INCE-USA is pleased to acknowledge the 100th birthday of our friend and Distinguished International Member, Jean Mattei.
Jean was born on 21 September of 1920 in Felletin (a small town in the center of France, close to Aubusson, famous for its tapestries) in a family originated from the Mediterranean Corsica Island (the native land of Napoleon Bonaparte). His father, a civil servant and his mother, a teacher, soon moved to Paris which they had to leave after the German invasion in 1939.
In 1941, Jean came back to Paris to study at Sorbonne University and specialized in fluid mechanics in the laboratory of Joseph Pérès at Ecole Normale Supérieure, under the authority of Professor Yves Rocard, a well-known physicist considered as the father of the French atomic bomb.
While there, he joined the French Résistance and became a Captain of the FFI (Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur) in charge of the Versailles-Rambouillet Sector. Late August 1944 his group opened the way to the French Capital for the Allied Forces (and more specifically to the French Second Armored Division, under the command of Général Leclerc) leading to the Liberation of Paris.
Mattei enrolled in the 10th French Division of General Billotte, spent Christmas 1944 in Belgium and, during the following winter, took part in the Alsace Campaign. From 1945 to 1946, he participated to the French Commission of Control in Berlin where he had the opportunity to recruit German scientists. There, he met a journalist and member of the British Commission, Muriel, who became his dear wife.
At the request of Yves Rocard, he was assigned to the Ministry of War in the telecommunications domain which led him to join the TELECOM School of Engineering, where he graduated in 1949.
In 1952 he joined ONERA (the French Aeronautical Center) in the Acoustics Division led by Pierre Liénard, where he studied ballistic waves.
In 1957 he was hired by Electricité de France (EDF), and soon became Head of the Acoustics Division and later Head of the Acoustics and Vibration Department. (The Acoustics Division had been under Paul François and later Jacques Delcambre; the Vibration Division was under André Jaudet). There he developed strong competences in the domains of machinery acoustics and environmental noise as well as new tools for vibroacoustic studies as well as sound intensity.
Mattei was named Scientific Advisor to EDF in 1982.
During his tenure at EDF and then later, Jean was involved in major French and international activities linked with Noise Control Engineering:
Jean had and still has a passion: sailing. He used to own not less than 5 boats (sequentially!) that he sailed through the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. In the last decade, he boarded several sailing cruises all over the globe, including Red Sea to Indian Ocean, Valparaiso to Singapore, and Greenland to Alaska.
Jean has always been a strong, willing person, setting high standards for himself as well as for others, with a deep sense of friendship and loyalty.
He has brought to the French and International Noise Control Community a vivid impulse to increase its development and worldwide recognition.
(INCE-USA is grateful to Jean Tourret, President of INCE-Europe, for sharing this biography with us. May 2020)