Posted March 14, 2007

In Memoriam: Robert M. Haythornthwaite

Robert M. Haythornthwaite

Robert M. Haythornthwaite, professor emeritus and former dean of the College of Engineering, died Feb. 24, of natural causes.

Haythornthwaite, a member of the engineering faculty from 1979 –to 1996, served as the second dean of the college from 1995 to 1996.

A longtime educator, Haythornthwaite taught at the University of Sheffield in England, Brown University, the University of Michigan and the Pennsylvania State University before joining Temple. His scholarly research was in the field of theoretical and applied mechanics.

He was a graduate of Durham University, England, and a Commonwealth Fund fellow.

Current College of Engineering Dean Keya Sadeghipour, who served as a faculty member with Haythornthwaite, stated that he “fondly remembers the contributions Haythornthwaite made to the college and the guidance he provided to him and the faculty. His continuing support of the college was testament to his interest in education, and he will be missed by all who knew him.”

In February 2006, the college hosted the first lecture in the Robert M. and Mary Haythornthwaite Foundation’s Distinguished Lecture Series, which is a continuing enhancement to the educational opportunities for students and faculty at Temple.

Haythornthwaite’s creation of the foundation with his wife illustrates the lifelong dedication to excellence in education for which he was known during his lifetime. The foundation’s primary purpose is the support of scientific research in the field of theoretical and applied mechanics in cooperation with the American Academy of Mechanics.

Haythornthwaite founded the American Academy of Mechanics in 1969 and served as its first president. He also was the founding editor of the academy’s monthly journal, Mechanics, in 1972.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; son, Richard; daughters Jennifer, Susan and Sheila; and one grandchild.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2007, at 11 a.m., with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. at the Baron Rowland Funeral Home, 1059 Old York Road, Abington, Pa.

Contributions may be made in his memory to Doctors Without Borders (, 1-888-392-0392.