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.
This was taken in 1979 in Princeton (Thanks to Professor Peter CY Lee). See the related post here.
A few days ago, Xi Chen uploaded two pictures of Raymond D. Mindlin in one post. I was expecting to see the pictures (at least one of them) showing up at the left column as random image. However, it has yet to happen. So I am asking: how do we add images into the list of random images?
The 2006 American Academy of Mechanics Outstanding Service Award
Preliminary nominations should consist of a one-page letter describing the outstanding service of the nominee to the Academy as well as to the profession, along with a one-page biographical sketch of the nominee, together with the names of at least three people willing to write letters of support in the event that the Awards Committee requests them.
The 2006 American Academy of Mechanics Junior Award
The past September marks the 100th birthday of Professor Raymond D. Mindlin. In June 2006, we organized a Mindlin Centennial Symposium in Boulder, CO, which was the largest symposium in USNCTAM'06 with more than 50 speakers.
The Symposium was very successful, and we are in particular grateful to Professor Bruno A. Boley (Mindlin's former colleague at Columbia University), who presented the opening reminiscence speech about Professor Mindlin, and to Professor Yih-Hsing Pao (Mindlin's doctoral student in 1950's), who, despite of his adverse health condition, delivered the first technical presentation entitled R. D. Mindlin and Applied Mechanics.
The nomination of colleagues for awards is one of the most important and gratifying aspects of participating in the scientific community. Help celebrate the contributions of your colleagues by submitting a nomination for The National Medal of Science. The National Medal of Science was established in 1959 as a Presidential Award to be given to individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences." In 1980 Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences. The National Medal of Science is the highest honor the President bestows on scientists. A Committee of 12 scientists and engineers is appointed by the President to evaluate the nominees for the Award. Since its establishment, the National Medal of Science has been awarded to 425 distinguished scientists and engineers whose careers spanned decades of research and development.
The nomination of colleagues for awards is one of the most important and gratifying aspects of participating in the scientific community. Help celebrate the contributions of your colleagues by submitting a nomination for The National Medal of Science.
The National Medal of Science was established in 1959 as a Presidential Award to be given to individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences." In 1980 Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences. The National Medal of Science is the highest honor the President bestows on scientists. A Committee of 12 scientists and engineers is appointed by the President to evaluate the nominees for the Award. Since its establishment, the National Medal of Science has been awarded to 425 distinguished scientists and engineers whose careers spanned decades of research and development.
At the Annual Dinner of the Applied Mechanics Division last November, in Orlando, Florida, Professor Carl T. Herakovich was presented the 2005 Applied Mechanics Award, in recognition of his distinguished contributions to mechanics of fibrous composite materials, and his distinguished service to the mechanics and engineering science community. The text of his acceptance speech follows.
Thanks Wing, it is indeed a great honor and pleasure to be recognized by the Applied Mechanics community.
I hold the mechanics community in the highest regards and with the utmost respect. I am always so impressed by the intelligence of the people in this community, their honesty and their candor.
And I can really enjoy being around mechanicians in a social setting. Give them a little wine at dinner and it can be quite a party. I really do enjoy the people in this community. I feel very much at home. (Comment briefly on the dinner in Warsaw at the International Congress in August 2004, and the dinner in DC in Sept. 2005.)
Applied Mechanics: an age old science perpetually in rebirth
Grigory I. Barenblatt
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.
Confessions of a slightly frayed continuum mechanician
by Morton E. Gurtin , November, 2004
This award is a great honor: although I’m a mathematician, my career began as a mechanical engineer. After graduating from RPI with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, I worked as a structures engineer for Douglas Aircraft and for General Electric, where I spent many hours studying Timoshenko’s books on vibration analysis and plates and shells.
My third year at General Electric was in a consulting group concerned with structures and vibrations. My work was interesting: during one period I worked on a problem involving a vibrating washing machine and at the same time performed a vibration analysis of a nuclear aircraft-engine. Our group consisted almost entirely of Ph.D.’s, and I wrote a few papers on topics related to my work. I was greatly influenced by two colleagues, Bob Plunkett and Paul Paslay, who strongly suggested that I go back to school. Under their counseling I applied to Stanford and MIT in Engineering Mechanics and to Brown University in Applied Mathematics. My first choice was MIT, but because of my college-grades (which is another story for another time) MIT offered me a probationary assistantship, but Brown ignored my grades and offered me a National Defense Fellowship, which I accepted.
Reflections and Refractions
L. B. Freund, November 19, 2003
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.
LIFE AS A MECHANICIAN: 1956-
Ted Belytschko, November 13, 2001, New York
Well 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 .
November 9, 2000
To begin, I would like to express my appreciation to the members of the Applied Mechanics Division who somehow came to the conclusion that I should be awarded the Timoshenko Medal. I would also like to thank all those who must have written letters or, through other means, provided supportive input that contributed to my being named the recipient of such a prestigious award. I hope that everyone understands that experimental research involves a team effort so that this award should be viewed as being shared by the many excellent graduate students that I have had the privilege of advising. They, along with very supportive technical staff members, are the ones who have done the experiments for the research that is being recognized by this award.
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.
David 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.
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.
It is a great pleasure and honour to be included in the distinguished list of recipients of the Stephen Timoshenko Medal. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the various friends I have in it who must have been responsible for my selection.
Because of my age and my long involvement in the field I know personally, or have known, more than half of the previous recipients of this award. Indeed, the very first recipient and namesake of the award, Stephen Timoshenko, was one of these. We met in 1960 at Northwestern University when he visited one of his early doctoral students, much distinguished in the field, Professor Nick Hetenyi. Both of these acquaintances are now gone, having worked long and contributed much to the subject of applied mechanics. In the long list of recipients, now departed, I find my own Ph.D. supervisor, Sir Richard Southwe1l, and an old adviser and friend, Professor William Prager. Amongst those no longer here is another friend, James Lighthill. Though he received his medal as early as 1963, he was still healthy and fit this year. But many may not know that it is only a few months ago that he met his end – trying to swim round the Island of Sark in the Channel islands, a feat much younger men would not attempt and which he, using his knowledge of the tides, previously accomplished more than once. I salute his courage and achievements.
The award of the Timoshenko Medal is a singular and unexpected honour. I thank my friends who exaggerated my case so successfully, and promise them that I shall do my best to justify their faith in the future, even if I have not managed it in the past.
I’m not sure if I should say this, but I will. I have attended one Applied Mechanics Division Dinner previously. Bernie Budiansky received the Timoshenko Medal. I was surprised that he spoke for so long! Now I realize why. It was no ordinary after-dinner speech but the Timoshenko Lecture, and its length is prescribed. Therefore, I can only advise now that you settle down and prepare to let your thoughts wander!
A technical exposition is clearly not required, and I sought inspiration, or at least examples of how to proceed, by reading the lectures of a few previous medallists. It seemed to me that I might try to follow, in some approximate way, the path taken by George Batchelor, who was also my boss at a formative time in my career. He was founder and head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in Cambridge.
The Revolution in Applied Mechanics from Timoshenko to Computation
The Applied Mechanics Division of the ASME established the Timoshenko Medal in 1957 to recognize distinguished work in the field. The first recipient was Stephen P. Timoshenko himself, an individual who contributed enormously to the prestige and strength of mechanics in this country and a legend whom I, as a young student in mechanics, looked upon as a special hero, one to be admired and emulated. To be honored by being awarded the Timoshenko Medal by the AMD is a very special event for me and one for which I will be eternally grateful. I will do my utmost to uphold the honor of the award and to live up to the high standard exemplified by its past recipients.
I begin this presentation with the somewhat conspicuous observation that during my career in applied mechanics, a special revolution has taken place which will forever change the subject and which will affect the way all science is done for rest of time. It is, of course, the emergence of the computer: computation providing a third pillar to the classical two pillars of the scientific method, theory and experiment, a pillar overlapping the traditional two but expanding each in ways never dreamed of in the days of Timoshenko’s work.
by 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.
It 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.
Any mechanician must consider it a great honor to receive an award named for Timoshenko. Like for many others here, the sight of his classic black-covered books on elasticity and structural mechanics brings back pleasant memories of my earliest involvement in our field. A while ago my interest in the historical origin of ideas in mechanics developed more purposefully, in response being asked to prepare an article on Solid Mechanics for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. That led ultimately to close study of another Timoshenko book, one that I had known before just by browsing acquaintance, namely, his History of Strength of Materials, with a Brief Account of the History of Theory of Elasticity and Theory of Structures. That was published in 1953, when he was 75 years old. The preface revealed that for 25 years before that time, he had been lecturing to students on the history of concepts and ideas in solid mechanics, and on the careers of those from Galileo to his own mentor, Ludwig Prandtl at Göttingen, who shaped the subject into what was then its modern form. One cannot help but understand that Timoshenko cared in a deep cultural sense about his subject and those who shaped it, and that too adds to the pleasure of receiving this award named for him.
I am profoundly honored by the award of this medal. Awards like this are made, of course, not by faceless organizations, but by collections of individuals, voting in rooms which are no longer smoke-filled; it is particularly gratifying to find that so many of my colleagues think I am worthy of this honor. As Jan Achenbach remarked last year, we are of the sputnik generation, too young to have known Timoshenko, who, in fact, did have some connections with Cornell long before I came there. Although I have spent my life in fluid mechanics, I began by taking all the standard courses in solid mechanics: strength of materials, elasticity, plates and shells, buckling; in nearly every one there was a text by Timoshenko or a friend or relation, all admirably clear. I felt very grateful to him.
I would like to mention that the three ASME medal winners this year (Roger Arndt, David Crighton and I) were all together at Penn State in the Aerospace Engineering Department and the Garfield Thomas Water Tunnel, under the leadership of George Wislicenus about thirty years ago. Roger and I were on the faculty, and David came in the summers as a consultant. I think that says something about the vision and values that George used as he built his group.
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.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends and Fellow Members of the Applied Mechanics Division, I am grateful to the Applied Mechanics Division for honoring me with the Timoshenko Medal. When I think of the past recipients of this award, I must, however, stand here with a great deal of humility.
It appears that I am the first member of a next generation, the redoubtable sputnik generation, squeezed in between the elder statesmen and the baby boomers, to receive the medal. Undoubtedly many of my contempo¬raries, who have kept the field of applied mechanics on the move, will follow soon.