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Richard Christensen awarded Timoshenko Medal by ASME

Aero/Astro and Mechanical Engineering Emeritus Research Professor Richard Christensen has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Timoshenko Medal by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). This award is one of the highest honors in the field of applied mechanics.

Prof. Christensen was cited for his "numerous distinguished contributions to applied mechanics, including the theory of heterogeneous solids, composite materials and laminated plates; the geometry of ultra low density materials; the viscoelasticity and rheology of polymers and non-Newtonian fluids; and the failure of isotropic and anisotropic materials."

Besides numerous single-author journal articles, Prof. Christensen has written books on viscoelasticity and composite materials. His most recent book is The Theory of Materials Failure (Oxford University Press, 2013). He has worked in industry for General Dynamics, Space Technology Laboratories, and Shell Development. He became a half-time research professor in Stanford's Aero/Astro and Mechanical Engineering Departments in 1996, while spending the other half of his time working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Even after becoming emeritus, he has continued an active role at Stanford, advising students and serving on departmental committees.

Prof. Christensen received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah and his M.Eng. and D.Eng. degrees in Engineering Mechanics from Yale University.

The Timoshenko Medal has been awarded each year since 1957. It is named for its first recipient: Stephen Timoshenko. Timoshenko's textbooks, written in Russian and later in English, were translated into 36 languages. Born in 1878, he moved to the United States in 1922. He became a professor at the University of Michigan in 1927 and moved to Stanford in 1936 where he attracted some outstanding students. Among them was Nicholas Hoff, who received his Ph.D. degree in 1942. Hoff returned to Stanford as a professor fifteen years later after he was assured that he would be the first chairman of the new Department of Aeronautics.

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