Structural E community honors distinguished steel educator in special edition of U of Minn. magazine

National Academy of Engineering member and structural engineering alum Theodore V. Galambos ’59 PhD is featured in a special issue of CEGE Magazine, a publication of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering. 

Galambos, who celebrated his 90th birthday in April 2019, is professor emeritus at U of M, where he has served on the faculty since 1981. His primary research areas include the study of the inelastic behavior and stability of steel structures under load, and the application of the information gained to the design of steel buildings, bridges, and other structures. 

During his years at Lehigh, as a student and teacher during the 1950s and 1960s, Galambos was a leader in Fritz Lab. After earning his PhD in structural engineering, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses, conducted research, and advised PhD students, before joining the faculty of Washington University in Saint Louis in 1965.

Galambos is widely regarded as one of the preeminent steel educators of his generation. His contributions to the structural steel industry include award-winning work on the development of the 1986 American Institute of Steel Construction Load and Resistance Factor Design (AISC-LRFD) Specification. 

In 2016, as Lehigh's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering marked its sesquicentennial, Galambos was presented with the Lynn S. Beedle Distinguished Civil and Environmental Engineering Award, the CEE department's highest recognition for alumni. 

The magazine includes an interview with Galambos, as well as tributes from former students and colleagues in the field of structural engineering. 

“I am also proud of accomplishments of students that I had the privilege to teach,” Galambos says in the piece. “There are three university presidents, seven members of the National Academy of Engineering, one recipient of a presidential medal, a state cabinet member, a cardiologist, and [m]any more.”

In the issue, John W. Fisher ’58G, ’64 PhD, the former Joseph T. Stuart Professor of Civil Engineering at Lehigh, reflects on his relationship with Galambos, who he describes as “a giant in our profession.” In another tribute, Jean-Claude Badoux ’65 PhD describes how he bonded with his former Lehigh professor over a shared language, German. 

Badoux writes: “Ted Galambos, what a life! From boyhood in a village in Hungary, to being a teenage refugee in Germany at the end of a terrible war—for his family, his country, and the world—and later to becom[ing] a respected leader in many ways.”

View the special issue on the University of Minnesota CEGE website.

Ted Galambos

Lehigh CEE alum Theodore (Ted) V. Galambos is regarded as the the father of load and resistance factor design (LRFD). Photo courtesy of the Dept. of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, University of Minnesota