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French civil engineer

Biographical Information

Name: Jaques Bresse
Full name: Jaques Antoine Charles Bresse
Born on 9 October 1822 in , Isère (38), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France, Europe
Deceased on 22 May 1883 in , Ile-de-France, France, Europe

Short biography of Jaques Bresse

Following his studies at the École Polytechnique and the École des Ponts et Chaussées, Bresse worked as assistant to J.B. Belanger in applied mechanics at the École des Ponts et Chaussées and was nominated his successor in 1853.One year later Bresse published his first monograph on the elastic theory of arches [Bresse, 1854], which represented a significant advancement on Navier's approaches: formulation of the concept of the middle-third of a cross-section,consideration of the strain stiffness and temperature deformations. He worked out the principle of superposition and demonstrated that it applies to Hookean bodies with small displacements only. Therefore, alongside Winkler, Bresse made the most important contribution to the establishment of the elastic arch theory in the analysis of masonry arches in the establishment phase of structural theory. His three-volume work Cours de mécanique appliquée, which was re-issued three times (1859, 1866, 1880), is a comprehensive and independent presentation of applied mechanics, which in terms of scientific originality is far superior to Weisbach’s mechanics. For example, the third volume of the first edition (1865) contains a comprehensive theory of continuous beams. Bresse’s contributions to theory of structures illustrate the high standard of civil engineering theory in France at the transition between the establishment and classical phases of structural theory. The Académie des Sciences awarded him the Poncelet Prize for his scientific work in 1873; he became a member of the Académie des Sciences in 1880.

Main contributions to structural analysis:

Recherches analytiques sur la flexion et la résistance des pièces courbées [1854]

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. 719/720

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