|Prof. Modi Commemoration Hall
|We are deeply indebted to his generous donation of his life long collection of books and literature and much moreEEE(Book List of Modi Library )
Dr. Vinod J. Modi received his bachelor's degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from Bombay University in 1953, and his postgraduate diploma in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1955. He pursued further postgraduate studies in the United States, obtaining his M.S. from the University of Washington (1956) and Ph.D. from Purdue University (1959), both in the area of Aerospace Engineering. He joined the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada in 1961. He was a Professor there from 1968 to January 1995, and has been Professor Emeritus since then.
Vinod J. Modi achieved excellence in the field of aerospace engineering, aerodynamics, dynamics of ocean based systems and biomechanics, and his contributions have been recognized worldwide. His versatility has been demonstrated by the results he has achieved with the harmonization of various research areas, and has been reflected in his research in areas as diverse as human heart valve design, offshore oil platforms, V/STOL airplanes, wind energy operated irrigation systems, ground vehicle aerodynamics, control of the proposed Space Station, and mobile robotic manipulators.
He was the first individual to receive the highest awards from the three leading technical agencies in North America in the area of aerospace engineering, namely, the Canadian Congress of Applied Mechanics, the American Astronautical Society, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has also received numerous other awards for his outstanding and innovative contributions having lasting impact on various fields including Honorary Member of the Japanese Rocket Society and Life Fellowship of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In 1984 he was the first Canadian to be honored by the prestigious International Academy of Astronautics when he was inducted as a member. This body includes Neil Armstrong, Sir Bernard Lovell, Dr. James Van Allen, and Professor L. Sedov of the USSR.
In the wind engineering field, Professor Modi is well known for his work on control of boundary layers of bluff bodies using rotors. He initially proposed this idea to reduce the drag force to realize a high performance aerofoil with a high lift-drag ratio
The technique, called moving surface boundary-layer control, enables aircraft to carry heavier loads, maneuver more efficiently and land at lower speeds. NASA has built a prototype using his idea, and the US Air Force is planning to incorporate it into its next generation of fighter planes. He applied this technique to reduce the drag force of automobiles and tugboats, and also to suppress various types of transverse vibrations of buildings.
Furthermore, the first proposal to apply liquid dampers to ground structures was made by Vinod Modi to suppress wind-induced and water-current-induced instabilities, where the liquid damper was named a gnutation damperh. The vibration energy is absorbed by the motion of the liquid in a container, basically utilizing the resonant effects of the liquid motion tuned to the dynamic characteristics of a structure, and is dissipated by the friction or collision of the liquid and the wall inside the container. This technique was developed by several researchers, as tuned liquid dampers (TLD) or tuned liquid column dampers (TLCD) including actively controlled ones. The TLDs were practically used on several tall buildings or structures in Japan and other countries to improve habitability under wind-induced vibrations or to suppress vortex resonance. The first application and proof of its efficiency on an actual building was made at an air-traffic control tower in Japan.
Prof. Modifs activities covered not only a wide range of science and engineering, but also Buddhism, poetry, photography and so on. He always said, eWe cannot say gmy ideah. Almost everything is the result of the accumulation of the wisdom and intelligence of our predecessors. Even if there is a part which we can say is gmy contributionh, it is still less than 1%. The purpose and the pleasure of research are to have the results used by people, and not to take patents.f He was essentially of intellectual humility and served research work, and often quoted the following sentences at the end of his presentations.
No equation will ever be able to reveal the secret innocence of a childfs smile, the elegant effortless glide of a seagull, or the gentle murmuring of the hinoki cypress at dawn. Knowledge is but a small island surrounded by a vast ocean of ignorance. No matter how far we progress, we will always remain at the shores of that uncharted world.