Winfred M. Phillips (1940-2024)

Winfred M. "Win" Phillips, who served as head of Purdue Mechanical Engineering from 1980 to 1988, has died.

Phillips received his BSME degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Mechanical Engineering in 1963, and MAE and DSc degrees from the University of Virginia in Aerospace Engineering in 1966 and 1968, respectively. Before coming to Purdue, he served as Professor of Aerospace Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, and then Associate Dean for Research.

He came to Purdue University in 1980 to serve as Head of the School of Mechanical Engineering. He oversaw a crucial time in the program's history, helping to grow the graduate program to 267 students — a 54 percent increase since taking office. He helped to organize the commemoration of the School's 100th anniversary in 1982. And in 1987, he played a role in a visit from President Ronald Reagan, the only sitting U.S. president ever to visit Purdue University. He arranged for Prof. David Anderson and Ph.D. student Warren Waggenspack to discuss their work with the President, laying out the role that computer-aided design would have in the future of manufacturing.

In 1988, Phillips left Purdue to join the University of Florida, where he would stay for the rest of his career.  He spent 11 years as dean of the College of Engineering, and then became vice president for research and dean of The Graduate School. He eventually served as the University of Florida's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and served the president's office as Senior Advisor and Executive Chief of Staff.

His research focused on fluid mechanics and biomedical engineering. He published more than 155 scientific papers and books, many of which examined the fluid mechanics of the human body's cardiovascular system. He also wrote extensively on engineering education, technology development, business leadership, and product liability issues.

Phillips was involved in numerous professional societies and organizations. He was a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society for Engineering Education, Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, American Astronautical Society, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, The New York Academy of Sciences, Royal Society for the Arts, and American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was also named a Distinguished Hoosier and received the Sagamore of the Wabash by the Governor of Indiana for distinguished service to the State.

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