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Memorial Tributes, Volume 14
ALAN G. DAVENPORT
Elected in 1987
“For pioneering contributions to the design of wind-sensitive structures,description of the urban wind climate, and wind tunnel testing of structures.”
BY LESLIE EARL ROBERTSON
ALAN G. DAVENPORT, founder of the Alan G. Davenport Wind Engineering Group of the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory, located at the University of Western Ontario, and the inspiring genius of the broad field of wind engineering, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on July 19, 2009. He was 76.
As I set out to accomplish this writing, I knew that, no matter what flowed onto the paper, it would not be possible for me to do service to this remarkable man. Both as a fellow engineer and a friend, Alan Davenport was a very special person.
Alan was elected a foreign associate to the National Academy of Engineering in 1987. Initiated by his leadership role in wind engineering for the twin towers of the World Trade Center, Alan guided the field of wind engineering into extraordinary forward strides. His interests and his contributions, being always ahead of the rest of us, varied from the dynamic response of buildings and bridges in turbulent wind to the possible wind-induced destruction of whole countries in the Caribbean and on to such fields as the movement of sand in the desert. There was no limit to his interest in and his contributions to