John E. Renaud, professor and chair of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, died Friday (March 18) at his home in Niles, Mich., of cancer. He was 50 years old.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Renaud was graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 1982. He worked for five years as a manufacturing systems design engineer at the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester before earning master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1989 and 1992, respectively. He joined the aerospace and mechanical engineering faculty at Notre Dame in 1992 and has chaired the department since 2008.
Internationally recognized as an expert in design methodology and optimization theory, Renaud taught undergraduate and graduate courses on design optimization and pursued research on fundamental design issues for aircraft, crash-absorbant structures, and human bone tissue as well as in the general mathematics associated with determining optimal designs. In addition to supervising numerous doctoral dissertations, he wrote and co-authored more than 65 articles in the leading journals of his discipline and held two U.S. patents.
An associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Renaud served on the editorial advisory boards of Engineering Optimization and the Journal of Aircraft and was associate editor of the Journal of Mechanical Design.
Renaud is survived by his wife Elizabeth Coyne, his sister Joyce (Louis) Tartaglia of Webster, N.Y., his brother Paul (Rosemary) Renaud of Clifton Park, N.Y., his mother of Webster, N.Y., and his nieces and nephew, Catlin and Kristen Renaud, Lisa and Mark Tartaglia.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent either to Pets Connect, P.O. Box 8104, South Bend, IN 46660-8104; the Humane Society of St. Joseph County, 2506 Grape Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545; or the American Cancer Society (please earmark for research), 601 West Edison Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545.
A Mass of remembrance will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m., April 1 (Friday) in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame and will be followed by a reception at the Morris Inn.