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HANS HEINRICH BLEICH 1909-1985 BY MARIO G. SALVADORI HANS HEINRICH BLEICH cried of a heart attack on February 8, 1985, at the age of seventy-five. He was born in Vienna on March 24, 1909. He stucliect at Vienna's Technical University, from which he obtained a civil engineering degree in 1931 and a doctor of science degree in engineering in 1934. Fol- lowing his graduation, he worker! in Vienna as a design en- gineer for A. Poor Engineers until 1939, when he moved to Lonclon and became senior clesign engineer for the promi- nent engineering firm of Braithwaite and Company. Unfor- tunately, there are no records in the United States of his work while in Europe. In 1945 Dr. Bleich moved to the Unitec! States. He worked briefly as a research engineer for Chance-Vaught Aircraft in Stratford, Connecticut. He then became an associate engi- neer at Hardesty anct Hanover, a well-known firm of bridge engineers in New York City. During his tenure with the firm, he was involved in the design of a number of important bridges and special structures. From 1957 to the day of his death, Dr. Bleich was perma- nently affiliatect as a consultant with Weidlinger Associates, Consulting Engineers of New York City. He participated in the design of some of the most important and innovative buildings in the United States from high-rise office build- ings to exhibition halls and special structures. 45
46 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES In 1967 Dr. Bleich server] as a consultant to the Mount Wilson Observatory and was responsible for the support design of the observatory's new two-hunctred-inch astronom- ical mirror at Mount Palomar. In 1967-196S, as a consul- tant to Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas, Inc., he participated in the design of the Fremont Bridge in Port- land, Oregon. In 1969, as a consultant to the firm of King and Gavaris, he helped design the Raritan Bridge in New Jersey. In 1947 Dr. Bleich joiner! the faculty of Columbia Univer- sity's School of Engineering as a lecturer and was named pro- fessor of civil engineering in 1952 and director of the Gug- genheim Institute of Air Flight Structures in ~ 954. He retired from Columbia University in 1975 as James Renwick Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering. Dr. Bleich was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics, anct the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was also associate editor of the American Rocket Society of the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics ant! a member of the Hull Structures Commit- tee of the Society of Naval Architects. Dr. Bleich was honored as a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and as an associate fellow of the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics. He also received the ASCE Laurie Prize in 1951, the ASCE I. James R. Croes Meclal in 1963, the ASCE Wellington Prize in 1969, and the coveted van Karman Medal of the ASCE AppliecI Mechanics Section in 1973. At the early age of fifteen, he contributed a chapter to the pioneering book on finite ctifference equations written by his father, Friedrich Bleich, ant] Ernst Melan, two worIcI- renowned structuralists. In 1935 he wrote a book on the analysis of suspension bridges entitled Die Berechnung verank- erter Hangerbrucken, published by J. Springer in Vienna. In 1952 he edited and completely revised his father's book The
HANS HEINRICH BLEICH 47 Buckling Strength of Metal Structures, which is still the standard reference book on the subject. In 1952 Bleich coauthored the ASCE manual "Design of Cylindrical Shell Roofs" and in 1960, the "Guide for the Analysis of Ship Structures," published by the U.S. Depart- ment of Commerce, Office of Technological Services. In 1968 he was a contributor to "Support and Testing of Astro- nomical Mirrors," published by Kitt Peak National Observa- · . ~ tory in Arizona. Between 1928 and 1975 Dr. Bleich published eighty-six papers and reports of the greatest importance on problems of applied mechanics. A sampling of their titles indicates the breadth of his interests: "Bending, Torsion ant] Buckling of Bar Composed of Thin Wails"; "The Strain Energy Ex- pressed for Thin Cylincirical Shells"; "Response of Elasto- Plastic Structures to Transient Loads"; "Surface Waves in an Elastic Half-Space"; "Moving Step Load on the Surface on a Half Space of Granular Material"; and "Use of Nonasso- ciated Flow Rule for Problems of Elasto-Plastic Wave Propa- gation." His technical reports dealt with the gamut of those applied mechanics problems that are of practical significance in the field of dynamics and, particularly, in the interactions between fluids and elastic and plastic bodies. Of special note is that in 1932 he was the first scientist to use shakedown theory. It is hard to describe the modesty, simplicity, and cour- teousness of this outstanding individual. His students, to whom he dedicated unlimited time and attention, today oc- cupy chairs in structural engineering and applied mechanics in most of the outstanding universities of our country. He was always ready to help with suggestions and to advise both his academic colleagues and his coworkers in the many engi- neering offices where he was a consultant. He was one of the very few outstanding research men who was also interested in and knowlecigeable about the practical application of the theories he helpect to develop. In short, he was a great engi-
48 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES neer. Dr. Bleich's contributions to the work of many agencies of the U.S. government have been of the greatest importance and have been duly recognized. His death represents a Toss to the academy of one of its most valuable, widely knowledgeable, and generous mem- bers.