Robert D. “Bob” Davis (1934-2021) was a faculty member in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department (formerly Industrial Engineering & Operations Research department) at UMass Amherst for 22 years, from 1968 to 1990. Bob’s recent passing was a profound loss for those of us who had the privilege to be his students. The devotion that Bob showed to his students has had a lasting influence on our personal and professional lives.
Bob’s approach to his undergraduate courses was dedicated and rigorous. We have not forgotten his computer simulation class and the “Davis 33,” a group Bob helped complete the course requirements even after the semester ended. As graduate students, we will treasure Bob’s single dedication to enhancing our research abilities – he gave us a lot of responsibility while guiding our work and ensuring that any roadblocks were overcome. He made sure we received equal credit for joint work and praised us in public settings. We also will remember the potluck events hosted by Bob and his wife Loretta at their home in Sunderland where all were welcomed warmly.
Most of us graduate students came to UMass from far away, both domestically and internationally. Bob provided us with a home away from home – he was our professor, mentor, and friend. Please join us in making a donation to the Robert D. Davis scholarship fund. It will be awarded annually to an undergraduate student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department. With this scholarship, Bob’s legacy will live on, and his student-focused attitude will be remembered for a very long time to come.
Rob Weitz, Ph.D. 1985
Kayhan Talebi, Ph.D. 1985
David Lewis, Ph.D. 1982
Richard Pelosi, Ph.D. 1984
John Maleyeff, Ph.D. 1982
Note: Our objective is to establish an endowed scholarship and therefore gifts will be directed to a pre-endowment fund. If we do not achieve the minimum threshold to endow ($25K) the scholarship will be distributed for a term of years rather than in perpetuity.