John W. Hutchinson to Deliver 2017 Achenbach Lecture

The lecture will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 24

Harvard University’s John W. Hutchinson will deliver this year’s Jan D. Achenbach Lecture.

John W. HutchinsonHis talk, titled “The Catastrophic Buckling Behavior of Shell Structures with Insights from New Experiments and Theory on Spherical Shells” will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 24 in the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center’s ITW classroom.

Hutchinson’s lecture will include a historical overview of the extreme imperfection-sensitivity of shell buckling. A discussion about his recent work on the buckling of spherical shells will follow. He will describe his experimental and theoretical work by focusing on imperfection-sensitivity and viewing the phenomenon within the larger context of nonlinear stability.

A member of Harvard’s faculty since 1964, Hutchinson is the Lawrence Research Professor of Engineering. He and his collaborators work on problems in solid mechanics concerned with engineering materials and structures, including buckling, structural stability, elasticity, plasticity, fracture, and micro-mechanics.

Presented annually by Northwestern’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Jan D. Achenbach Lecture recognizes Professor Achenbach for his extraordinary contributions to the field of mechanics, particularly his pioneering work on quantitative nondestructive evaluation. Achenbach is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, and an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2003, he received the US National Medal of Technology for engineering research and education for use of ultrasonic methods. In 2005, he received the US National Medal of Science for his pioneering work in the field of quantitative nondestructive evaluation.

The lecture is given annually by an outstanding individual who has made significant contributions to society through science and engineering, and provides a forum to encourage stimulating thinking on a subject of broad interest to the Northwestern community. The Achenbach Lecture is made possible by an endowment donated by Professor Achenbach’s colleagues, friends, associates, former postdoctoral fellows, and students.