- \13.2.1835 Gent/B - 20.10.1911 Gent/B\Gustave Léonard van der Mensbrugghe graduated from the Gent University, submitted there a PhD thesis in physics in 1859 and started as a Lecturer of experimental physics in the engineering department. He collaborated with Joseph Plateau (1801-1883), the husband of one of his daughters, until the latter's death. In 1876 Mensbrugghe was appointed extraordinary professor of physics and promoted to full professor four years later. Mensbrugghe retired in 1905 after having acted as Rector in the term 1900-1903. He also presided over the scientific class of Académie Royale de Bélgique, after having been elected Corresponding Member in 1875, and full Member in 1883. van der Mensbrugghe was in addition involved in the Biographie Nationale de Belgique, a work that was concluded only recently.\Mensbrugghe's main achievements in hydraulics are his studies in capillarity. As his predecessor Plateau, he worked mainly experimentally on the molecular aspects of liquids, thereby accepting the points of view of Gauss and rejecting the approach of Laplace. He was able to demonstrate that liquids are able to transmit elastic traction and compression forces. Other problems that were investigated involve the evaporation characteristics of fluids, phenomena at the interface between liquid and solid phases, and those between two different fluids. He was a corresponding Member of the Royal Society, London. In 1907, he was awarded Commander of the Leopold Order. He was also the recipient of Prix décennal for physics and chemistry for the period 1901-1910, then the highest scientific award of Belgium.\Brabandere, V.C. de, Stöber, F., Neuberg, M., Merlin, E. (1911). G. van der Mensbrugghe.Université: Gand. PMensbrugghe, G. van der (1869). Sur la tension superficielle des liquides. Hayez: Bruxelles. Mensbrugghe, G. van der (1883). De l'énergie potentielle des surface liquides. Revue Universelle des Mines Série 2 14: 308-330; 17: 163-188.Mensbrugghe, G. van der (1896). Sur les nombreux effets de l'élasticité des liquides. Bulletinde l'Académie Royale de Belgique 66: 270-277; 66: 418-425; 68: 281-294.Thirion, J. (1912). Gustave van der Mensbrugghe: Sa vie et ses travaux. Revue des Questions Scientifiques 71: 5-54.Vanpaemel, G. (1996). Mensbrugghe. Nationaal biografisch Woordenboek 15: 501-504. Brussels. Verschaffelt, J.E. (1946). Levensbericht over Gustav van der Mensbrugghe. Paleis der Academien: Brussel. Also in Annuaire de l'Académie Royale de Belgique 112: 29-79.
Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.