Victor Vâlcovici

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The first-ever call from Bucharest to New York City, on December 25, 1931. Vâlcovici is first from the left, followed by Dimitrie I. Ghika of Foreign Affairs and Grigore Filipescu, president of the Romanian Telephone Company

Victor Vâlcovici (21 September [O.S. 9 September] 1885 – 21 June 1970) was a Romanian mechanician and mathematician.

Born into a modest family in Galați, he graduated first in his class in 1904 from Nicolae Bălcescu High School in Brăila. Entering the University of Bucharest on a scholarship, he attended its faculty of sciences and graduated in 1907 with a degree in mathematics. He then taught high school for two years before leaving for Göttingen University on another scholarship to pursue a doctorate in mathematics. He defended his thesis in 1913; the topic was discontinuous flow of liquids in two free dimensions,[1] and amplified upon the work of Bernhard Riemann.[2]

He was subsequently named assistant professor of mechanics at Iași University, rising to full professor in 1918.[3] In 1921, he became rector of the Polytechnic School of Timișoara. There, he was also professor of rational mechanics and founded a laboratory dedicated to the field.[2] During his nine years as rector, he worked to place the recently founded university on a solid foundation.[3] From 1930 until retiring in 1962, he taught experimental mechanics at Bucharest University.[2] In the government of Nicolae Iorga, he served as Minister of Public Works from 1931 to 1932. During this time, he introduced a modern road network that featured paved highways.[2][3]

Elected a corresponding member of the Romanian Academy in 1936,[4] he was stripped of his membership by the new communist regime in 1948,[5] but made a titular member in 1965.[6] His numerous articles on theoretical and applied mechanics covered topics such as the principles of variational mechanics, the mechanics of ideal fluid flow, the theory of elasticity and astronomy.[2]


  1. ^ Otlăcan, pp. 125–6
  2. ^ a b c d e Hager, p. 1361
  3. ^ a b c Otlăcan, p. 127
  4. ^ Otlăcan, p. 126, 127
  5. ^ (in Romanian) Păun Otiman, "1948–Anul imensei jertfe a Academiei Române", in Academica, Nr. 4 (31), December 2013, p. 123
  6. ^ (in Romanian) Membrii Academiei Române din 1866 până în prezent, at the Romanian Academy site


  • Willi Hager, Hydraulicians in Europe (1800–2000), vol. 2. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4665-5498-6
  • (in Romanian) Eufrosina Otlăcan, "Victor Vâlcovici (1885–1970) – savant și desăvârșit pedagog", NOEMA, vol. VI, 2007, pp. 124–29