PILLIP BARKAN, professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University since 1977 and former leader in research and development at the General Electric Company, died on June 21, 1996. He was survived by his wife, Susan; his daughter, Ruth Barkan; and his son, David, and daughter-in-law, Nancy Melrose. Phil was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 25, 1925. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Tufts University in 1946, a master's from the University of Michigan in 1948 and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 1953. While at Penn State, he also worked first as a research assistant and then as assistant professor of engineering research. In 1953 he joined GE as a senior research engineer in the Switchgear and Control Laboratory in Philadelphia. He was promoted to the position of manager for mechanical engineering and circuit interruption in 1965 and to the position of manager for applied physics and mechanical engineering in 1972. He left GE in 1977 to become a professor in mechanical engineering at Stanford University, where he served until his death. Most of the fifty-one patents issued in his name came during the period between 1953 and 1977. Therefore, it is important to review his inventive work during that period. Even though circuit breakers have been in existence for a long time, a great number of advances occurred in that period in three different areas: 1. The dynamics of the mechanical operation systems. 2. The dynamics of fluid mechanics and high-pressure arcs in circuit breakers during the important but brief period of circuit interruption. 3. The development of new types of circuit breakers Phil made major contributions in all three areas. In the area of operating mechanical systems, he introduced scientific method into the design of mechanical linkages. For that effort, his operation was designated as the Center of Research for Transient Dynamics by the General Electric Research Laboratory. There were about ten such centers in the General Electric Company and their responsibility was to share their competence throughout the company with organizations that have comparable problems. While such a designation is an honor, the real purpose is to strengthen GE's capabilities in key technical areas.