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Obituary: NRC bearing specialist Keith Brockwell (September 24, 2002)

Ottawa, ON -- Sept. 24, 2002 -- The Toronto Section, STLE and the Canadian tribological community has lost a valuab...


Ottawa, ON — Sept. 24, 2002 — The Toronto Section, STLE and the Canadian tribological community has lost a valuable member. Keith Brockwell, NRC – Ottawa, succumbed in June at the age of 57 to his battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Jean, son Alistair and daughter Katherine.

Mr. Brockwell’s specialty first at Michell Bearing in the UK and then with the NRC in Vancouver and later in Ottawa was plain and tilting pad bearings. This included bearing design, plain and tilting pad bearing lubrication, as well as experimental investigations of the steady-state and dynamic properties of oil bearings.

Recognized worldwide as one of the leading experts on fluid film bearings, Mr. Brockwell designed and operated a few unique bearing test facilities. He had been the Secretary of the Canadian Associate Committee on Tribology when it issued its famous report on friction and wear losses in Canada. Mr. Brockwell also was a past chairman of the Vancouver Section of STLE and chairman of the Bearings Technical Committee.

He was the author of over 50 technical papers and was a regular presenter at the STLE annual meeting.

Mr. Brockwell received his postgraduate training from Imperial College, London and Newcastle Polytechnic, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. His previous appointments included the Glacier Metal Company and Michell Bearings.

By family request, those who wish may make memorial donations may do so to the Canadian Cancer Society.