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GEORGE HERRMANN

1921–2007

Elected in 1981

“For major contributions to administration, publication, research, and teaching of applied and structural mechanics; has particularly stimulated students and younger colleagues.”

BY PETER PINSKY, DAVID BARNETT, AND CHARLES STEELE

GEORGE HERRMANN, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, passed away quietly as he sat with a friend in Zurich’s main train station on his way to Lucerne to celebrate Russian Christmas, on January 7, 2007. He was 85 years old.

Herrmann played a major role in the mechanics community in the latter half of the 20th century, and his influence persists to the present day. Born in Moscow on April 19, 1921, he moved to Basel, Switzerland, with his Swiss mother (leaving behind his Russian father) in 1933 and was educated at the Gymnasium of Mathematics and Sciences, where he received his Maturität in 1941. He attended the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, where he received a diploma in 1945 and a doctor of science in 1949, both in civil engineering. After a year as a postdoctoral exchange fellow and an assistant professor at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada, he joined the Department of Civil Engineering at Columbia University in 1951. He became associate professor in 1955. From 1962 to 1970 he was a professor of civil engineering at Northwestern University, including two years as Walter P. Murphy Distinguished Professor. In 1970 he moved to Stanford


Adapted from the Memorial Resolution: George Herrmann written by Peter Pinsky, David Barnett, and Charles Steele and published in the Stanford Report, March 11, 2009. The National Academy of Engineering wishes to thank Stanford University for permission to use the Memorial Resolution.



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