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Timoshenko Medal

Timoshenko Lectures

Listed in this post are the speeches given upon receiving the Timoshenko Medal.  Every November, at the Annual Applied Mechanics Dinner, the medalist of the year delivers a speech. Taken together, these speeches provide a long perspective of our field, as well as capsules of the lives of extraordinary individuals.

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2016 Stephen P. Timoshenko Medal - Professor Ray W. Ogden

The Executive Committee of the ASME Applied Mechanics Division is pleased to announce and congratulate Professor Ray W. Ogden, George Sinclair Professor of Mathematics, University of Glasgow, as the recipient of the 2016 Timoshenko Medal.

Sia Nemat-Nasser won the 2008 Timoshenko Medal

Sia Nemat-NasserSia Nemat-Nasser, Distinguished Professor of Mechanics and Materials, The University of California, San Diego

Zhigang Suo's picture

h-indices of Timoshenko medalists

In preparing cases for faculty appointments, my colleagues in other fields often ask about citations of each candidate and his or her comparees.  Despite obvious resistance, my colleagues give following reasons:

2007 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Thomas J.R. Hughes

Tom Hughes wins the 2007 Timoshenko MedalApplied Mechanics Division Banquet, Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Washington, November 13th, 2007.

Tom Hughes wins the 2007 Timoshenko Medal

Tom Hughes is named the 2007 Timoshenko Medalist by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  The Timoshenko Medal is widely considered the most prestigious medal in the international community of mechanics.   Timoshenko was the first recipient of the Medal, in 1957, and the year 2007 marks the 50th anniversary.

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2006 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Kenneth L. Johnson

Kenneth L. JohnsonPresented at the Applied Mechanics Dinner of the 2006 Winter Annual Meeting of ASME, Hilton Chicago Hotel, 9 November 2006.

First and formost, I must acknowledge with gratitude the honour of being selected for the Timoshenko medal for 2006.   But since a speech is now expected, I realise that this is not free lunch.  If you know a good pub, this would be a good time to slip away.

When I received  Virgil  Carter's letter informing me that I had been selected,  I could not believe it.  There must have been a mistake;  after all Johnson is a very common name.   I am reminded of my first meeting with  Bernie Budiansk from Harvard,  also a Timoshenko  medallist.   He asked, "Did you write that book on vibration with Bishop?" "No. That was Dan Johnson";  " Did you edit that British Journal of mechanical sciences?":  "No. That was Bill Johnson";   "Who the hell are you!"

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1988 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by George K. Batchelor

Sources of Inspiration

Text of Timoshenko Medal acceptance speech delivered at the Applied Mechanics Dinner of the 1988 Winter Annual Meeting of ASME in Chicago, Illinois.

I should like, first and foremost, to express my deep appreciation to the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for the honor they have done me in awarding the Timoshenko Medal for 1988. Any scientist or engineer waged in research in mechanics, even one with the minimum of vanity, would be delighted and thrilled to have his work recognized by an award with such high prestige. In past years the Timoshenko medal has gone to some of the outstanding scientists of this century. As we have heard from Professor Leibovich, the inaugural award 31 years ago was to Stephen Timoshenko himself, and in the following year there was a bumper crop of three medalists: Arpad Nadai, distinguished for his work in plasticity, and those two giants of fluid and solid mechanics, Theodore von Karman and Geoffrey Taylor. The last-named of these medalists was my mentor and teacher, and the little I know about the doing of research in fluid mechanics was learned from him. I also had the privilege of editing the four volumes of Taylor's collected scientific papers, and this left me with a profound admiration and respect for his insight, originality and capacity for scientific discovery. My feelings about von Karman are similar, although I did not know him as well. I intend no disrespect for ASME when I say that the standard of the Timoshenko medalists has undoubtedly slipped a little over the past 31 years. My friend Bill Sears has done a brilliant job of covering up that decline, and I thank him warmly for his kind remarks while not believing all of them.

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1986 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by George R. Irwin

Comments on Discovery and Invention

Text of a talk delivered at the Applied Mechanics Dinner of the 1986 Winter Annual Meeting of ASME in Anaheim, California.

With regard to the topic of these comments, I was told that a title of some kind was mandatory so I gave a title which seemed reasonably impressive. Upon reflection, I have little to offer in the way of comments which are correspondingly impressive. It occurred to me that the forward motion of a crack in a structural material might be of some interest as a descriptive model. A 1950 technical paper, by Kies, Sullivan, and Irwin, reported that progressive fracturing usually occurs by the development and joining of advance separations and that these local behaviors tend to be rather abrupt. By use of motivation as a driving force and by substituting "advance ideas" for "advance separations," a plausible descriptive model of forward technological progress seemed possible. Of course, details related to the development and joining of advance ideas would be needed. These would include motivation, opportunity, guidance, and information exchange. In his 1985 Timoshenko Medal comments, Sternberg noted certain research management features which are not helpful. The conditions one likes for best progress certainly include benign methods of research management. After additional reflection on these and other complexities related to innovative progress, I decided that the descriptive model I had thought to develop was unlikely to be useful. So my comments will have a different nature. They will be memories and historic fragments related to my topic and they will be restricted to the strength of materials field.

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2005 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Grigory I. Barenblatt

Applied Mechanics: an age old science perpetually in rebirth

Grigory I. Barenblatt

[img_assist|nid=211|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=71|height=100]Mr. Chairman, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I want to express my gratitude to the Executive Committee of the Applied Mechanics Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for nominating me for the Timoshenko Medal, and to the Board of Governors for awarding me the Medal on behalf of ASME.

The personality and name of Stepan Prokofievich Timoshenko (Stephen P. Timoshenko as he is called in this country) is very special for me. When I was a beginning student at Moscow High Technical School, where I studied before entering the Mathematics Department at Moscow State University. I purchased his book “The theory of elasticity”: in fact, this was the first technical book in my personal library. The clarity and depth of the presentation of this difficult subject wits then and remains now for me an unsurpassed standard. Something in this book astonished me, and I addressed a question to my maternal grandfather, an eminent Professor of Differential Geometry at Moscow State University. (I was raised by his family after my mother, one of the first virologists, perished preparing a vaccine against encephalitis.) The question wits: the author is definitely a Russian (at that time in our circles nobody noticed the difference between Russians, Byelorussians, and Ukrainians). Why did his book appear in translation from English? Grandfather explained - Timoshenko emigrated after the Revolution (such people were unpopular in the Soviet Union in the late forties) - however, with a kind smile he took from his library and presented me with Timoshenko’s course on elasticity in two volumes, published in Russian in 1914 and 1916 by the Sanct Petersburg Institute of Railways Transportation, and presented to him by the author. SP got the chair at this Institute after some period of unemployment: before that he was Dean at Kiev Polytechnic Institute and was fired by the Minister of Education for substantial exceeding the number of admitted Jewish students allowed by explicitly formulated (this was important) norms. Visiting my family in Moscow last summer after learning about the award, I wanted to bring these volumes to this country, but I was warned that strict rules concerning old books would not allow it. When I already was a young scientist, I was introduced to SP during his visit to Moscow. Also, I was proud when I had seen that SP and James P. Goodier mentioned my work concerning fracture in their book.

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2004 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Morton E. Gurtin

Confessions of a slightly frayed continuum mechanician

by Morton E. Gurtin , November, 2004

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2003 Timoshenko Medal Lecture by L. Ben Freund

Reflections and Refractions

L. B. Freund, November 19, 2003

[img_assist|nid=213|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=92|height=100]Friends and colleagues, I've attended many Applied Mechanics Dinners over the years, but this one has been the most enjoyable so far. Hopefully, that view will survive the next 20 minutes or so.

It's a singular honor to receive the Timoshenko Medal of ASME. For one thing, it's deeply gratifying to get a pat on the back from one's peers. It's also a privilege to have one's name added to the list of previous recipients, which includes so many individuals for whom I have the deepest respect.

Stephen Timoshenko himself had withdrawn into retirement long before I discovered that I had an interest in his field, and I never encountered him in person. However, I do have something of a direct connection to Timoshenko, in that he is my academic great great great grandfather. The appearance of his advanced textbooks on mechanics was surely among the defining events for the field in the 20th century.

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2002 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by John W. Hutchinson

LIFE AS A MECHANICIAN: 1956-

John W. Hutchinson

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2001 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Ted Belytschko

Ted Belytschko, November 13, 2001, New York

Ted BelytschkoWell I have been sitting in the audience of Applied Mechanics dinners for more than 30 years now, never even dreaming that I would get the Timoshenko medal. I have enjoyed many of the talks, and heard many nuggets of wisdom to guide me in research and life. I still vividly remember one of the first talks I heard by Den Hartog- in those days every Timoshenko lecturer could still start with a reminiscence of their contact with Timoshenko. Den Hartog had worked for Timoshenko one summer, and when he wrote his study up as a report, Timoshenko told him to submit it for publication. Den Hartog responded that he did not think that this work was something the world was waiting for. Timoshenko replied-"How many publications that have appeared in the literature do you think the world was waiting for?" One outcome was that I proceeded to publish too many papers, but it is interesting that many of the papers I did not think much of had some impact, whereas many that I liked had no impact .

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2000 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Rodney J. Clifton

November 9, 2000

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1999 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Anatol Roshko

Small is Good

By Anatol Roshko, California Institute of Technology

The text of the Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech delivered at the Applied Mechanics Dinner of the 1999 IMECE in Nashville, TN.

Anatol RoshkoDavid Belden’s letter announcing the award was really a surprise, almost a shock. At first I wondered whether it was another example of a story which you may have heard and which, I believe, originated in the FSU. Two friends are at a grand reception sipping cocktails when one notices a man with his chest almost completely covered with medals. Says one to the other, “Do you have any idea what those medals are for?” and the other replies, “Well, you see that one at the top left? That one was a mistake; and the others followed automatically.” I humored myself out of that thought but not out of a feeling of guilt. You see, I suddenly felt terrible that I was not a member of the ASME. There had been opportunities but somehow I had let them go by. One reason is that I was concerned about another onslaught of communications, information and other paper that always results and requires attention. Fortunately, ASME lost no time in relieving my guilt. In a few weeks I received a nice invitation and forms to fill out, and now I am Member No.6143358. And sure enough, information has begun to roll in: a beautiful, glossy magazine, notices of various meetings, etc.

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1998 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Olgierd C. Zienkiewicz

AS I REMEMBER

by O. C. Zienkiewicz, University of Wales, Swansea

The text of the Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech delivered at the Applied Mechanics Dinner of the 1998 IMECE in Anaheim, California.

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1997 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by John R. Willis

John R. WillisMechanics of Research

The text of the Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech delivered at the Applied Mechanics Dinner at the 1997 IMECE.
by J. R. Willis, University of Cambridge

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1996 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by J. TINSLEY ODEN

The Revolution in Applied Mechanics from Timoshenko to Computation

J. TINSLEY ODEN

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1995 Timoshenko Medal Aacceptance Speech by Daniel D. Joseph

Daniel D. Josephby Daniel D. Joseph , University of Minnesota

In my instructions about the correct behavior of recipients of the Timoshenko Medal at this dinner, Tom Cruse wrote to me that "While I ask that you consider the hour and the length of the evening in selecting the length of your remarks, the time is yours and we are honored to hear from you at that time." This suggests to me that as a Timoshenko Medalist, I can be indulged but that if I really want to be appreciated, I should keep it short.

I understand that when Jerry Ericksen got this award, he said "thank you" and sat down. I would like to follow this courageous path, but I lack the courage and so I will embellish "thank you" just a little.

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1994 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by James R. Rice

James R. Rice

Biography of James R. RiceIt is a great pleasure to be here among so many old friends and colleagues, and to thank you for the recognition symbolized by this award. Especially, it is a pleasure to thank my dear friend Alan Needleman for his kind words of introduction.

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1992 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Jan D. Achenbach

The Wages of Wave Analysis

by Jan D. Achenbach, Northwestern University

The text of the Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech delivered at the Applied Mechanics Dinner of the 1992 Winter Annual Meeting of ASME.

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1991 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Yuan-Cheng Fung

Mechanics of Man

by Yuan-Cheng Fung, University of California, San Diego

The text of the Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech delivered at the Applied Mechanics Dinner of the 1991 Winter Annual Meeting of ASME in Atlanta, Georgia.

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1990 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Stephen H. Crandall

The Joy of Applying Mechanics

Stephen H. Crandall, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Text of Timoshenko Medal acceptance speech delivered at the Applied Mechanics Dinner of the 1990 Winter Annual Meeting of ASME in Dallas, Texas.

Stephen H. CrandallGood evening. Thank you Tom and Art for your kind introductions.

Thirty-five years ago I joined the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME. Two years later I was in the audience when the first Timoshenko medal was awarded to Stepan Prokovievich Timoshenko. I wonder how many others here tonight were also in that audience (a show of hands indicated that there were a total of twelve including the speaker). After that first medal, the Division went into high gear. In the next three years, six of the remaining giants of applied mechanics were given Timoshenko medals: Th. von Karman, G. I. Taylor, Arpad Nadai, Sir Richard Southwell, C. B. Biezeno, and Richard Grammel. Then in 1961, the Division settled down to our present steady-state operation of one medal a year. I haven't missed many AMD dinners through the years so I have had the good fortune to see most of the previous 36 awardees receive their medals. Taken together, they form an impressive cavalcade of applied mechanics. I consider it a very great honor to join this team.

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