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Professor Frank A. McClintock passed away at the age of 90


Frank A. McClintock, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, passed away on Feb. 20, in the Briarwood Health Care facility in Needham, Mass. at the age of 90.

After getting his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1950, Frank (MIT ’43, SM ’43) was named assistant professor at MIT and served at the Department of Mechanical Engineering until he retired in 1990 and became professor emeritus. 

Among his numerous contributions in mechanics and materials, Frank is remembered as a pioneer in the research of the physics of ductile fracture. His seminal paper "A Criterion for ductile fracture by growth of holes" in Journal of Applied Mechanics - Trans ASME, 1968, 35(2):363-371 is still serving as one of the best in understanding the process of fracture in metals. The last international conference appearance of Professor McClintock that I can remember is the 9th European Mechanics and Materials Conference at Moret-sur-Loing, France May 9-12, 2006. He flied to France and presented his paper entitled "Using Charpy load-displacement data and slip line fracture mechanics to predict initial and continuing crack growth in structures and cleavage transition statistics during growth" (together with I.M. Collier). 

I took a picture of Frank and posted here before node/670. The picture was taken on October 10th, 2006. I remember that I met Frank in the hallway of building 5 at MIT that day. And then I asked about some experimental results in a book I read at that time. The book was "Experimental Methods in Mechanics of Solids" edited by W. Szczepinski and it was brought to the lab by my advisor Professor Tomasz Wierzbicki, who salvaged the book from a basement flood at his home. Frank was interested in seeing the original chapter and followed me to my lab in the basement of building 5. We chatted for some time and I saw he looked perfect and thought that might be a good time to take a photo. The photo is now good memory to all friends of Frank. I am glad to have posted it here at iMechanica that people can find it. 


 (See an official message from MIT here:


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