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Gems of Structural Engg - Prof. G. W. Housner - (Post-7)

 
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abhy_vivek
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:29 am    Post subject: Gems of Structural Engg - Prof. G. W. Housner - (Post-7) Reply with quote




George W. Housner






(9 Dec 1910 - 10 Nov 2008)

Birth and Education :
Prof. G. W. Housner was born in Sanginaw, Michigan. He completed his primary education and engineering education in Michigan and received his Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan where he was influenced by Stephen Timoshenko. He earned his Masters' (1934) and Doctoral (1941) degrees from the California Institute of Technology where he has been a Professor of Earthquake Engineering from 1945 to 1981, and Professor Emeritus thereafter. He was an eminent authority on earthquake engineering and National Medal of Science laureate. Housner's interest in earthquake engineering began after the Long Beach quake of 1933. After receiving his PhD, he worked for the Army Corps of Engineers before advising the Air Force during World War II.

Early engineering Practice
Housner spent much of his time during the war in North Africa, where he devised an equation that helped increase the success of pilots navigating barrage balloons--designed to prevent attacks on oil fields--and a new tactic for Air Force bombers to attack bridges, improving their effectiveness. In 1945 he was honored with the Distinguished Civilian Service Award given by the U.S. War Department.

After the war, Housner joined Caltech as an assistant professor of applied mechanics. He later became the Braun Professor before retiring in 1981. He was named a Caltech Distinguished Alumni in 2006, the Institute's highest honor bestowed on graduates. Housner's interests included civil projects, such as California's statewide water system. His earthquake-engineering techniques were used to strengthen the dozens of dams and aqueducts running through California--one of the first times modern earthquake engineering was used for this purpose.

Professonal Practice

"George really has to be considered one of the most original and clearest thinkers ever within the entire engineering profession," said John Hall, professor of civil engineering and dean of students at Caltech.

His expertise in earthquakes led to his chairing a National Academy of Sciences engineering committee evaluating the damage left by the 1964 Alaska earthquake. Soon after, he became a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1972 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Housner was the founding member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and a medal is given by the organization each year in his name. He was also instrumental in the formation of the International Association for Earthquake Engineering and Caltech's Earthquake Research Affiliates.

"George was a man of great intellect, which he used diligently to reduce the impact of earthquakes on our society," said Tom Heaton, professor of engineering seismology at Caltech. "He was one of those special people who changed our world."

In 1981, Housner was given the Harry Fielding Reid Medal from the Seismological Society of America, awarded annually for outstanding contributions in seismology and earthquake engineering. In a 1988 White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan awarded the National Medal of Science to Housner. The award citation honored Housner "for his profound and decisive influence on the development of earthquake engineering worldwide. His research contributions have guided the development of earthquake engineering and have had an important impact on other major disciplines." After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California, Governor George Deukmejian named Housner chair of the board investigating the collapse of freeways and bridges. He also served as chair of the Caltrans Seismic Advisory Board.
Housner never married and will be cremated and interred at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, California.




Mr. Johnson Jr a Times staff writer of Los Angeles Times writes about him as - 'Father of quake engineering - GEORGE W. HOUSNER, 1910 - 2008', in November 15, 2008 issue, - - George W. Housner, who pioneered the modern field of earthquake engineering, developing the most complete mathematical system to analyze the effects of ground shaking on structures, Housner, the Braun professor emeritus of engineering at Caltech. . .

Housner died of natural causes November 10, 2008 in Pasadena, California at the age of 97. Annually, in recognition of those who made extraordinary contributions to the earthquake safety research, practices and policies, EERI awards The George W. Housner Medal of the Earthquake Engineering Research.


Typical Structures with different stiffnesses


Representative Model


Earthquake force


Schematic Response

Partial list of achievements

* Chairman of engineering committee of Academy of Sciences
* Formed Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
* UNESCO representative to International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering in Tokyo
* AEC advisory panel on safety against ground shock
* AID consultant at University of Roorkee, India
* Chairman of Geologic Hazards Advisory Committee for California State Resources Agency
* Chairman of Panel on Seismic Design and Testing of Nuclear Facilities for International Atomic Energy Agency
* On Los Angeles County Earthquake Commission
* Member of Earthquake Engineering and Hazards Reduction Delegation to Peoples Republic of China
* President of Seismological Society
* Consultant to Japanese Atomic Energy Commission and Italian Nuclear Energy Commission and numerous nuclear energy projects in the U.S.
* Elected to National Academy of Sciences 1972
* Named Braun Professor of Engineering at Caltech 1974
* Chairman of NRC's Earthquake Society and International Association

********************

References
- http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/13204
- Father of quake engineering - Los Angeles Times


Last edited by abhy_vivek on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:39 am; edited 2 times in total
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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:11 am    Post subject: Re: Gems of Structural Engg - Prof. G. W. Housner - (Post-7) Reply with quote

Dear Er Vivek,

Thanks for your posting about Prof. Housner, who contributed immensely on Earthquake Engineering. No wonder he is considered father of EQ Engg. Perhaps, he was able to concentrate so much because he was not married!

Regards,
Subramanian
[quote="abhy_vivek"]George W. Housner




(9 Dec 1910 - 10 Nov 2008)


Last edited by Dr. N. Subramanian on Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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abhy_vivek
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:17 am    Post subject: Re: Gems of Structural Engg - Prof. G. W. Housner - (Post-7) Reply with quote

Resp. Dr. Subramanian ji

[quote="drnsmani"]. . . Perhaps, he was able to concentrate so much because he was not married! [quote]

Saying so may give wrong message to the Fresh Engineers. Because 'Married' or 'Unmarried' may not be the real criteria for the contribution to the Profession. . . Personal interest and Attitude are the real factors which may decide the success. Most of the other successful men in this filed had a backup from their life partner. To remain unmarried and contribute to the profession may require a Strong 'MIND', which probably Prof. Housner had. . .  
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B.V.Harsoda
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fully agree with Er. Vivek

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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Gems of Structural Engg - Prof. G. W. Housner - (Post-7) Reply with quote

Dear Er Vivek,

Why you have taken it so seriously?

I wanted to convey this: "If someone is married, he/she has to devote more time for the family-not only for the partner but also for the children. Prof. Housner, since not married, could devote his entire time to his research".

I agree with you that, in most of the cases, behind every successful man/woman there is a hardworking partner, who is not coming to limelight.

There is also a sayingby Hubert Humphrey " Behind every successful man stands a surprised Mother-in-law"!

Regards,
Subramanian
[quote="abhy_vivek"]Resp. Dr. Subramanian ji


[quote="drnsmani"]. . . Perhaps, he was able to concentrate so much because he was not married!
Quote:


Saying so may give wrong message to the Fresh Engineers. Because 'Married' or 'Unmarried' may not be the real criteria for the contribution to the Profession. . . Personal interest and Attitude are the real factors which may decide the success. Most of the other successful men in this filed had a backup from their life partner. To remain unmarried and contribute to the profession may require a Strong 'MIND', which probably Prof. Housner had. . .  
.
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