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Boris Grigoryevich Galerkin

Biographical Information

Name: Boris Grigoryevich Galerkin
Born on 4 March 1871 in , Vitsebsk Voblast, Belarus, Europe
Deceased on 12 July 1945 in , Central Federal District, Russia, Europe

Short biography of Boris Grigoryevich Galerkin

Following his primary education at the Jewish primary school in Polotsk (1885) and success in external examinations for the secondary school in Minsk, he studied at the St.Petersburg Technology Institute from 1893 onwards, from where he was expelled in 1899 for his revolutionary activities; nevertheless, he still graduated from the Institute as an external student in that same year. Following his engineering studies he worked in the locomotive factory in Kharkov and then in a mechanical workshop and boiler factory in St. Petersburg. He was imprisoned for a few months in 1905 for revolutionary activities and in 1907 was again sent to prison, this time for 18 months. Starting in 1909 he taught at the St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute and in 1920 was appointed to the chair of structural mechanics. During this period Galerkin was closely linked with the Geneva Polytechnic Institute. From 1924 to 1929 he was professor of elastic theory at the Leningrad Institute for Highway Construction and professor of structural mechanics at the University of Leningrad. Galerkin organised and chaired consultations on the major structures of the USSR. The general calculus of variations, which Bubnov had already anticipated in 1911 (Bubnov-Galerkin method), is linked to his name. He became director of the Institute of Mechanics at the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1938 (he had been a full member since 1935). In 1942 he was awarded the Stalin Prize and was nominated Lieutenant-General of Engineering.

Main contributions to structural analysis:

Sterzhni i plastinki: Ryady v nekotorykh voprosakh uprugogo ravnovesiua sterzhnei i plastinok (bars and slabs:series for some problems of elastic equilibrium of bars and slabs) [1915]; Uprugie tonkie plity (thin elastic slabs) [1933]; Sobranie sochinenii (collected works) [1952–53] 

Source: Kurrer, Karl-Eugen The History of the Theory of Structures, Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH, Berlin (Deutschland), ISBN 3-433-01838-3, 2008; p. 732


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