THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA
Born in Teheran, Bez -- as he was affectionately known -- left his home and country for boarding school in England at age 13. He never lived in Iran again, but over the years he returned as a visiting scholar and to see family.
On April 20, 1963 Bez married Carolyn Croft. A good student, always interested in engineering and curious about everything, he earned his PhD from Oxford University two years later. The couple came to Canada in 1965, when Bez became assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Toronto.
Through the 1970s and '80s, Bez was an active teacher, scholar and consultant, rose to full professor, and received many fellowships and other honours. When UVic decided to create a faculty of engineering, Bez was selected to become the founding chair of the department of mechanical engineering in 1987.
Bez remained department chair for a decade, during which he devoted his tremendous energy, goodwill and sense of humour to building an excellent department. One of the things that impressed many was how he put his own career needs second so that younger faculty members would have greater opportunities. In 1993, he co-authored a book, Variational Methods and Complementary Formulations in Dynamics, with his good friend Fred Rimrott.
Bez is leaving us a strong legacy. Former students from around the world attest to his teaching and dedication. Bez expected from other people the traits that he himself exhibited: goodwill, fairness, modesty, maturity, principled courage, and a sense of the ridiculous. Were he here now, he would give us one of his favourite sayings: "Go for the gold."
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