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Professor Stephen Malkin Passes Away

Stephen Malkin, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department at UMass Amherst, passed away on August 19. An announcement on August 20 from MIE Department Head Donald Fisher noted that “On a sad note, Steve Malkin passed away yesterday, Tuesday, at his home in Boston. Steve was a very important figure in the recent development of this department and was a well-respected engineer and teacher. We will miss his friendship, leadership, and companionship.” Among Professor Malkin’s many honors was his election to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional distinctions afforded to any engineer. In announcing the election, the academy cited Professor Malkin “for pioneering research in and the implementation of grinding-system simulation and optimization.” Services were held on August 21.

A two-paragraph obituary from Levine Chapels in Brookline reads as follows:

“Distinguished Professor Stephen Malkin of Jamaica Plain, formerly of Amherst, Massachusetts, and Tivon, Israel, on Monday, August 19, 20l3. For 4l years the beloved husband of Maccabit (Gross). Devoted father of Ruth Lerner & her husband Avinoam and Gonen Nissim & his wife Inbal. Loving Saba of Judith, Millie, Noa, and Shai. Cherished son of Jeannette (Klickstein) Malkin and the late Simon Malkin. Dear brother of Celia Brown.

“Services at the Levine Chapels, 470 Harvard Street, Brookline on Wednesday, August 21, at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Tivon, Israel. Please omit flowers. Remembrances would be appreciated to American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, 139 Main St., Cambridge 02l42, or Jewish National Fund, 77 Franklin Street, Boston, MA 02ll0. He was a Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UMass Amherst l986-2009, a Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME) Fellow, received the Manufacturing and Technology award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a member of the National Academy of Engineers, the highest possible recognition in his field.”

Professor Malkin was elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Fellow of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), Honorary Member of the Romanian Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Honorary Professor at National Huaqiao University in China.

Professor Malkin's research activities were mainly related to grinding and abrasive processes. An author of more than 200 technical articles and a book – Grinding Technology: Theory and Applications of Machining with Abrasives – he was internationally recognized as one of the leading researchers in his field. He has been an invited lecturer and keynote speaker at more than 65 industrial companies, professional associations, and universities in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. His professional experience also encompassed consulting with more than 35 industrial companies.

Professor Malkin received numerous honors, including the ASME Blackall Award of 1993 for best papers related to machine tools, the SME Gold Medal of 1996 and the ASME William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award of 2004 in recognition of his outstanding research accomplishments, and the Outstanding Senior Faculty Award in the College of Engineering at UMass in 1997.

Professor Malkin grew up in the Boston area and graduated in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with B.S. (1963), M.S. (1965), and Sc.D. (1968) degrees. He began his academic career at the University of Texas, and thereafter taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo until he joined the faculty at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1976. He came to the University of Massachusetts as Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 1986, where he was Director of the Manufacturing Engineering Program from 1987 until 1995 and co-founder of the Center for Manufacturing Productivity, which paired faculty with small to medium sized manufacturers to enhance productivity and competitiveness. He was named Distinguished Professor at the University of Massachusetts in 1998, and he served as Head of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from 2000 to 2006. (August 2013)