Abraham Noordergraaf, Professor Emeritus

Dr. Abraham Noordergraaf, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Bioengineering, passed away on May 24, 2014 at age 84.

After receiving his doctorate from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, Dr. Noordergraaf immigrated to the United States to join the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. Beginning as a visiting fellow in 1957, he was appointed an associate professor in 1964 and was a founding member of the Department of Bioengineering. He served as its first chair from 1973 to 1976.

Dr. Noordergraaf was a well-known figure on campus and a celebrated teacher and mentor. He also held an appointment at the School of Veterinary Medicine and occasionally taught courses in Dutch Culture.

Dr. Noordergraaf was known for his work in cardiovascular dynamics. His research included such highlights as a quantitative theory on the origin of ballistocardiogram and the design and development of a special purpose circulatory analog computer. His mathematical studies had many applications, including in the treatment of hypertension, on vein collapse and in how to measure the efficacy of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He wrote widely, and his textbook Blood in Motion was a classic in cardiovascular science.

Dr. Noordergraaf earned his undergraduate degree in 1953, his master’s degree in 1955 and his Ph.D. in physical basis of ballistocardiography in 1956, all from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands.

Dr. Noordergraaf is survived by his children Annemiek Young, Gerrit Jan Noordergraaf, Jeske Noordergraaf, and Alexander Noordergraaf; ten grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews.  The family suggests that donations in his memory be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, 201 S 21st St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, www.fpcphila.org.

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