Department of

Civil and Environmental Engineering



Kavanagh Lecture - Biographical Sketch

The Inaugural Thomas C. Kavanagh Memorial Structural Engineering Lecture

April 7, 1993

7:30 pm

Applied Research Laboratory Auditorium

Fatigue Cracking in Steel Bridges and Techniques for Retrofitting


Dr. John W. Fisher
Joseph T. Stuart Professor of Civil Engineering
Director, NSF Engineering Research Center: Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS)
Lehigh University


Dr. John W. Fisher has been Professor of Civil Engineering at Lehigh University since 1969. He was named to the Joseph T. Stuart Chair in Civil Engineering at Lehigh in July 1988.

Dr. Fisher has been Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center on Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) since its establishment in May 1986. The Center acts as the national focal point for scientific research and as an agent for innovative change needed to advance technological developments that will dominate large structural systems in the construction industry in the 21st Century.

In 1956 Dr. Fisher received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Washington University, which also presented him with its 1987 Engineering Alumni Achievement Award. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Lehigh University in 1958 and 1964, respectively. In 1988 he received an honorary doctorate degree from the Swiss Federal Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland.

A structural engineer, Dr. Fisher is a specialist in structural connections; the fatigue and fracture resistance of riveted, bolted, and welded structures; and the behavior and design of composite steel-concrete members.

He has authored Fatigue and Fracture in Steel Bridges: Case Studies, published in 1984; the 1st and 2nd edition of Guide to Design Criteria for Bolted and Riveted Joints, published in 1974 and 1987, respectively; and over 180 contributions to various scientific and engineering journals.

In 1986 Dr. Fisher was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He received the prestigious Construction-Man-of-the-Year Award from ENR in 1987, the first member of the academic community to receive this award. In 1989 he was elected an Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a Corresponding Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering sciences. He was named Engineer of the Year in Research by the Institute of Bridge Integrity and Safety in 1989. He was Presented the Frank P. Brown Medal by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in 1992 for his contributions to the field of structural engineering.