Jan D. Achenbach
|Born||20 August 1935|
|Died||22 August 2020(aged 85)|
|Alma mater||Delft University of Technology;|
|Known for||Wave Motion|
|Awards||William Prager Medal (2001)|
National Medal of Technology
National Medal of Science
Theodore von Karman Medal (2010)
ASME Medal (2012)
|Doctoral advisor||Chi-Chang Chao|
Jan Drewes Achenbach (20 August 1935 – 22 August 2020) was a professor emeritus (Walter P. Murphy Professor and Distinguished McCormick School Professor) at Northwestern University. Achenbach was born in the northern region of the Netherlands, in Leeuwarden. He studied aeronautics at Delft University of Technology, which he finished with a M.Sc. degree in 1959. Thereafter, he went to the United States, Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1962. After working for a year as a preceptor at Columbia University, he was then appointed as assistant professor at Northwestern University.
Achenbach has developed methods for flaw detection and characterization by using contact transducers, imaging techniques and laser-based ultrasonics. He has also developed methods for thin-layer characterization by acoustic microscopy. Work is both analytical and experimental in nature, with extensive cooperation with investigators from other universities and from industrial organizations on theoretical experimental projects. Work in fracture mechanics has been primarily on dynamic fracture. He also carried out research on structural acoustics and on the mechanical behavior of composite materials.
Achenbach is the founding editor-in-chief of Wave Motion. He was editor in chief from the journal's establishment in 1979, until 2012.