John W. Hutchinson is a highly distinguished scientist recognized throughout the world for his critical contributions to the mechanics of engineering materials. His interests range from aerospace and ship structures to microscopic phenomena involving the deformation, fracture, and processing of electronic materials. His pioneering work on micromechanics and fracture of thin films, multilayers and bi-material interfaces, and plastic deformations of materials at the micron scale laid the foundation for and brought new perspectives to designing new material systems.

Academic Career

Hutchinson earned a B.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Lehigh University in 1960 and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Harvard University in 1963. After earning his Ph.D. Hutchinson spent a year as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Technical University of Denmark, before joining the faculty of Applied Sciences at Harvard where he has spent his career and presently serves as the Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering. He has also held visiting appointments from Oxford University, Cambridge University, the Technical University of Denmark and the University of California at Santa Barbara. During his 40 year career he has made seminal contributions to most of the important developments of solid and structural mechanics as well as in mechanics of materials. He started his career with a series of important contributions on the imperfection sensitivity of buckling of elastic structures, the most prominent subject of mechanics at the time.

Notable Publications

Hutchinson is widely published in journals such as the Journal of Mechanics and Physics of Solids, and the International Journal of Solids and Structures, and serves on the board of editors for numerous journals, including the Journal of Engineering Sciences, Journal of Mechanics of Materials, and Journal of Mechanics Sciences.

Awards and Achievements

Hutchinson has received numerous honors, including the ASTM Irwin Medal, Swedlow Award, the SES Prager Medal and the ASME Nadai Award, Thurston Award and Timoshenko Medal. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received honorary degrees from The Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden), The Technical University of Denmark (Copenhagen, Denmark), and Lehigh University. Hutchinson is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He was also one of the youngest full professors to have an endowed chair at Harvard.

Saturday, April 22, 1939
Hartford, CT
B.S. Engineering Mechanics
Notable Achievement: 
Distinguished scientist of mechanics and materials