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Howard Wilson Emmons: 1912-1998

Howard Emmons won the Timoshenko Medal in 1971, and was the Chair in 1947 of The Applied Mechanics Division, of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Here is the memorial minute written by his colleagues at Harvard University.

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Joost Vlassak is promoted to Full Professor with Tenure at Harvard

Joost J. Vlassak's pictureWe have just heard the great news that our colleague (iMechanician number 12), Joost Vlassak, has been promoted to Full Professor with Tenure at Harvard.

Zhigang Suo's picture

Where are fluid mechanicians?

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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.

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Daniel Bernoulli

       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. 

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Percy W. Bridgman

"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.

Frank A. McClintock

Professor Emeritus, MIT


picture taken in October 2006.

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George Herrmann passed away

(A message from Dave Barnett) George Herrmann passed away yesterday in Switzerland -- quickly, quietly, and peacefully.

Rui Huang's picture

Harry F. Tiersten

(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.

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A new website has been created for Prof. Raymond Mindlin, including funding solicitation for the Mindlin Medal

A new website has been recently created for the centennial of Professor Raymond Mindlin. In addition, the Engineering Mechanics Division of ASCE has launched an effort to establish the Mindlin Medal of Applied Mechanics. The goal is to raise about $30,000 to setup an endowment at ASCE.

Ronald S. Rivlin (1915-2005)

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.

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Department of Engineering Mechanics

Tsinghua University

Beijing 100084, China

Researcher Spotlight: Professor Lambert Ben Freund (LBF)

L. Ben FreundLambert 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.

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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History of mechanics

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

Atmospheric Railway /features/tallyho/tallyho.html

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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Xi Chen's picture

Raymond D. Mindlin

This was taken in 1979 in Princeton (Thanks to Professor Peter CY Lee). See the related post here.

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Rui Huang's picture

How to add images into Random image appearing at the left column of iMechanica?

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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?

Zhigang Suo's picture

Two recent articles about mathematicians

If you have not read them, you might find them interesting.

Rui Huang's picture

2006 American Academy of Mechanics awards - Call for nominations

From Robert M. McMeeking (UC Santa Barbara).

The American Academy of Mechanics calls for nominations for two awards from its members:

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

Xi Chen's picture

Raymond D. Mindlin's 100th Birthday: a Reminiscence by Bruno A. Boley

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.

Ken P. Chong's picture

National Medal of Science

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.


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