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Zienkiewicz passed away...

Ying Li's picture

Name            Olgierd Zienkiewicz
Nationality     British
Birth date      18 May 1921
Birth place     Caterham, UK
Date of death   2 January 2009
Place of death  Swansea, UK

Olgierd Cecil Zienkiewicz, CBE, FREng, FRS (born 18 May 1921 in Caterham, En
gland) is a British academic, mathematician, and mechanical engineer. He is
one of the early pioneers of the finite element method. Since his first pape
r in 1947 dealing with numerical approximation to the stress analysis of dam
s, he has published nearly 600 papers and written or edited more than 25 boo

Zienkiewicz is notable for having recognized the general potential for using
 the finite element method to resolve problems in areas outside the area of
solid mechanics. The idea behind finite elements design is to develop tools
based in computational mechanics schemes that can be useful to designers, no
t solely for research purposes. His books on the Finite Element Method were
the first to present the subject and to this day remain the standard referen
ce texts. He also founded the first journal dealing with computational mecha
nics in 1968 (International Journal of Numerical Methods in Engineering), wh
ich is still the major journal for the field of Numerical Computations.[2]

The international range of Zienkiewicz' academic experiences has been geogra
phically diverse. He is today Professor Emeritus at the University of Wales,
 Swansea; and other teaching positions have included:

International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering at CIMNE, Barcelon
a, Spain -- Professor of Numerical Methods in Engineering

Technical University of Catalunya at Barcelona, Spain -- UNESCO Chair of Num
erical Methods in Engineering

University of Texas, Austin -- Joe C Walter Chair of Engineering.



Sad indeed. Also sad is the lack of recognition for this man who was one of the leading figures in the development and use of the FEM for engineering; he was certainly seen as such in the UK and Europe. He was given a CBE (a UK honour dished out by the Queen/Government) a while back and more importantly was a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), no mean feat for an engineer. So far I have not seen an obituary in a UK paper. Anyone else seen one? We lack strong voices to publicise the importance of (some of?) what we do and the apparent absence of a wider recognition of this man's work is evidence for this, I think.



Alejandro Ortiz-Bernardin's picture

Not sure if the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering is from UK. According to the journal's home page soon will be published an obituary in that journal. The advertise can be seen here.





 Thanks for this information. I really meant recognition from wider society which has indirectly benefitted from his work, i.e. daily newspapers which carry obituaries for people from a wide range of backgrounds.


My Dear Friend


this is definitely not the first time that someone is not getting any recognision even after his death. There are many examples in the UK, remember Dugdale, Eshelby, Irwin and so many others.



Ji Wang's picture

We are going to miss him for the great contributions to the FEM applications.

 I did not meet him in person, but I really enjoy his books.

 I saw some obiturary from journals and websites.





You can read a short obit published this week in the Times Higher Educational Supplement (UK weekly publication for HE) here


And an expanded version in the Times here

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