bram noordergraaf

Abraham (Bram) Noordergraaf, professor emeritus of bioengineering, in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, passed away May 24 at age 84.

Born in The Netherlands, Dr. Noordergraaf came to the University of Pennsylvania as a visiting fellow in 1957, was appointed to the faculty as an associate professor in 1964 and promoted to professor in 1970. He was a founding member of the bioengineering department and was its first chair (1973-1976). He also held an appointment in the School of Veterinary Medicine.   

Dr. Noordergraaf was well known for his work in cardiovascular dynamics. His research included such highlights as a quantitative theory on the origin of ballistocardiogram and the design and development of a special purpose circulatory analog computer. His mathematical studies had many applications, including in the treatment of hypertension, on vein collapse and in how to measure the efficacy of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He wrote widely, and his textbook Blood in Motion was a classic in cardiovascular science.

Dr. Noordergraaf earned his undergraduate degree in 1953, his master’s degree in 1955 and his PhD in physical basis of ballistocardiography in 1956, all from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands.

Dr. Noordergraaf is survived by his daughters, Annemiek Young, Jeske Noordergraaf; sons, Gerrit Jan and Alexander Noordergraaf; and grandchildren, Maxwell and Marielle Young, Clay McCarthy, Alex and Brant Foster and Jeske, Tristan, Cyril, Danil and Vanya Noordergraaf.

Donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, 201 S. 21st St., Philadelphia, PA 19103 or at