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Dr. Werner K. Adrian
Male 1930 - 2008


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  • Prefix  Dr. 
    Birth  10 Aug 1930  [1
    Gender  Male 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-101899 
    Died  10 May 2008  [1
    Person ID  I101899  Generations
    Last Modified  13 Apr 2017 

  • Notes 
    • ADRIAN, Dr.-Ing. Habil, Professor Werner K. (Emeritus)-Scholar, inventor, mechanic, teacher, storyteller, jokester, and lover of poetry. Born August 10, 1930, our father Werner Adrian passed suddenly on Saturday, May 10, 2008. He will be dearly missed by his beloved family, his children, Birgitta Adrian Morley and son-in-law, Chris Morley, Felicitas Adrian and son-in-law, Alfredo Ramirez, Patricia Adrian-Hanson and son-in-law, Nicolas Hanson, Dr. Melanie Adrian; his grandchildren, Danielle, Rachel, Nathan and Felix; his former wife, Elisabeth Adrian and his companion, Hildegard Neumann; as well as his sisters, Liesel Adrian and Rosel Strack and his cousins, Herbert Acker and Trudel Strohschnitter. Werner was a loving family man and a well-known and highly respected member of the scientific community throughout Europe and North America. In his passing we continue to pay tribute to a most cherished and revered man.

      Our Dad was a scholar. He published extensively and had, at last count, 120 articles in print in technical journals in his field. He had six patents to his name in diverse areas such as infrared photometry, adaption dependent traffic control devices, and antiglare spectacles for nighttime traffic. He was interested in making the roads safer and his research led to recommendations for STV (Small Target Visibility) in roadway lighting.

      He, along with Dr. Johan Enzmann, developed the first computer program to calculate roadway luminance which is the design metric used today for roadway lighting design. Roadway tunnel safety was particularly important to him as he felt they were generally incorrectly lit, forcing a driver to enter an apparent black hole, causing unnecessary accidents. To counter this problem, he developed a description of the state of adaptation of observers approaching a tunnel in daytime. His innovation serves as the basis for guidelines for tunnel lighting around the world today. Werner was active in the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) for over 25 years and the Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage (CIE) for over 40 years having received the CIE certificate in 2007 and the IES Medal Award (the IES's highest recognition for technical achievement) in 2005.

      Werner embarked on extensive research about the aging eye and how this affected our ability to see, especially at night. He further our thinking about disability and discomfort glare when he suggested the Glare Control Mark, the equivalent veiling luminance and TI (threshold increment) metrics. He also developed models for Visual Acuity and Visual performance each contributing to indoor lighting requirements. He was concerned for people who suffered from a disease call retinitis pigmentosa, for which he developed protective aids that would slow or halt the diseases' progress to eventual blindness. Having a father with such strong intellectual drives exposed us kids to many complex ideas early on in our lives and provided us with an environment rich with debate and discussion.

      Werner was not just a scholar, he was also an inventor. Most of the 1970s were dedicated to the development of the infrared breath analyzer (known today as the breathalyzer). He was also one of the first to build a 3 dimensional TV, which led him to consult for space technology and large screen TV companies. A creative mind combined with his degrees in electrical engineering made Dad the perfect mechanic. With four daughters and more cars, Dad spent much of his free time underneath the hood, or indeed simply underneath, many cars in his time. In fact he repaired just about any broken electronic device. His professional path as an accomplished teacher was reflected in all areas of his life. He never passed up small moments to teach us kids the names of the stars, how to approach a challenging mathematical calculation, or how to fly a kite.

      His life was spent in the university classroom teaching two generations of students the fundamentals of physiological optics, lighting, visual functions, colour and more. But he believed that the world was a classroom and for many years he organized "study tours" to Europe for his students in which they visited optometry related companies and research institutes, as well as various churches, historical sites, and Dad's favourite wineries speckled along the Mosel River.

      Our father was a consummate storyteller. He loved sitting with family and friends and recounting anecdotes about his childhood, family or life. His flair in retelling these stories made each and every recount memorable. These moments of storytelling were usually never very serious and perhaps our father was best known for his sense of humour and vast repertoire of jokes, which we started numbering as our own way of making him laugh. We always knew when one was coming because Dad would give himself away with his own laughter before he was able to deliver the punch line with any seriousness.

      And finally, our father loved reciting poetry and quoting old German authors. Poetry and linguistic beauty were part of Dad's abiding passions. We cannot remember a day that went by where he did not recite a poem or saying (from memory, no less). It is for this reason that we want to remember our father with love and kindness in a way that is befitting to him Dad, your life reminds us of things worth living for. You accomplished so much and gave it freely; modesty and generosity embodied all your achievements. Even though you often knew best, you seldom said so. You shared with those close to you the meaning and continuity of your life, demonstrating how much you cared. Your gifts gave us a sense of belonging to something greater. Camaraderie, hard work, love, and loyalty are the values that were you.

      We will miss your warmth and laughter, ready smile, keen intelligence and generosity. Good journeys Dad… According to our father's explicit wishes, cremation has taken place followed by a private family celebration of his life. A mass will be read in honour of Dr. Werner Adrian on Sunday, May 18, 2008, at 7:30 a.m., by the Order of Discalced Carmelites at the Carmel of St. Joseph, 1127 Carmel-Koch Rd. RR 1, St Agatha, N0B 2L0. We would like to invite all those who shared his friendship to pay tribute to him by raising a nice glass of Riesling in his memory. Those wishing to express their sympathy and condolences are invited to contact the family, by e-mail to Dr. Melanie Adrian ,,,, Birgitta Adrian Morley ..., Felicitas Adrian ..., Patricia Adrian-Hanson....1a

      1aWaterloo Region Record 12 May 2008

  • Sources 
    1. [S602] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - The Waterloo Region Record (March 2008- ), Obituary of Werner K. Adrian - 12 May 2008.