Jan D. Achenbach

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Jan D. Achenbach
Mos 05achenbach h.jpg
Jan D. Achenbach receiving the 2005 National Medal of Science from president George W. Bush
Born (1935-08-20) 20 August 1935 (age 87)
Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Citizenship U.S.
Fields Solid mechanics
Institutions Columbia University;
Northwestern University
Alma mater Delft University of Technology;
Stanford University
Doctoral advisor Chi-Chang Chao
Doctoral students Lambert B. Freund;
Jianmin Qu
Known for Wave Motion
Notable awards William Prager Medal (2001)
National Medal of Technology
National Medal of Science
Theodore von Karman Medal (2010)
ASME Medal (2012)
Timoshenko Medal

Jan Drewes Achenbach (born 20 August 1935) is a professor emeritus (Walter P. Murphy Professor and Distinguished McCormick School Professor) at Northwestern University. Achenbach was born in the northern region of the Netherlands, in Leeuwarden. He studied aeronautics at Delft University of Technology, which he finished with a M.Sc. degree in 1959. Thereafter, he went to the United States, Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1962. After working for a year as a preceptor at Columbia University, he was then appointed as assistant professor at Northwestern University.[1]

Achenbach has developed methods for flaw detection and characterization by using contact transducers, imaging techniques and laser-based ultrasonics. He has also developed methods for thin-layer characterization by acoustic microscopy. Work is both analytical and experimental in nature, with extensive cooperation with investigators from other universities and from industrial organizations on theoretical experimental projects. Work in fracture mechanics has been primarily on dynamic fracture. He also carries out research on structural acoustics and on the mechanical behavior of composite materials.

Achenbach is the founding editor-in-chief of Wave Motion. He was editor in chief from the journal's establishment in 1979, until 2012.

Honors and awards


Memberships and fellowships


  • Achenbach, J. D. (2003). Reciprocity in elastodynamics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-81734-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • ——; Gautesen, A. K.; McMaken, H. (1982). Ray methods for waves in elastic solids. Pitman Advanced Pub. Program. ISBN 0-273-08453-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • —— (1975). A theory of elasticity with microstructure for directionally reinforced composites. Springer. ISBN 978-3-211-81234-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • —— (1973). Wave propagation in elastic solids. North-Holland Series in Applied Mathematics and Mechanics. North-Holland. ISBN 0-7204-0325-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>



  1. "Professor Achenbach, Research". Northwestern University. Retrieved 2 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "ASME Medal". ASME. Retrieved 16 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Theodore von Karman Medal". ASCE. Retrieved 15 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "President to Award 2005–2006 National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology Honoring Nation's Leading Researchers, Inventors and Innovators". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 15 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Achenbach Awarded National Medal of Technology by President Bush". Northwestern University. Retrieved 15 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Jan D. Achenbach receives William Prager Medal". Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 110 (5): 2238–2238. 2001. Bibcode:2001ASAJ..110.2238.. doi:10.1121/1.4734372.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "AAM outstanding service award recipients". American Academy of Mechanics. Retrieved 15 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Team Wins Model of Excellence Award" (PDF). Center for Nondestructive Evaluation News. 7 (2): 8. 1996. Retrieved 15 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Timoshenko Medal". ASME. Retrieved 15 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Past National Award Winners – Curtis W. McGraw Research Award". American Society of Engineering Education. Retrieved 15 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 1 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "J.D. Achenbach" (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 14 July 2015.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Harris, J. G. (2002). "Editorial – A biographical note on Jan D. Achenbach with a foreword to the special issue". Wave Motion. 36 (4): 307–309. doi:10.1016/S0165-2125(02)00026-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Bazant, Zdenek P.; Qu, Jianmin (2002). "Preface". International Journal of Solids and Structures. 39 (21–22): 5375–5378. doi:10.1016/S0020-7683(02)00353-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> – A volume in honour of Jan D. Achenbach
  • "Contributors". IEEE Transactions on Sonics and Ultrasonics. SU-27 (3): 137–138. 1980. doi:10.1109/T-SU.1980.31164.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links