WACŁAW OLSZAK (1902-1980)

Graduate of the Vienna University of Technology in Civil and Water Engineering (1925). He furthered his studies at the Faculte des Sciences at Paris University (1926-1927). Doctorates: 1933, at the Vienna University of Technology – a dissertation on reinforced concrete structures, in 1934, at the Warsaw University of Technology – a dissertation on the theory of plasticity (under the supervision of M.T. Hubert). Habilitated in 1937 at the AGH University of Science and Technology on statics and dynamics of anti-aircraft structures. In 1946, he became associate professor, and head of the Department of Strength of Materials at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow. He organized research in the field of prestressed structures and applied mechanics at two universities – the AGH and the newly-established Cracow University of Technology. In 1952, he started his cooperation with the Warsaw University of Technology and the then-establishing Polish Academy of Sciences and created the first Department of Theory of Elasticity and Plasticity and the Department of the Mechanics of Continuous Media, thus creating solid foundations for the IPPT, which he directed until 1970.

In 1954, he became a corresponding member, and in 1956, a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Director of IPPT (1963-1970), Secretary to the 4th Department of the Polish Academy of Sciences (1957-1960), member of the PAN Presidium, co-organizer and rector of the International Centre for the Mechanical Sciences in Udine (CISM) (1970-1980). Creator of the world-famous Polish school of theory of elasticity. His scientific research included: theory of elasticity; theory of prestressed structures; rheology.

Author of 290 scientific papers, 10 monographs, editor of 6. Co-founder and member of the board of the RILEM and IASS, IUTAM and IABSE. Co-founder of the Archiwum Mechaniki Stosowanej (Archives of Applied Mechanics) and Rozprawy Inżynierskie (Engineering Theses), 1949. Member of editorial committees of many magazines, organizer of international meetings. He initiated the Polish Conference of Solid Mechanics. Great international authority, propagator of the achievements of Polish mechanics abroad. Supervisor of 16 doctoral students. Honorary doctor (doctor honoris causa) of 9 domestic and foreign universities. Member of 17 foreign academies of sciences. Winner of many state and international awards, a two-time winner of the Polish State Award.