Dmitrii Zhuravskii

Zhuravskii, Dmitrii Ivanovich


Born Dec. 17 (29), 1821, in the village of Beloe, present-day Kursk Oblast; died Nov. 18 (30), 1891, in St. Petersburg. Russian scientist and engineer, specializing in bridge construction and structural mechanics.

After graduating from the St. Petersburg Institute of the Corps of Railroad Engineers in 1842, Zhuravskii took part in the surveying and planning of a railroad between St. Petersburg and Moscow. He was the first to develop the theory of design of wooden lattice trusses with iron rods (so-called Howe girders), which he used in planning bridges over the Vereb’ia, Volga, and Volkhov rivers. Zhuravskii’s research made possible the installation and reliable use of girder frames with spans of up to 60 m (the dimensions of such girder frames were previously determined empirically, leading to the collapse of bridges). Zhuravskii was the first (1855) to propose a method of determining tangential stresses in bent beams and to establish the existence of transverse forces, mainly stresses, in the walls of beams. In 1871–76 he took part in the reconstruction of the Mariinskii Waterway and headed the planning of the canals near Lake Ladoga. As head of the department of railroads (1877–89) he introduced a number of measures to raise their load capacity. He was awarded the Demidov Prize in 1855.


Liudi russkoi nauki, book 4: Tekhnika. Moscow, 1965.