Tribute: Hans Pacejka 1934-2017

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It is with sadness that Tire Technology International reports the passing last weekend of Professor Hans B Pacejka, originator of the Magic Formula model that was first published 30 years ago, author of Tyre and Vehicle Dynamics, and a pivotal figure in the history of tire and vehicle dynamics development.

It was an honor and a very great pleasure for the TTI team to meet Professor Pacejka when, in 2015, he came to Tire Technology Expo in Cologne, Germany, to collect a Lifetime Achievement Award. In his acceptance speech, he was quick to pay tribute to the PhD students who had collaborated in the creation of another important and widely used legacy, the MF-Swift model.

Pacejka, who was most closely associated with Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands but also spent time at Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory in the USA, revealed that his early study of wheel shimmy on military trucks during his period of national service, as well as his development of the first 3D car model when still a student, were among his proudest achievements in a scientific career that spanned more than 50 years.

TTI columnist and technical editor Joe Walter, who profiled the professor in his Legends series in the July 2009 issue, paid this tribute: “While Hans Pacejka is well known because of his seminal contributions to the subject of tire mechanics, his legacy also lives on through the students he mentored at Delft who are now active in tire, vehicle and other disciplines.”

All of us at Tire Technology International would like to extend our condolences to Professor Pacejka’s family, friends and colleagues.

Written by Graham Heeps

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the ground-breaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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