"His life was the history of the 20th Century istelf"

From 1st September, 2014 the memorial exhibition of Gábor Kazinczy, the internationally acknowledged engineer-scientist in BME OMIKK.

'Gábor Kazinczy was an expert of reinforced concrete and steel structures design and calculations theory and materials testing. His activity is appreciated by today's engineers and scientists in the fields of plasticity and in the safety of structures based on probability theory' told Gábor Stépán, academician, president of the Section of Engineering Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, head of the Department of Applied Mechanics of BME. The exhibition presenting the career of the engineer scientist arrived in BME after a conference on his honour at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The exhibition, initiated by János Lógó, associate professor at the Department of Structural Mechanics. Some documents of the exhibition have been made available by the University Archives.

Gábor Kazinczy

19.1.1889, Szeged (Hungary) - 23.5.1964, Motola (Sweden)

The pioneer of the ultimate load method, Gábor Kazinczy, came from a family of Hungarian intellectuals. For example, his great-grandfather, Ferenc Kazinczy (1759 – 1831), had played a leading role in literary life in the Hungarian enlightenment movement and in the reformation of the Hungarian language in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Gábor Kazinczy completed his structural engineering studies at Budapest Technucal University in 1911, then took charge of the Materials & Structural Testing Laboratory of the Budapest authorities and later became deputy head of the city’s building department; his career in Budapest ended in 1943 as engineering chief counsellor. Kazinczy’s first publication, which was to initiate the development of ultimate load method had appeared in 1914. The loading tests carried out ont he structure of the house for Zsigmond Klinger, performed on behalf of the Budapest city authorities in 1913, supplied results that Kazinczy could not interpret with elastic theory. He therefore concluded that the three cross-sections must become plastic. Kazinczy’s introduction of the fundamental concept of plastic hinge method, which, however, would not take shape until the invention phase of structural theory (1925), albeit with the help of Kazinczy. Following a personal discussiion with Maier-Leibnitz, a publication of his ultimate load trials appeared, which in terms of method correspond with the ultimate load concept of Kazinczy. Kazinczy gained a doctorate at Budapest TU in 1931 with his dissertation Design of clamped end steel with regard to the residual deformations . Two years later Kazinczy reported on ultimate load trials on continuous reinforced concrete beams – experiments that paved the way for the development of the ultimate load method in reinforced concrete, too. The habilitation thesis SDafety of structures was written in Budapest TU in 1939. After World War 2. Kazinczy and his family moved to Denmark, where he worked for the Swedish Kooperativa Förbundets Arkotekt- kontor company from 1947 until his retirement in 1959. It was here he prepared the designs and calculations for demanding engineering structures such as grain silos, long-span shells and prestressed suspended floors. Kazinczy published his findings and experiences in a total of 92 publications. Together with Maier-Leibnitz and John Fleetwood Baker, Kazinczy made a major contribution to providing a sound footing for the plastic hinge method during the invention phase of structural theory.

Gábor Kazinczy’s biography is cited from
The History of the Theory of Structures: From Arch Analysis to Computational Mechanics
Karl-Eugen Kurrer, Ekkehard Ramm (Foreword by); ISBN: 978-3-433-01838-5, Wiley, 2008

Gábor Kazinczy was founder and vice president of the World Association of Hungarian Engineers and Architects.