Dr. Atmaram H. Soni

Dr. Atmaram H. Soni passed away at age 64 on February 8, 2000, from a massive heart attack. He is survived by his wife, Ila, eldest daughter, Bina, son, Robert, daughter-in-law, Rachita Shri Chandak, granddaughter, Devika, daughter, Lisa, and son-in-law, Matthew Adams.

Dr. Soni was born in India and emigrated to the U.S. to attend the University of Michigan in 1957, where he received his BS and MS degrees. He went on to receive his PhD degree from Oklahoma State University. An ASME Fellow, he was a recipient of the prestigious Mechanism Award from the ASME Mechanisms Conference. He was appointed Regent Professor at Oklahoma State University and held the titles of Ohio Eminent Scholar and L. W. Scott Alter Professor at the University of Cincinnati since 1987. He established the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Processes at UC and served as its director. He was an outstanding educator, researcher, and leading industrial consultant. His research in kinematics, bioengineering, manufacturing, and robotics was respected internationally. He authored a book, edited several monographs and proceedings, and published numerous technical papers in conferences and professional journals. During his tenure at Oklahoma State University, he established mechanism, bioengineering, and robotics research programs and laboratories. At the University of Cincinnati, he also established a highly productive research center for advanced manufacturing technology. During the course of his career he oversaw the graduation of over 170 graduate students.

Dr. Soni was an excellent communicator, a man with vision, and a leader in the mechanism and robotics research community. In addition, he was respected for his contribution to the mechanism and robotics research industry, as well as his service to city, state, and federal government. He initiated and organized the ASME Flexible Assembly Conference and established the biennial OSU Applied Mechanisms Conference in 1969, which became the Applied Mechanisms and Robotics Conference in 1989. He was actively in charge of the conferences for the past 30 years. He held numerous seminars and workshops for industries, professors, and government agencies to promote technology transfer. He also held retraining programs for unemployed engineers and even developed and sponsored programs for disadvantaged high school students.

Dr. Soni was a man of compassion. Many young scholars will remember his encouragement and kindness. To him, problems and solutions emerged simultaneously and work was just as good as entertainment. Meditation was his path to relaxation and creativity. Painting was his medium for expressing his love to the family.