Eminent Structural Engineer: Dr. Bruno Thürlimann (1923-2008)
John E. Breen
|Veröffentlicht in:||Structural Engineering International, Februar 2009, n. 1, v. 19|
Bruno Thürlimann, Professor Emeritus of Structural Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich (Fig. 1), and one of the world's most visionary and pioneering experts on engineering applications of plasticity theory in both steel and concrete structures, died on 29 July 2008 at the age of 85. In November 1850, US President Zachary Taylor when signing a Convention of Friendship, Commerce and Extradition between the USA and Switzerland stated that it was his hope that "the two freest peoples on earth will treat each other reciprocally on a footing of equality". A century later, Bruno Thürlimann, born a Swiss citizen and naturalized in 1957 as an American citizen, became the embodiment of a bridge between the two nations, transferring technical ideas between the two worlds, and improving structural engineering in both. A warm, compassionate and open-minded teacher and researcher, he brought scientific ideas and rigorous mathematical theories from Europe to underpin the highly empirical base of North American structural design. In turn, he brought non-linear and plastic approaches for structural design back to Switzerland. Throughout his career he was a truly international presence, a highly respected lecturer and consultant worldwide. When he was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 1978, he was cited for "Accomplishments in theory, research, design and construction of steel, reinforced concrete, and prestressed concrete structures".
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