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Arthur Akers (1927-2010)


Posted By: Ames Tribune
Date: 10/31/2010 at 12:01:32

THE AMES TRIBUNE, Ames, Story County, Iowa, Tuesday, October 26, 2010.

Arthur Akers 83, of Ames, passed away Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010, at Northcrest Care Center in Ames. Adams Soderstrum Funeral Home is assisting the family.

THE AMES TRIBUNE, Ames, Story County, Iowa, Wednesday, October 27, 2010.

Arthur Akers, 83 of Ames, died Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010, at Northcrest Care Center in Ames. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, at Ames Municipal Cemetery, with a memorial service at 1 p.m. Thursday, at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Ames.

Arthur Akers was born March 27, 1927, in Smethwick, (near Birmingham) in the county of Staffordshire, England. He was the eldest son of Arthur and Violet May (Davis) Akers. He joined the British Army in 1944, was therefore an allied World War II veteran, and saw active service in France, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and the island of Cyprus. In 1948, on discharge from the army, he worked as a leader of the future projects section at Armstrong Whitworth, U.K., on guided missile design and flight trials analysis. He received an honours baccalaureate degree in physics and mathematics from London University in 1953. After receiving a masterís degree in aerospace from Cranfield University in 1955, he worked as a group leader of new projects at British Aerospace, Bristol, U.K. In 1960, he was appointed Senior Lecturer at Bath University and then went to teach for the Britannic Lords of the Admiralty at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, in 1964.

In 1967, he was commissioned at Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall, Westminster, U.K., in the rank of major and was, until 1975, a serving officer in the British Army Strategic Reserve. He instigated the formation of and led the training teams for logistic supplies of fuel and ammo, for communications and for sapper training.

In 1968, he became a Professor at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, U.K., and doctorate in mechanical engineering was conferred upon him by the University of London in 1969. During 1973 and 1974 he was a visiting professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia after which he returned to Schrivenham. In 1975, he joined the faculty at Iowa State University. He concluded his professional life as a professor (and then became emeritus professor) of aerospace engineering in 1999.

In February 1978, he married Marcia Lee (Pratt) Riggs. His honors and awards include Fellow of both the Royal Aeronautical Society (for more than 50 years) and of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International. The ISU Arthur Akers Outstanding Freshman Engineer Award for the three ROTC units was named for him in 1989. He was co-founder of the Fluid Power Systems and Technology Division of ASME, and spent nearly one year on a worldwide lecture tour, giving details of the Divisionís Engineering Design initiative. He published more than 100 international archival technical papers, wrote four text books and was editor of several technical journals.

He enjoyed opera and classical music, foreign and domestic travel, mountain hiking and cycling.

Survivors include his wife; one son, Andrew; and eight grandchildren (all living in the U.K.); and one brother, John.

He was predeceased by his parents; his beloved daughter, Judith Maxine Parr in 1999; and one brother, Frank, in 2004.

Adams Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.


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