Professor Monika Ivantysynova, 1955 - 2018
We are shocked and saddened by the news that Professor Monika Ivantysynova passed away early on the 11th of August, following a 4-month battle with cancer. Initially, she kept her health condition private until the rapid decay required her constant stay in the hospital for the last few weeks of her life. Monika was extremely active in the international fluid power research community, and her passion for the subject inspired researchers and engineers all over the world.
Monika Ivantysynova was born in 1955 in Polenz, Germany. After completing her PhD at the Technical University of Bratislava in 1983, she worked for seven years in industry, gaining expertise in hydraulic systems and component design, modeling and system simulation, and in the development of hydraulic pumps and motors. In 1990 she returned to academia, where she researched hydraulic actuation systems and control for aircraft applications at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg. In 1996 she took up the Chair in Hydraulic Systems and Control at the University of Duisburg, returning to TUHH as Professor of Mechatronic System Design three years later, establishing a comprehensive fluid power research laboratory. In 2004 Monika was appointed MAHA Professor of Fluid Power Systems at Purdue University, where she pushed ahead with her many research passions, including comprehensive simulation and optimization methods for hydraulic piston pumps, and energy-efficient mobile hydraulic machines using pump-controlled actuation.
As well as being a dedicated leader of her own research team, she energetically engaged with fluid power researchers throughout the world, travelling to the major conferences on all continents. Her presence – questioning, cajoling, encouraging – always enlivened proceedings and forced us all to think deeply about the subject. As well as her seminal book “Hydrostatic Pumps and Motors” published in German and English, and her very many research papers, she founded and was editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Fluid Power published by Taylor & Francis – the only international journal dedicated to fluid power. She was a pivotal figure in the multi-university Centre for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, creating a renaissance in fluid power research and education in the USA.
She was more than just a researcher – she taught research method. She taught effective teamwork, appreciation of diversity, and how to face even the most difficult research challenges. She cared deeply for every member of her lab, knowing and appreciating the important and sometimes delicate balance between personal life and everyday work. She was a positive impact on the lives of many, including, but not limited to, the members of her research team.
Her accolades were many. She received both pre-eminent international awards for fluid power: the 2009 Joseph Bramah Medal from the United Kingdom’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and the 2015 Robert E. Koski medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She was awarded two honorary doctorates, and too many Best Paper prizes to list.
The fluid power community will not be the same without Monika - an inspirational individual who was passionate about the subject. We are lucky to have known her, and will miss her greatly. The Maha Fluid Power Research Center’s accomplishment will be Monika’s legacy, and we will be proud of that.