Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Robert L. Taylor

Robert L. Taylor Ph.D., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Robert L. Taylor received his B.S. (1957), M.S. (1958), and Ph.D. (1963) degrees in Civil (Structural) Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.  After completion of his doctoral studies, he was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering where he remained until retiring from full time service in 1994.  Since retirement, he has held positions as Professor of the Graduate School at Berkeley, Consulting Professor of Applied Mechanics at Stanford University, and Visiting Professor at the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering at Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.  He was a co-founder of Centric Engineering in Palo Alto, California, where he worked for two years in the development of Spectrum, the first multi-physics finite element program. Currently, he is a Corporate Fellow in the Technology Office at Dassault Systèmes, Simulia Corporation in Providence, Rhode Island, where he provides technical input for long-term development of the finite element system Abaqus.

Professor Taylor has more than fifty years of experience in the modeling and simulation of structures and solid continua. Much of this effort has involved application of the finite element method.  He is the author or co-author of more than 300 publications, much of the content of which has been incorporated into the three volume reference book on the finite element method he co-authored with the late Professor O.C. Zienkiewicz. The sixth edition of these classic volumes was published in 2005.  Professor Taylor has written several computer programs for finite element analysis of structural and non-structural systems, one of which, FEAP, is used worldwide in education and research environments to address non-linear and finite deformation problems.

In 1991, Professor Taylor was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). He was named as the T.Y. and Margaret Lin Professor of Engineering endowed chair at Berkeley in 1992.  In 1994, he received the Berkeley Citation, and in 2003 he was honored with the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award by the U. C. College of Engineering.  In 1997, Professor Taylor was elected a Fellow in the U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics.  In 1998, he was elected Fellow in the International Association of Computational Mechanics.  He was awarded the IACM John von Neumann Medal in 1999 and the IACM Gauss-Newton Congress Medal in 2001.  Professor Taylor has received two honorary doctorates, from the University of Wales, Swansea, Wales in 1984 and the Technical University of Hannover, Germany in 2001.