Professor Dr. Liviu Librescu was murdered while teaching a solid mechanics course at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007.
The great works he left behind are, including, but not limited to, the following books (which are the ones in English):
With a great many ties to VT, I have been following the tragic shootings there closely. While my former student (Nakhiah Goulbourne) and my former department head (Dick Benson) are both safe, I am afraid we may have lost one of our own this morning. From an AP report, a student stated that the instructor teaching a 9:05am mechanics class in 204 Norris Hall was killed. According to the timetable of classes at VT, this instructor would have been Liviu Librescu. I certainly hope the AP's report is wrong. As someone very interested in shell theories, I have spoken with Prof. Librescu many times and followed his work. His loss would be a great loss to our community.
Just a reminder that this Sunday, April 15 will be exactly 300 years since Leonhard Euler was born.
I am sure many mechanicians will toast this weekend on this extraordinnary anniversary to the person who laid down much of the foundations in mathematics and mechanics.
Some of the related links on the web are:
C. S. Desai Is Recipient of the 2007 Karl Terzaghi Award
The recipient of the 2007 Karl Terzaghi Award, to be presented at GeoDenver, is Regent's Professor Chandrakant S. Desai. Besides countless achievements, Prof. Desai was the founding General Editor of the International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics from 1977-2000. Prof. Desai is President of the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics (IACMAG). Congratulations for a well-deserved honor!.
Backus died recently. This New York Times article reminds us of why Fortran was such a great innovation.
Please joint me in congratulating Dr. Stelios Kyriakides’ (Editor of International Journal of Solids and Structures) for his election to the United States National Academy of Engineering.
We have just heard the great news that our colleague (iMechanician number 12), Joost Vlassak, has been promoted to Full Professor with Tenure at Harvard.
iMechanica has just passed the milestone of 1000 registered users, and showed no sign of slowing down. Despite all the enthusiasms among a growing number of active users, you might have noticed that iMechanica is missing a powerful community: the community of fluid mechanicians.
Watching my colleagues Howard Stone, Michael Brenner and L. Mahadevan, I find the field of fluid mechanics just as exciting as the field of solid mechanics. The exploration of flow in small devices, as well as in cells and tissues, has just opened new opportunities. There are plenty of other challenges in fluid mechanics at all size scales.
Danel Bernoulli, the most successful of all the Bernoulli's was born in Groningen, The Netherlands on 8th February in 1700. His father Johann Bernoulli was working as professor of Mathematics at Groningen then. Later they moved to Basel, Switzerland which was their native place.
Daniel did his PhD in Medicine as Johann insisted him to do so. But, as Daniel was ver much interested in mathematics he was learning math while doing medicine. He also worked with another great mathematician Leohnard Euler (who was a student of Johann Bernoulli in Basel) in St. Petersburg.
"for the invention of an apparatus to produce extremely high pressures, and for the discoveries he made therewith in the field of high pressure physics"
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1946
(b. April 21, 1882, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.--d. Aug. 20, 1961, Randolph, N.H.), American experimental physicist noted for his studies of materials at high temperatures and pressures. For his work he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1946.
Professor Horacio Espinosa at Northwestern University is awarded the 2007 Society of Engineering Sciences (SES) Young Investigator Medal in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of Engineering Science and Nanomaterials. For more information on Professor Espinosa's research, please visit his group website.
Professor Emeritus, MIT
picture taken in October 2006.
(A message from Dave Barnett) George Herrmann passed away yesterday in Switzerland -- quickly, quietly, and peacefully.
Attached is an article by Jia-shi Yang in memory of Professor Mindlin. It will be presented at the Fifth International Conference on Nonlinear Mechanics at Shanghai, China, June 11-14, 2007.
(Professor Tiersten in his office, behind a pile of files on his desk.)
Harry F. Tiersten (1930-2006), Professor of Mechanics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, passed away suddenly on June 12, 2006 from a heart attack. Professor Tiersten was one of the founders of continuum electrodynamics. In this paper we present a brief summary of Tiersten’s major contributions to the theories of continuum electrodynamics and their applications.
A new website has been created for Prof. Raymond Mindlin, including funding solicitation for the Mindlin MedalSubmitted by Xi Chen on Wed, 2007-01-03 15:59.
Professor Ronald S. Rivlin, one of the pioneers in modern theory of finite elastic deformation, passed away in last October at his home in Palo Alto, California. He was 90 years old. Professor Rivlin was born in England in 1915, and he was educated at Cambridge University. He had taught at both Brown University and Lehigh University in the past five decades. Professor Rivlin was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and he was awarded ASME Timoshenko medal in 1987.
Department of Engineering Mechanics
Beijing 100084, China
Lambert Ben Freund (LBF) was born on November 23, 1942, in Johnsburg, Illinois, a tiny rural community of a few hundred people in the northeast corner of the state. This part of the Midwest was opened to European settlement by the Black Hawk War of the 1830s. A small delegation of his ancestors arrived in the area in 1841. The enthusiastic letters they wrote to relatives waiting in Bavaria and the Rhineland resulted in rapid settlement of the area by immigrant families in the mid-1800s. The farm that would become the Freund family farm was deeded to one of the settlers through an 1820 Act of Congress for the sale of public lands by the government. It was subsequently purchased by LBF's great-grandfather who passed on one quarter section (160 acres) to each of four sons, one of whom was LBF's grandfather. The land was then passed on to the only surviving son, Bernard Freund. The third of four children, LBF was raised by his parents, Bernard and Anita Freund, on the family dairy farm. The responsibilities for managing a dairy farm took precedence over social activities and school sports. At the same time, it provided a vigorous outdoor life with exposure to the cycles of nature, the art of breeding livestock and an appreciation for the value of hard work. He attended St. John the Baptist Elementary School and the McHenry Consolidated High School where he demonstrated a talent for mathematics and science.
Presented 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!"
Anyone interested in the history of mechanical technology might find interesting the series that I have published in Mechanical Engineering magazine.
Galileo’s Telescope Lenses
http://www.memagazine.org/backissues/feb06 /features/tallyho/tallyho.html http://www.memagazine.org/backissues/feb06%20/features/tallyho/tallyho.html">http://www.memagazine.org/backissues/feb06 /features/tallyho/tallyho.html
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.
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.