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Biographical Information

Name: Gábor von Kazinczy
Born on 19 January 1889 in , Csongrád, Hungary, Europe
Deceased on 23 May 1964 in , Östergötlands län, Sweden, Europe

Short biography of Gábor von Kazinczy

The pioneer of the ultimate load method, Gábor Kazinczy, came from a family of Hungarian intellectuals. For example, his great-grandfather, Ferenc Kazinczy (1759–1831), had played a leading role in literary life, in the Hungarian enlightenment movement and in the reformation of the Hungarian language in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Gábor Kazinczy completed his structural engineering studies at Budapest TH in 1911, then took charge of the Materials & Structural Testing Laboratory of the Budapest authorities and later became deputy head of the city’s building department; his career in Budapest ended in 1943 as engineering chief counsellor. Kazinczy’s first publication, which was to initiate the development of the ultimate load method (see section 2.10.1), had appeared in 1914 [Kazinczy, 1914]. The loading tests carried out on the structure of the house for Klinger Zsigmond (see Fig. 2-89), performed on behalf of the Budapest city authorities in 1913, supplied results that Kazinczy could not interpret with elastic theory. He therefore concluded that three cross-sections must become plastic (see Fig. 2–90c). Kazinczy’s introduction of the fundamental concept of the plastic hinge, backed up by practical trials, marks the first and most important step in the direction of the plastic hinge method, which, however, would not take shape until the invention phase of structural theory (1925–50), albeit with the help of Kazinczy. Following a personal discussion with Maier-Leibnitz, a publication on his ultimate load trials appeared [Maier-Leibnitz, 1928; 1929], which in terms of method correspond with the ultimate load concept of Kazinczy. Kazinczy gained a doctorate at Budapest TH in 1931 with his dissertation Design of clamped end steel beams with regard to the residual deformations. Two years later, Kazinczy reported on ultimate load trials on continuous reinforced concrete beams [Kazinczy, 1933] – experiments that paved the way for the development of the ultimate load method in reinforced concrete, too. His habilitation thesis Safety of structures was written at Budapest TH in 1939. After World War 2, Kazinczy and his family moved to Denmark, where he worked for the Swedish Kooperativa Förbundets Arkitektkontor company from 1947 until his retirement in 1959. It was here that he prepared the designs and calculations for demanding engineering structures such as grain silos, long-span shells and prestressed suspended floors. Kazinczy published his findings and experiences in a total of 92 publications. Together with Maier-Leibnitz and John Fleetwood Baker, Kazinczy made a major contribution to providing a sound footing for the plastic hinge method during the invention phase of structural theory (1925–50).

Main contributions to structural analysis:

Versuche mit eingespannten Trägern [1914]; Statisch unbestimmteTragwerke unter Berücksichtigung der Plastizität [1931]; Die Weiterentwicklung der Plastizitätslehre [1931]; Die Plastizität des Eisenbetons [1933]; Kritische Betrachtungen zur Plastizitätstheorie [1938] 

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. 740

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