Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Egor Popov

Egor Popov Ph.D., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Egor Popov received his B.S. (1933) degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He then went on to receive an M.S. (1934) degree in Civil Engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. (1946) in Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics from Stanford University. After joining the Berkeley faculty in 1946, Professor Popov introduced graduate courses in mechanics of materials into the civil engineering curriculum and was largely responsible for creating the Division of Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics within the Civil Engineering Department. He served as the division’s first chair and directed the Structural Engineering Laboratories. He formally retired from the Berkeley faculty in 1983, but then held the title of Professor of the Graduate School until the time of his death in 2001 at the age of 88.

Over his long career, Professor Popov conducted groundbreaking research on the inelastic behavior and seismic response of reinforced concrete and steel buildings, shells, and other structures. His interests covered a wide spectrum of topics in earthquake engineering, including cyclic testing and modeling, the development of the eccentrically braced frame concept, the seismic resistance of steel connections, and the development of friction devices to retrofit existing structures. Professor Popov authored or co-authored more than 300 technical papers and several textbooks, including the landmark “Mechanics of Materials,” first published in 1952, with a second edition in 1976. His most recent book was “Engineering Mechanics of Solids,” published in 1990. Professor Popov’s books have been translated into numerous languages. His former students comprise a who’s who of prominent academic and industry structural engineers in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Professor Popov was recognized with many awards and honors including election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1976. He received the Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award in 1977, the ASCE Norman Medal in 1987, the Berkeley Citation in 1983, a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award from Berkeley in 1985, and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Housner Medal in 1999. In 1977, Professor Popov’s colleagues, in cooperation with the National Science Foundation, organized a Berkeley conference in honor of his 30th anniversary of teaching at the university.