September 10, 2009


Dear Colleagues:

I am extremely saddened to share with you the news that Professor Anthony Evans passed away yesterday morning, at home with his family. Professor Evans was a renowned researcher and scientist, a dedicated teacher and mentor, and a beloved campus colleague. He made enormous contributions to our university and to the world community.

Dr. Evans joined our faculty in 1985 and served as the founding chair of our top-ranked Department of Materials. He was our Alcoa Professor of Materials, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Director of our Center for Multifunctional Materials and Structures, and past Director of our High Performance Composites Center. An expert on the properties and behavior of advanced structural materials, Professor Evans pioneered a new understanding of the structure of ceramic-matrix composites and the mechanics of toughening brittle materials. He was one of the most highly cited authors in his field, with more than 540 publications to his name. He served as vice president of the American Ceramic Society, and as chair of the Defense Sciences Research Council.

He received numerous honors throughout his career for his achievements and public service, including the 2005 ASM International Gold Medal, the 2003 ASME Nadai Medal, and the 2002 Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of London, and the Royal Academy of Engineering of London.
Tony's brilliance, enthusiasm, and unquenchable intellectual curiosity were an inspiration to us all. His contribution to establishing the culture of collegiality and interdisciplinary research that is a hallmark of UCSB cannot be overemphasized. We feel deeply privileged to have known him as our colleague and friend. Our campus flag is lowered to half-staff today in Professor Evans' honor.

Our hearts go out to Tony's wife, Trisha, and all of their family members and friends. When I visited Tony in the hospital last Friday, I was deeply touched by his courage and strength, and by the incredible network of support around him. He was surrounded by love and friendship, and I couldn't help reflecting on what an eloquent testament this was to the values by which he lived his life. We will miss him always.


Henry T. Yang