Dead: Pierre Bezier

Date: Mon, 6 Dec 1999 15:44:11 -0500 (EST)
From: Joe Cychosz
Subject: Pierre Bezier

Pierre BEZIER died on November 25, 1999.

The following short biography has been published in volume 22, number 9 (november 1990) of "Computer Aided Design", a special issue devoted to Bezier techniques.

Pierre Etienne Bezier was born on September 1, 1910 in Paris. Son and grandson of engineers, he chose this profession too and enrolled to study mechanical engineering at the Ecole des Arts et Metiers and received his degree in 1930. In the same year he entered the Ecole Superieure d'Electricite and earnt a second degree in electrical engineering in 1931. In 1977, 46 years later, he received his DSc degree in mathematics from the University of Paris.

In 1933, aged 23, Bezier entered Renault and worked for this company for 42 years. He started as Tool Setter, became Tool Designer in 1934 and Head of the Tool Design Office in 1945. In 1948, as Director of Production Engineering he was responsable for the design of the transfer lines producing most of the 4 CV mechanical parts. In 1957, he became Director of Machine Tool Division and was responsable for the automatic assembly of mechanical components, and for the design and production of an NC drilling and milling machine, most probably one of the first machines in Europe. Bezier become managing staff member for technical development in 1960 and held this position until 1975 when he retired.

Bezier started his research in CADCAM in 1960 when he devoted a substantial amount of his time working on his UNISURF system. From 1960, his research interest focused on drawing machines, computer control, interactive free-form curve and surface design and 3D milling for manufactoring clay models and masters. His system was launched in 1968 and has been in full use since 1975 supporting about 1500 staff members today.

Bezier's academic career began in 1968 when he became Professor of Production Engineering at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers. He held this position until 1979. He wrote four books, numerous papers and received several distinctions including the "Steven Anson Coons" of the Association for Computing Machinery and the "Doctor Honoris Causa" of the Technical University Berlin. He is an honorary member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and of the Societe Belge des Mecaniciens, ex-president of the Societe des Ingenieurs et Scientifiques de France, Societe des Ingenieurs Arts et Metiers, and he was one of the first Advisory Editors of "Computer-Aided Design".

Tuesday, December 7th, 1999