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MEMS SEMINAR: David Peters, “The Lateral Buckling of Cantilever Beams — An Historical Perspective”

Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering Spring Seminar Series with Professor David Peters, McDonnell Douglas Professor of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, will speak on "The Lateral Buckling […]

Mar 20

March 20, 2024

12:00 pm - 12:00 pm

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  • Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano Auditorium Side A, room 1464

Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering Spring Seminar Series with Professor David Peters, McDonnell Douglas Professor of Engineering at
Washington University in St. Louis, will speak on “The Lateral Buckling of Cantilever Beams – An Historical Perspective”
ABSTRACT: This is a story of how, for a period spanning over 80 years, the theory of lateral buckling was plagued with mistakes, filled with intrigue, and capped with denial. It is a saga of flawed derivations, and a tragedy of proliferation of errors; but it is also an exciting account of how the anomalies were finally discovered and corrected (yielding equations simpler than the original, incorrect ones). It is a drama of how some researchers at first denied the truth, but later came to repentance and forgiveness; and, finally, it is an account of how lasting friendships were initiated. The list of players includes many icons of Applied Mechanics, including: Prandtl, H. Reissner, Timoshenko, Goodier, and E. Reissner. And, yes, the speaker was also intimately involved in the saga. Although the story spans 1899 – 1979 and, although it came to closure over 40 years ago, the lessons learned are as important to the modern researcher as they were to those of us who experienced this true tale.
BIO: PROFESSOR DAVID PETERS first joined the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) in 1975. Prior to that, he was an associate engineer at McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co. in St. Louis from 1969-1970 and a research scientist in the Army Air Mobility R&D Laboratory from 1970-1975.
Professor Peters left WashU to join the faculty of Georgia Tech in 1985 but returned in 1991. Professor Peters served as the Chair of the WashU Department of Mechanical Engineering from 1982-1985 and from 1997-2007. Currently, he is the Associate Director of Georgia Tech/Washington University in St. Louis Center of Excellence for Rotor Technology. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgia Tech.
Peters’s research projects in rotor wake modeling seek to correctly model the dynamic motions that profoundly influence vehicle dynamics of airplane propellers, helicopters and tilt rotors. Other research interests include aeroelastic modeling of helicopter rotors and wind turbines with unsteady aerodynamics and nonlinear structural deformations and response to stalling.