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In tribute

Retired engineering professor Dr. Gary Sabin remembered

Campus and Community

By Dr. Leonard Lye

Dr. Gary Charles Wesley Sabin passed away peacefully at home in Vancouver on July 25, after a brief illness.

Dr. Sabin, a retired professor of engineering, was born in Ottawa, Ont., but moved to Vancouver at a young age. He graduated from West Vancouver High School in 1964 and completed his bachelor and master degrees in mathematics at Simon Fraser University.

He joined Memorial University in 1972. He completed his doctoral degree in mathematics from the University of Windsor in 1975 while a faculty member at Memorial. Seeing better prospects at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, he joined the faculty in 1982.

More than 30 years

Dr. Sabin provided significant service to the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and to Memorial University during his more than 30-year tenure.

He was very involved with the faculty’s undergraduate studies committee, senate committees and numerous other academic committees. He served as the associate dean (undergraduate) from 1997 to 2002 and served a term as discipline chair of mechanical engineering in 2005, just before retirement.

Dr. Sabin taught a wide variety of courses, ranging from the standard algebra and calculus courses. He also taught probability and statistics, mechanics of solids, optimization and engineering analysis. During his retirement years, he taught at Simon Fraser University as a sessional instructor.

His scholarly activity was both broad and fascinating, covering a range of engineering specialties, especially those that are highly mathematical in nature. He worked on viscoelastic contact problems, chaos theory, dynamical systems, optimization, dynamic behaviour of pile foundations with soil-pile interactions and stress analysis of porous elastic mediums.

He supervised his first graduate student after joining the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science in 1982 and went on to graduate two doctoral and five master’s students. He was an excellent and caring supervisor, always putting the welfare of his students first and foremost.

Personal life

Dr. Sabin was an avid track and field athlete ever since his high school days. He brought along his love of running to Newfoundland and Labrador and was a regular at track meets, as a participant and as an official.

He even took part in the 1991 Bali Invitational 5K run while teaching in Bali. His other interest was rugby, which he continued to play in Vancouver after his retirement until injury forced him to stop.

Dr. Sabin was an excellent colleague, mentor and teacher.

He is survived by a brother and two sisters, his wife Cathy, his daughters Barbara and Michelle and their partners, and his beloved grandson, Braden.

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