Timoshenko, Stepan Prokofevich

Timoshenko, Stepan Prokof’evich


(also Stephen P. Timoshenko). Born Dec. 11 (23), 1878, in the village of Shpotovka, in what is now Sumy Oblast; died May 29, 1972, in Wuppertal, Federal Republic of Germany. Mechanical engineer.

Timoshenko graduated from the St. Petersburg Institute of Railroad Transport in 1901 and taught at the institute from 1903 to 1906. He was a professor at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute from 1907 to 1911 and at various institutes in Petrograd from 1912 to 1917. In December 1917 he moved to Kiev, where he helped organize the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR; in 1918 he became one of its academicians. In 1920, Timoshenko emigrated to Yugoslavia and became a professor at the Zagreb Polytechnic Institute. After moving to the USA in 1922, he worked for the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company from 1923 to 1927. He became a professor at the University of Michigan in 1927 and at Stanford University in 1936. In 1960 he took up residence in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Timoshenko’s main works dealt with the mechanics of deformed bodies and structural analysis. He carried out a series of studies on the bending, twisting, vibration, and impact loading of rods and on the theory of thin plates and shells. He solved the problem of stress concentration near holes and performed analyses of such structures as suspension bridges, rails, shafts, axles, and cogwheels.

Timoshenko made considerable contributions to engineering education and wrote the classic textbooks A Course in the Strength of Materials (1911) and A Course in the Theory of Elasticity (vols. 1–2, 1914–16). A member of many academies throughout the world, Timoshenko became a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1928.


Ustoichivost’ sterzhnei, plastin i obolochek. Moscow, 1971.
Teoriia uprugosti. Moscow, 1975. (With J. Goodier.) Translated from English.
Statisticheskie i dinamicheskie problemy teorii uprugosti. Kiev, 1975. (Contains bibliography.)