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Professor Arne Hillerborg, January 4th 1923 – March 4th 2011
16 avril 2012
Arne Hillerborg studied civil engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH). After graduation in 1951 he worked first as a structural engineer when he developed the well known strip method (strimlemetod för betong) for the design of reinforced concrete slabs. For eight years he was head of the central laboratory of Siporex. He was nominated Professor for Building Materials at Lund University in 1973, where he stayed until he retired in 1988. A RILEM Technical Committee TC 50-FMC, Fracture Mechanics of Concrete has been set up in 1979. The original aim of this committee was to develop and publish a RILEM Recommendation on the determination of fracture toughness of concrete. It was common group thinking at this time that Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) can and should be applied to describe crack formation in concrete, a composite material. It was Arne Hillerborg who succeeded finally in his modest and polite but at the same time strict way to convince the other members of the RILEM TC that crack formation in concrete can be described more realistically by means of the fictitious crack model, which he had developed together with his team at Lund. His pioneering paper in this field became one of the most cited publications in the field of fracture mechanics of concrete (Hillerborg A., Modéer M. and Petersson P.-E., Analysis of Crack Formation and Crack Growth in Concrete by means of Fracture Mechanics, Cement and Concrete Research 6 (1976) 773-782). Tacitly the original aim was abandoned and a new RILEM Recommendation to determine fracture energy and strain softening of concrete has been prepared on the basis of Arne Hillerborg’s pioneering work (RILEM TC 50-FMC, Determination of the Fracture Energy of Mortar and Concrete by means of Three-point Bend Test on Notched Beams, in Materials and Structures 18 (1985) 285-290). In 1997 he received an honorary doctorate from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) for his outstanding achievements. The role of cracks and of the fracture process zone for durability and service life of reinforced concrete structures could be pointed out realistically by means of the fictitious crack model as developed by Arne Hillerborg. Everybody who had a chance to meet him and to work with him was impressed by his unique personality. He was a rare example of an honest, reliable, most creative and yet modest person and scientist. We will hold his memory in the highest esteem. Lennart Elfgren Per-Eric Petersson Folker H. Wittmann Yury Zaitsev

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