CSR mourns the passing of Professor Hans Mark

In tribute to Hans Mark (1929-2021) – engineer, pioneer, visionary, public servant, teacher, mentor, advisor … and a good friend

Professor Hans Mark in his office. Photo credit: University fo Texas at Austin, Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Cockrell School of Engineering

“Professor Mark was indeed a giant in aerospace – in both atmospheric and space flight, in their broadest dimensions. I was very fortunate to have him take an interest in my career, as well, and to have shared with him conversations on education and many technical topics over the years. He was a great friend to the Center for Space Research, and his presence will be sorely missed.”

– Professor Srinivas Bettadpur
Director, Center for Space Research
Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

“Hans had a remarkably productive career with significant contributions to the fields of Nuclear Physics, Aerospace Engineering and Space Exploration. Some of his more significant, but less well documented contributions lie in the mentoring role that he played in the development of a significant number of young entrants to the fields of Aeronautics and Space Engineering, many of whom have gone on to play leading roles in these fields. His specific technical accomplishments are numerous, span a vast area of inquiry and are well documented. As NASA Deputy Director, he was influential in the decision to establish the International Space Station, which has been a foundation for the manned space program during the past four decades. His understanding of the potential for using unmanned satellites to study the Earth, gleaned during his time as Under Secretary of the Air Force and Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, led to his support for the implementation of a number of important remote sensing satellite missions including the unmanned Ocean Surface Topography Mission that established the global sea level change measurement as one indicator of climate change and was one of the more important CSR-NASA Mission interactions. While U.T. System Chancellor, he expressed interest in and found time to interact with NASA-funded CSR activities. During this period, he also supported the first steps by the UT System to develop high performance computing, which was an essential capability for CSR’s research at that time. He was a valued friend and a highly valued contact when you needed help with either technical or political matters. He was always available for discussion, advice, or assistance, whether the concern was a technical question that required thoughtful consideration, an implementation problem that required administrative or programmatic resolution, or just an interested consideration of a recent scientific development. Hans enjoyed documenting his thoughts and in a less technical, but important interaction, he shared the documentation of a number of family vacations that Bun and he planned. I was privileged to participate vicariously in some wonderful family experiences that they enjoyed. I have valued all of these interactions and I regret the loss.”

– Professor Byron Tapley
CSR Director (1981-2015, 2016-2017)
Research Professor and Professor Emeritus
Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

“Hans Mark was an amazing mentor, an insightful engineer, a wise advisor, and a good friend. His sage advice, usually provided in his office along with strong coffee before 7 AM, was priceless. We who worked with him have been blessed beyond measure.”

– Professor Wallace Fowler
Professor Emeritus
Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics


ASE/EM Mourns Loss of Professor Emeritus Hans Mark
‘God of aerospace engineering’: Hans Mark, former UT chancellor who fled Nazis, dies at 92