. His research of projectile-gun barrel systems of the Israel Military Industries, at speeds of up to 1,000m/sec, led to a new design of gun barrels. For this research he received the Asher Peled Award of the Israel Defence Ministry.
Professor Rozeanu's research was not limited to oil and weaponry applications, but led to solutions of industrial tribological problems in the fields of gearing, bearings, machine elements, mechanical systems, cutting tools and cutting tool coatings. He developed methods of forecasting wear failure and corrosion using accelerated and controlled systems of long destructive processes. His successful research made important contributions to the Israeli national economy.
Amongst the many practical applications of his research was the solution of problems of corrosion and pitting of fishing boats and thus safeguarding the lives of fishermen from dangerous situations at sea.
Professor Rozeanu is not only one of the most senior active tribologists of his time, but he is also outstanding in the breadth of his accomplishments in tribology. By not limiting his work to a specific part of tribology, Professor Rozeanu chose the more difficult road of making contributions over the entire spectrum of subjects from lubricants to modes of friction failures.
He collaborated with other research centres in the world to research and publish innovative theory contributions. His academic work and investigations based on scientific results with original and at times unexpected insights, have frequently shown an approach opposite to that of conventional knowledge.
Professor Lou Rozeanu is known worldwide for his contribution to International Tribology Conferences for which he has published over 100 papers on basic and applied scientific research. He held visiting Professorships in the USA and France.
Professor Rozeanu was the Founder of the Israel Society for Tribology and its first chairman, and in June 2000, the Society of Mechanical Engineering of Israel presented Professor Rozeanu with the Society's Prize and Award of Honour in recognition of his extraordinary achievements and activities for industry research and education in engineering and tribology.
The award of the Tribology Gold Medal for 2000 to Professor Rozeanu recognises his outstanding contributions during a most illustrious career. There can be no doubt that he is a most worthy recipient of this award.