Martha Eva Salcudean Mechanical, Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Internationally recognized expert in computational fluid dynamics, Canada's first female head of a university engineering department

The Story

Martha Salcudean was born in 1934 in Cluj, one of the most important historic, academic and cultural regions of Romania. But it was difficult times: like many other families Martha Salcudean and her family had to go through the terror of fascism, WWII, and communist regime.

Despite these circumstances, Martha Salcudean graduated from a university. She then worked as a mechanical engineer for the Romanian manufacturer of valves Armatura in Cluj (1956 – 63). The following twelve years she was a senior research officer at the National Research Institute for Metallurgy in Bucharest, specializing in the area of heat transfer and fluids. She also lectured at the Institute of Polytechnics, Bucharest (1967-75).

Dr. Salcudean began her academic career after she and her family had immigrated to Canada in 1976. She became a Research Associate at McGill University, where she worked on process modeling for the steel industry.

Dr. Salcudean joined the University of Ottawa as Assistant Professor in 1977 and became Professor in 1981. She organized a strong research group and worked in the area of fluid flow and heat transfer, and mathematical modeling of processes. She promoted research and partnerships between industry, government and academia.

In 1985 Dr. Salcudean was appointed Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UBC and Associate Vice-President of Research in 1993. In 1996, Dr. Salcudean took her current position as Weyerhaeuser Industrial Research Chair in Computational Fluid Dynamics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

In addition, Dr. Salcudean has been involved in many industrial collaborations with companies, such as Cominco, Pratt & Whitney, Atomic Energy of Canada, and Weyerhauser. She also published her research in the area of heat transfer and fluid flow.


Engineering, 1998 Killam Prize, Canada Council for the Arts

Salcudean, M.E., “Engineering: Applied Ingenuity” in Inno'va-tion : essays by leading Canadian researchers Ed. Downey, J and Lois Claxton, Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2002.

Who’s Who in Canadian Women

Image: University of British Columbia

The Person

Cluj, Romania
Vancouver, British Columbia
Family Members
  • Spouse: George
  • Son: Tim (S.E.) Salcudean
Professor Emerita
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia
  • BEng, (Mech. Eng), University of Cluj, Romania, 1956
  • Post-grad. diploma (Instrumentation & Control Systems), 1962
  • PhD (Mech. Eng.) Institute of Polytechnics, Brasov, Romania, 1969
  • PhD Honorary, University of Ottawa, 1992
  • DSc Honorary, University of British Columbia, 2001
  • Officer, Royal Society of Canada, 2004
  • Order of British Columbia, 1998
  • Killam Award, 1998
  • Meritorious Achievement Award, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of B.C., 1996
  • Julian C. Smith Medal, Engineering Institute of Canada, 1995
  • Canada 125 Medal, 1993
  • Fellow, Canadian Engineering Academy, 1992
  • Gold Medal in the Applied Science and Engineering, Science Council of British Columbia, 1991
Last Updated
August 9, 2006

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