Fiberglass-reinforced structures visionary W. Brandt Goldsworthy of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., died of cancer April 3 at age 87 after a two-month hospitalization.
Goldsworthy was a 1979 inductee into the Plastics Hall of Fame and he won the International Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers in 1997.
Goldsworthy was ``enormously creative and understood how composite structures work and how they can be manufactured,'' said Burt Rutan, president and chief executive officer of Scaled Composites Inc. of Mojave, Calif.
The two met often ``to pick each other's brains,'' Rutan said by telephone. ``We would sit on a beach for several days and try to invent new things relating to processing or manufacturing of composite structures.''
Goldsworthy was ``a pioneer of pioneers, an innovator always receptive to new ideas [and] a mild-mannered, likeable man who was internationally known,'' said M.C. Gill, founder and chairman of M.C. Gill Corp. of El Monte, Calif.
Goldsworthy received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1935. He started his career in plastics in 1938 as a process engineer at Douglas Aircraft Co. Over the years he started six businesses, obtained at least 50 domestic patents and received more than 20 awards including the University of Brussels' medal of excellence in applied science in 1993. The Belgium monarchy invested him as a Knight of the Order of the Crown in 1998.
The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering honored him as a fellow in 1996 and with the Lubin Award in 1997.
Most recently, he was president of W. Brandt Goldsworthy & Associates Inc. of Torrance, Calif., providing composite-related design, engineering and fabrication services for aerospace, consumer, recreational and infrastructure applications. Many of his developments supplanted products traditionally made of steel, aluminum or wood.
He was involved with the first fiberglass-reinforced surfboard, first composite automotive body and first all-composite airplane fuselage.
In recent years, he created a composite-reinforced electrical conductor and an all-composite transmission power pole.
At his request, no memorial service will be held. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Lois, and three daughters.