Ernest Elsevier, Retired Duke Engineering Professor, Dies at 87

DURHAM, N.C. - Ernest Elsevier, associate professor emeritus in mechanical engineering at Duke University, died early Wednesday at Duke University Hospital. He was 87.

Elsevier, a native of Holland, had taught at Duke's School of Engineering for 35 years when he retired in 1985. He was honored in 1991 for his service to the university with the Distinguished Service Award of the Engineering Alumni Association.

"His passing is a great loss to the Pratt School of Engineering and our entire community," Pratt Dean Kristina Johnson said. "All of us will miss him greatly."

He served in the Navy during World War II as an aviation chief's machinist mate and saw combat at Guadalcanal, where he was decorated for valor.

Elsevier was a licensed professional engineer in five states and had worked on a variety of air conditioning and environmental control projects, including a project at Burlington Industries that filtered lint from the air of textile mills. Gov. Dan Moore awarded him the state's Total Development Award in 1968 for his work.

Elsevier served on the North Carolina Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors from 1967 to 1971. He was a former chairman of the N.C. Eastern Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.

In 1979, Elsevier received the Engineering Faculty Teaching Award, and upon his retirement in 1985, his former students and colleagues established the Ernest Elsevier Scholarship Fund in his honor.

He received his bachelor of science degree in 1949 from Alabama Polytechnic Institute and a master's degree in mechanical engineering in 1950 from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

He is survived by a daughter, Janey Camp of Raleigh. A memorial service is planned for 9 a.m. Monday, April 15, in Duke Chapel.