Archives of Acoustics, 21, 4, pp. 359-360, 1996

In memory of Professor Halina Ryffert

Edward Hojan

On 7th August 1996, Polish Acoustics suffered a great loss when Professor Halina Ryffert, a woman of merit in the acoustical community, passed away.
She was born on 4th February 1916 in Bugulma (Russia) to a Polish family. Three years later they moved to Poznań (Poland), where Professor Ryffert lived and worked almost all her life.
She studied mathematics (1933-1939) at University in Poznań. Shortly after she graduated II World War broke out. As a result of her conspiratorial activity against the invader, Halina Ryffert was arrested and then sent to a concentration camp "Ravensbruck", where she stayed until the end of the war. She got back to Poland soon after the liberation in 1945 and started her work as an assistant in the Institute of Mathematics (University in Poznań). In 1952, she was offered a position with the Chair of Acoustics, where she continued her career as a scientist. She received Ph.D. degree in 1958, presenting her thesis on "Acquisition of instantaneous spectra on the basis of a generalized analysis of vibrations". Further work on methods for spectral analysis of non-stationary acoustic signals, conducted both in Poland and abroad during her fellowships at College de France in Paris (1958) and at Technical University in Stuttgart (Germany, 1960), was a source of many publications. Her main achievement was the application of an instantaneous spectrum to a dynamic evaluation of non-stationary sounds. In 1968, Halina Ryffert became a Professor of Adam Mickiewicz University.
She headed the Chair of Acoustics for 19 years (1962-1981). For 7 years she was a Dean at the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and a member of numerous academic boards. In 1965-1984, Proffessor Ryffert was a President of Polish Acoustical Society, converging people interested in diverse fields of Acoustics. During that time she made efforts to set a collaboration with acoustical centres abroad. Those efforts resulted in a particularly fruitful collaborative work with GALF. Since the establishment of Acoustics Commitee of Polish Academy of Sciences in 1964, Professor Halina Ryffert was its Vice-President for 20 years and then its meritorious member.
She was a dedicated academic teacher. Under her supervision, many master and doctoral thesis were completed.
In reward for her scientific and pedagogic work she received high honours both in Poland and abroad.
Her contribution to the development of Polish acoustics is invaluable. She turned the Chair of Acoustics into a thriving acoustical centre - present Institute of Acoustics in Poznań.
Always helpful and understanding, she was a respectable scientist and a great woman. She will remain our mentor. Her passing away is an irreparable loss.
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