Emeritus Professor Régis Pelloux, expert on fatigue and fracture of materials, dies at 83

Regis Pelloux

Press Contact

Rachel Kemper
Email: rkemper@mit.edu
Phone: 617-253-6936
MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Régis M. N. Pelloux, professor emeritus of materials science and engineering, died July 10 after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease. He was 83 years old.

Pelloux was born in Passy, France, in the Alps, and had a life-long love of the outdoors, which he shared with his family, friends, colleagues, and students. He was educated in France and then received a Jean Gaillard Fellowship to study at MIT, where he received an MS in 1956 and a PhD in 1958. After completing his doctorate, he enrolled in the French army, stationed at the French Army Atomic Research Centre. In 1961, he was hired by Boeing Scientific Research Laboratories to work on difficult assignments relating to turbine fracture. He joined the MIT faculty in 1968, in what is now the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

At MIT, Pelloux was a researcher and educator in what was the new and relatively small field of fatigue and fracture of engineering materials and structures. He worked closely with faculty in the departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Mechanical Engineering; consulted widely; and taught an unusually large course load. He was generous with his time and expertise, offering advice and a listening ear to junior faculty and graduate students and frequently collaborating with colleagues throughout the Institute, even offering his skills to the MIT Physical Plant Department when a large centrifugal refrigeration compressor failed in one of the main buildings. His students remember his big heart, his love of his adopted country, and his support for them and MIT. He retired in 1995.

Pelloux was a fellow of ASM International and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, a recipient of the Albert Sauveur Award from ASM International, and an honorary member of the French Society of Metallurgy and Materials.

He is survived by his wife, Isabel; his son, Marc, and daughter-in-law Carolynn; and his daughter Babette and daughter-in-law Ronda.

All are invited to memorial service on October 8 at 2 p.m. in the MIT Chapel. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to MIT, in memory of Regis Pelloux for the DMSE Graduate Fellowship Fund (account 3122200).

Topics: Faculty, Obituaries, Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering


My most heartfelt condolences to the family.

Reggie had a tremendously positive impact on my life and my career. I met him during the 1965-1966 academic year at MIT. I was studying for a Master's degree, and he was there on a sabbatical from Boeing. We had numerous personal, technical and academic interactions over the ensuing 40 years. I valued all of those interactions. He made my research better, and much of his work was incorporated into a materials oriented fatigue course put together by Lou Coffin and myself.

Many of his published papers became the standard by which others (myself included) judged their own.

He will be missed by many, many colleagues.

Mike Henry

I am Jun Feng, a former graduate student of Prof. Regis Pelloux. I am so sad to learn that my dear adviser and life time mentor Prof. Regis Pelloux passed away. During my 5 years PHD program, I had learned, from Regis, not only research skill but also noble spirit. Prof. Regis Pelloux will live inside our heart for ever. I wish that he would be happier in the God's heaven. Give my best condolences to all his family! Jun&Yinlin

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