Samstag, 3. Juni 2023

Laudatio für J. E. Cermak

Prof. Cermak

Dear Prof. Cermak,

The Wind Engineers from Austria, Switzerland and Germany have founded in 1987 a Wind Engineering Society, the

Windtechnologische Gesellschaft e. V. (WtG).

The WtG has founded an award in order to honour distinguished merits in the field. The award is named after

Otto Heinrich Georg Flachsbart.

Otto Flachsbart was one of the Ludwig Prandtl’s scholars in Göttingen and performed pioneering work in the wind loading research, together with Wieselsberger and Ackeret. Some of the results of Flachsbart’s work in the field of wind engineering are still used, even in modern Wind Codes like Eurocode. The diagrams of drag coefficients for plane and spatial lattice structures with members of circular and/or sharp-edged cross sections are one of his research work and are based on the early but precise wind tunnel experiments Flachsbart performed in 1933. Flachsbart was born in 1898 in Paderborn, a small city in northern Germany. In 1922 he obtained his diploma and master degree in Engineering Science. His main interest was in fluid dynamics, and so he went to Göttingen and worked together with Prandtl. After only 2 years he became head of a department at Prandtl’s Institute. He made his PhD in Hannover in 1928 and 3 years later he became an associate professor in the field of Hydro- and Aerodynamics. Only one year later the chair of Mechanics at the University of Hannover was offered to him. He accepted and the following time he started to lay the foundation of a modern, physically based theory of wind forces. He built a wind tunnel, in which he performed the already mentioned tests on drag coefficients of lattice girders. In 1937 we had the rise of power of the Nazis in Germany. One of the first act was to relegate Flachsbart: his wife was Jewish. So he started to work as the head of the research department of steel manufacturing company in Oberhausen (Ruhr Valley). After the 2nd world war, in 1945, he was rehabilitated in his professorship of Mechanics at the University of Hannover. In subsequent years, he became Dean of the faculty of structural mechanics, president of the University, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Science and Culture of the Federal State of Lower Saxony. In 1953 the Karmarsch-Medal was awarded to him with the dedication: To the researcher, the teacher, the human, who testifies how technology, economy, science and arts can be connected in a creative spirit and an honest humanitarianism. Otto Flachsbart passed away in 1957 in an age of 59 years. Dear Prof. Jack Cermak, you are comparable with Otto Flachsbart in many ways. You are also a pioneer in research work in the field of modern wind engineering, you developed and improved the boundary layer wind tunnel technique especially for pollution problems. You are an excellent teacher, we all learned from your work, we read your numerous publications. Famous scientists made their first steps in your laboratory and last but not least you were active in numerous societies and editorial boards. Therefore the Executive Council of Wind Engineering society of Austria, Switzerland and Germany has decided unanimously to bestow the award of the

OTTO H.G. Flachsbart – Medal

to Prof. Jack Edward Cermak

as the second recipient. The first recipient was Prof. Alan G. Davenport from London, Canada. The WtG considers that with your research work you have laid the foundation for the Science of Modern Wind Engineering. The Society would feel sincerely honoured if you could accept the Otto- Flachsbart-Medal.

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