Elected in 1993
“For technical and managerial leadership in material models and tools for numerical simulation of nonlinear dynamic phenomena.”
BY ORVAL E. JONES SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
WALTER HERRMANN was born on May 2, 1930, in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was the only child born to Gottlob Fredrich Herrmann, a hotel proprietor, and Gertrud Louise Herrmann (nee Ratzlaff). Herrmann received both his undergraduate (1953) and Ph.D. (1955) degrees in mechanical engineering from Witwatersrand University in South Africa. Dr. Hermann then taught mechanical engineering at the University of Cape Town for two years until 1957, when he was invited by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to work as a researcher in the Cold War effort.
He married Betty Lorraine Allard in 1955. They raised two children, a daughter, Inga, and a son, Peter, before divorcing in 1983. In 1988, Dr. Herrmann married Ednarae Bligh Gross, who preceded him in death in 1996. Dr. Herrmann was an accomplished skier, a mountaineer (he volunteered for many years for mountain rescues in New Mexico), and a cyclist. He also enjoyed river rafting and scuba diving. After retiring from Sandia National Laboratories, he was a volunteer for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and served as a docent at archeological sites in southern Colorado. Throughout his life Dr. Herrmann was an avid traveler, and in his later years he developed a passion for tall ships, sailing, and archeology.