In Memoriam, Atle Gjelsvik Professor Emeritus

Mar 19 2020

In Memoriam, Atle Gjelsvik
Professor Emeritus, Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

September 14, 1933 - March 13, 2020


Emeritus Professor Atle Gjelsvik passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 13, 2020. A preeminent scholar and expert in structural mechanics, structural analysis and design, and structural stability, Gjelsvik earned his BS degree from Bristol University, England in 1957 and his MS and PhD degrees from Brown University in 1960 and 1962, respectively.

Gjelsvik’s distinguished career engaged him in both academic and industry settings, where he made contributions in areas ranging from the design of off-shore structures to the design of composite steel and concrete buildings. His collaborations with the College of Physicians and Surgeons at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center led to advances in the field of Orthopedics and Joint Replacement, while his expertise in the behavior of suspension bridge cables involved him in the analysis of several New York City and New Jersey bridges. His book, The Theory of Thin Walled Bars, J. Wiley & Sons, 1981, is still widely regarded as a leading text on thin walled bar theory for students and scholars alike.

Throughout his career at Columbia, Gjelsvik was ranked as one of Columbia Engineer’s top teachers.  His innovative new course, Engineering and the Rise of Modern Industry, received accolades across the campus, and engineering education community at large. He will be missed by his colleagues and the many students who benefited from his instruction and his dedicated mentorship.