Dedicated University engineering professor

Robyn Repya

Retired University professor of electrical and computer engineering, Hendrik Oskam, died Sunday after a battle with an incurable form of lung cancer. He was 78.

Oskam, known by friends as “Henk,” also did extensive electrical plasma research. He founded the University’s Faculty Research Organization in the 1960s.

One of Oskam’s colleagues, professor Richard Goldstein, said UMFRO was created because the University was sequestering research funds which were supposed to go to faculty retirement. The organization disbanded when it met its goal.

“Faculty today don’t realize the positive impact (Oskam) had on retirement funds,” Goldstein said.

“He was always a fair and generous man,” said Marri Oskam of her husband.

During World War II, Hendrik Oskam was a Dutch resistance fighter, his wife said. He was sent to a concentration camp because he would not sign a Nazi loyalty document.

“He was not going to be loyal to Nazis,” she said.

Marri Oskam, who met her husband in their native Holland, said Hendrik Oskam had the opportunity to go many places to work, but chose to come to Minnesota for good.

“Physics was his great love, then his students,” Marri Oskam said.

-Robyn Repya