Matthias Botman

June 6, 1926 – April 26, 2012

Matthias (Thijs) Botman of Vancouver and Montreal left us quietly on April 26, 2012 after a struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

He was born in 1926 in Haarlem, the Netherlands. His father had been the captain of a merchant marine ship sailing to South East Asia. In his teenage years he endured the occupation of Holland during WWII. Following the war, he studied Aeronautical Engineering at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and served in the Royal Dutch Navy, where he met his future wife Maria. Together they started a family and immigrated to Montreal during the mid 1950′s to work at Canadair.

A highly regarded engineer, Matthias was a leading specialist in the field of vibrations analysis, particularly with turbine jet engines. He authored many technical papers, spoke at technical conferences and lectured at Sir George Williams University.  He was a member of the Ordre des Ingenieurs du Quebec. During his long and successful career he worked for aerospace firms Canadair, North American Aviation and United Aircraft of Canada/Pratt & Whitney Canada where he served as Chief of Dynamics, retiring in 1992.

He retired to Vancouver where he was able to share his love of sailing with his children and grandchildren.

Matthias is survived by Maria (Puck) Berends – Botman and their children: Elisabeth (Richard Migicovsky; Eric and Anna), Pieter, Richard, Robert (Melissa Weyland; Theodore, Beatrice and  Jasper) and Anne Marie (Al Banner; Kaitlyn).

A private family memorial was held in Vancouver on April 28, 2012.


The Vancouver Sun
The Montreal Gazette
The Toronto Globe and Mail

Photo History



1926 0 Born in Haarlem, The Netherlands
1940-1945 14-19 Survives occupation of Holland during WWII
1947-1952 21-25 Studied Aeronautical Engineering at Delft University of Technology
1952-1954 26-28 Served in the Royal Dutch Navy
1954 28 Married Maria Magdalena Berends
Daughter Elisabeth born (first child)
1955 29 Accepts job offer from Canadair in Montreal
Immigrates to Canada
Son Pieter born (second child)
1960 34 Accepts new position at North American Aviation in Columbus Ohio
Son Richard born (third child)
1963 37 Son Robert born (fourth child)
1966 40 Accepts new position at Rochester Applied Science Associates (RASA)
1967 41 Daughter Anne Marie born (fifth child)
1968 42 Accepts new position at United Aircraft of Canada (later Pratt & Whitney Canada) in Montreal
Family resides in Westmount, Quebec (16 years)
1975 49 Family purchases vacation property in North Hero, Vermont
1984 58 Family downsizes from house in Westmount to condo downtown
1992 65 Retires from Pratt & Whitney Canada as Chief of Dynamics (24 years of service)
Moves to Vancouver area
Buys 30 foot sailboat “Boreal”
1994 68 Buys condo in West Point Grey, Vancouver
2007 81 Sells sailboat “Boreal” (15 years of sailing)
2009 83 Moves to South Granville Park Lodge in Vancouver
2012 85 Enjoys full family reunion with complete set of 5 children and 6 grandchildren
Dies comfortably in his sleep with his eldest children nearby


Articles, Books, Presentations
authored or co-authored by Matthias Botman

1954 – M. Botman, “The Effective Width in the Plastic Range of Flat Plates Under Compression”, National Aero- and Astronautical Research Inst Amsterdam, Defense Technical Information Center, 39 Pages

1954 – M. Botman, “Shear Tests on 24 S-T Unstiffened and Stiffened Webs with Flanged Holes, Part 2″, National Luchtvaarlaboratorium, 66 pages

1961 – M. Botman, “The Response of Linear Systems to Inhomogenous Random Excitation”, Issue 61, Part 32 of IAS papers, Institute of the Aerospace Sciences

1964 – M. Botman, “Propulsion by Undulating Plates” (64-461), AAIA Bulletin, Volumes 1-2. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

1971 – M. Botman, “High Speed Rotor Dynamics in the Presence of Oil-film Dampers”, Issue 368 of Technical Note, United Aircraft of Canada

1971 – M. Botman, “Description of High Speed Rotor Dynamics Rig Including Engineering Procedure XP 124″, Issue 356 of Technical Note, United Aircraft of Canada

1974 – M. Botman, “Third Turbo Mechanics Seminar: Proceedings of a Seminar at the Toronto Airport Hilton”, National Research Council Canada

1975 – S.W. Mak and M. Botman “Substructures Analysis of Impeller Vibration Modes”, ASME Paper 75-DET-112.

1976 – M. Botman, “Epicyclic Gear Vibrations”, Journal of Engineering for Industry, Transactions of ASME, Vol 98

1978 – M. Botman, “Experiments on the Transient Response of Oil-Film Dampers, Journal of Engineering for Power, Volume 100. American Society of Mechanical Engineers

1981 – M. Botman, “Aircraft Installations”, Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal Volumes 27-28, Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute

1981 – R. N. Tadros and M. Botman, ” “, Mechanical Engineering, Volume 103, American Society of Mechanical Engineers

1981 – M. Botman, “Experiments on the Dynamic Behavior of a Supercritical Rotor”, Journal of Mechanical Design, Volume 104. American Society of Mechanical Engineers

1984 – P. Ma and M. Botman, “Load Sharing in a planetary gear stage in the presence of gear errors and misalignment” ASME Paper 84-Det-54.7 American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Design Engineering Technical Conference, Cambridge MA

Articles about Matthias Botman

June 24, 1964 – The Spokesman-Review (Spokane Washington) (Washington Post News Service) “Engineer Pictures Swimming Undersea Craft”

Citations of the work of Matthias Botman

1956 – The Aeronautical Journal, Volume 60, page 80. Royal Aeronautical Society.

1956 – Aeronautical Engineering Review, Volume 15, page 143. Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences (U.S.)

1956 – Battelle Technical Review, Volume 5, page 54. Battelle Memorial Institute

1960 – Aeronautical Engineering Review, Volume 20, page 79. Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences (U.S.)

1960 – Journal of Applied Mechanics, Volume 27, page 342. American Society of Mechanical Engineers

1961 – Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Volume 65, Issues 601-612

1963 – Les Congres et colloques de L’Universite de Liege, Volumes 25-27. Universite de Liege

1976 – Journal of Lubrication Technology, Volumes 98-99. American Society of Mechanical Engineers

1981 – S.A.E. Transactions, Volume 89, page 94. Society of Automotive Engineers

1981- Mechanical Engineering, Volume 103. American Society of Mechanical Engineers

1985 – Journal of Mechanisms, Transmissions, and Automation in Design, Volume 107, page 9. American Society of Mechanical Engineers

1988 – Internation Journal of Turbo & Jet-Engines, Volume 4, Issues 3-4, page 284.

1992 – Advancing Power Transmission into the 21st Century, Proceedings of the ASME Design Technical Conference on International Power Transmission and Gearing, Scottsdale, AZ

2000 – J Rhodes, “Buckling of Thin Plates and Thin-Plate Members – Some points of interest”, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Proceedings of the The Seventh International Symposium on Structural Failure and Plasticity, Melbourne Australia.