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Noted Stanford U. Seismic Engineer Helmut Krawinkler Dies at 72

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Helmut Krawinkler "lived and breathed" structural and earthquake engineering through teaching, research, analytic modeling, design and contributions to practice, says Gregory G. Deierlein, the John A. Blume professor of engineering at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.

Krawinkler, an Austrian native who joined the Stanford faculty in 1973, died suddenly on April 16 in Los Altos, Calif., during treatment for a brain tumor. He was 72.

 Krawinkler—who held the Blume post until 2007, when he became professor emeritus—developed methodologies that changed how engineers evaluate seismic safety and damage potential. His work in the 1990s laid the foundation for the sophisticated practice of performance-based seismic design. He had "amazing" insights into non-linear structural behavior during ground motion, says Deierlein.

In February, Krawinkler was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In early April, he received the George W. Housner Medal from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.


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