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Pierre Bézier

From: Pankaj Kamthan <kamthan@cs.concordia.ca>
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 1999 01:35:01 -0500
Message-Id: <199912060635.BAA06832@spamburger.openface.ca>
To: www-svg@w3.org
Pierre Bézier died on November 25, 1999. The following biography was 
contributed by Christophe Rabut (Departement de Genie Mathematique, 
Institut National des Sciences Appliquees, 135, avenue de Rangueil, F-31077 
TOULOUSE Cedex 4, France) to NA Digest, Volume 99, Issue 48. It has been 
published in Computer Aided Design, Volume 22, Number 9 (1990) in a 
special issue devoted to Bézier techniques.

Pierre Etienne Bézier was born on September 1, 1910 in Paris. Son and 
grandson of engineers, he chose this profession too and enrolled to study 
mechanical engineering at the Ecole des Arts et Metiers and received his 
degree in 1930. In the same year he entered the Ecole Superieure 
d'Electricite and earnt a second degree in electrical engineering in 1931.
In 1977, 46 years later, he received his DSc degree in mathematics from the 
University of Paris.

In 1933, aged 23, Bézier entered Renault and worked for this company for 42 
years. He started as Tool Setter, became Tool Designer in 1934 and Head of 
the Tool Design Office in 1945. In 1948, as Director of Production 
Engineering he was responsible for the design of the transfer lines producing 
most of the 4 CV mechanical parts. In 1957, he became Director of Machine 
Tool Division and was responsible for the automatic assembly of mechanical 
components, and for the design and production of an NC drilling and milling 
machine, most probably one of the first machines in Europe. Bezier 
become managing staff member for technical development in 1960 and held 
this position until 1975 when he retired.

Bézier started his research in CADCAM in 1960 when he devoted a 
substantial amount of his time working on his UNISURF system. From 1960, 
his research interest focused on drawing machines, computer control, 
interactive free-form curve and surface design and 3D milling for 
manufactoring clay models and masters. His system was launched in 1968 
and has been in full use since 1975 supporting about 1500 staff 
members today. 

Bézier's academic career began in 1968 when he became Professor of 
Production Engineering at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers. He 
held this position until 1979. He wrote four books, numerous papers and 
received several distinctions including the "Steven Anson Coons" of the 
Association for Computing Machinery and the "Doctor Honoris Causa" of the 
Technical University Berlin. He is an honorary member of the American 
Society of Mechanical Engineers and of the Societe Belge des Mecaniciens, 
ex-president of the Societe des Ingenieurs et Scientifiques de France, 
Societe des Ingenieurs Arts et Metiers, and he was one of the first Advisory 
Editors of "Computer-Aided Design".

Pankaj Kamthan
Received on Monday, 6 December 1999 01:35:31 UTC

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