Timoshenko lectures

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.


Speech of Acceptance of the 2011 Timoshenko Medal by Alan Needleman

Alan NeedlemanApplied Mechanics Division Honors & Awards Banquet, 15 November 2011, Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom A&B, Third Level.

Thank you, Ares, for your kind introduction. I am greatly honored to have my name added to the list of Timoshenko Medalists. However, receiving the Timoshenko Medal has a down side. I'll describe the down side through a story told by Jean-Baptiste Leblond. At the circus in Imperial Rome a slave was thrown to the lions. The lion stalked the slave and then attacked. As the lion jumped on him the slave grabbed the lion's mane and whispered in its ear. To the crowd's amazement the lion slinked off into a far corner of the arena and sat down. The Emperor called the slave over and said “If you tell me what magic you worked I'll give you your freedom.” The slave replied “It wasn't magic. I just told the lion if he ate me he'd have a good meal but then he'd have to give an after dinner speech. “

Fortunately for me, many previous Timoshenko after dinner speeches are available on iMechanica. I will follow several of those and talk about my life in mechanics. Before I start on that, I want to mention four mechanicians who have had an enormous influence on my professional life as well as having greatly enriched my personal life: John Hutchinson, Viggo Tvergaard, Jim Rice and Erik van der Giessen. There is not enough time to detail my debt to them.

My life in mechanics began my senior year at the University of Pennsylvania. I took a course in continuum mechanics from Hsuan Yeh who was Dean of the Towne School. The course was so interesting that I decided that was what I wanted to study in graduate school. I went to graduate school at Harvard and was very lucky that a young faculty member named John Hutchinson agreed to be my thesis adviser. My PhD thesis involved the finite strain, finite element analysis of a two dimensional periodic array of circular holes (motivated by the pioneering ductile fracture studies of Frank McClintock and Jim Rice). This initiated me into two emerging developments in solid mechanics: finite element methods and materials mechanics. As John Hutchinson remarked in his Timoshenko Medal address, we did not realize we were participating in a revolution.


2008 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Sia Nemat-Nasser

Sia Nemat-Nasser

Delivered at the Annual Dinner of the Applied Mechanics Division, in the Back Bay Ballroom, Sheraton Hotel, Boston, in the evening of 4 November 2008, the Election Day of the United States of America 

Before I start, let me mention my wife, Eva's contribution to this lecture. She said to me to make a draft first and then she would be happy to help me to tighten it up later on. After a day and half's work, I took the result to her who quickly informed me that: it was much too long, contained too much unnecessary details, and that, it can be reduced by 3/4th without losing anything significant!

After another several hours of effort, I took the product to her who immediately requested further reduction, by at least a factor of two!

This process went on for a few cycles when, finally, she said: "if you cut it in half, then it might be OK."

I did.

She looked at it and asked me to read it out loud.

I read: "Ladies and gentlemen, and the Timoshenko Medal Committee, thank you very much."

"Now, that is a good after dinner speech", she shouted.

Then she thought for a minute and said: "You Persians are very wordy.
If you leave out the ‘very much', and just say ‘thank you' then it
would be a great after dinner speech!" 

Sia Nemat-Nasser

A Mechanics-Guided Journey through Engineering Science

I wish to first thank our gracious MC, Professor Dan Inman, for his generous introduction.  I would also like to thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for being here tonight, after several arduous political weeks of having repeatedly heard from Joe the Established Politician, Joe the Unlicensed Plumber, and Jack the Unknown Electrician, just to mention a few, to hear from Sia, the also Unlicensed Mechanician.  

I am indeed, thrilled and honored to have been chosen as the 2008 Timoshenko Medalist, and wish to thank the Timoshenko Medal Committee for, at least from my point of view, a pretty good choice! 


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.

I would like to begin by thanking the members of the Timoshenko Medal Committee, consisting of the five members of the Applied Mechanics Division Executive Committee, Ravi-Chandar, Dan Inman, Zhigang Suo, Tayfun Tezduyar, and Ares Rosakis, the five previous chairs of the Executive Committee, Tom Farris, Wing Kam Liu, Mary Boyce, Pol Spanos, and Stelios Kyriakides, and the five previous Timoshenko Medalists, Ken Johnson, Grisha Barenblatt, Mort Gurtin, Ben Freund, and John Hutchinson. As a former member of the Executive Committee, I completed my ten-year tenure on the Timoshenko Committee the year before last, and now I will have the opportunity to return for another five years. Actually, I am looking forward to it. I enjoyed my time on the Executive and Medal Committees, and the opportunity to work with outstanding mechanicians, such as Carl Herakovich, Stan Berger, Lallit Anand, Alan Needleman, the late Dusan Krajcinovic, and many others. I also want to thank everyone in attendance here tonight.

This award is a great honor. Frankly, I am thrilled to receive it, but I am also humbled by it. The previous recipients represent a who’s who of twentieth century engineering science. It is quite an incredible club to join. I promise to do my best to live up to the standard as I continue my scientific work.


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We are attempting to post all Timoshenko Medal Lectures online, but we need your help

The year 2007 will mark the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Timoshenko Medal. Every November at the Annual Applied Mechanics Dinner , the medalist of the year delivers a lecture. Taken together, these lectures provide a long perspective of our field, as well as capsules of the lives of extraordinary individuals.

iMechanica is attempting to post all Timoshenko Medal Lectures online. You can locate the posted lectures by using the link Timoshenko Lectures.


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