Professor Frederick Alexander Leckie

Posted by pt91 at Jul 10, 2013 03:24 PM |

We have learned, with great regret, of the death of Professor Frederick Alexander Leckie on 14 June 2013. Professor Leckie was professor of engineering at the University from 1968 to 1978 and received an Honorary DSc from the University of Leicester in 1999.

Fred Leckie, who recently died in New York, was a leading academic mechanical engineer who made important contributions to methods of structural design against material degeneration and failure. In the 1960s and ‘70s, first in Cambridge and later at Leicester, he and his colleagues developed many of the concepts and methods now embedded in design methods and life assessment methods for metallic structures at high temperature in use today.

Fred was the youngest member of a large working family in Dundee. He graduated from University College Dundee with the engineering medal in 1949. Following a period in consultancy in London he did military service in the RAF where he was the OCTU Sword of Honour winner. His academic career began with the award of a Commonwealth Scholarship to study for a PhD at Stanford University, California. Here he worked with Flugger on thin shell theory. Following a period at Munich Technische Hochschule in Germany he lectured in mechanical sciences at Cambridge University for 10 years where he was a Fellow of Pembroke College. From 1968 to 1978 he was the professor of engineering at the University of Leicester. Here he established the Mechanics of Materials Group, which he continued to support in subsequent years. This group has remained a leading component of the Department to this day.

He then moved back to the US and was a professor of mechanical engineering and head of the department of theoretical and applied mechanics at Illinois University in Urbana-Champaign and then from 1988 to 2005 as chairman of the department of mechanical engineering at California University.

His public service was with the U.S. and UK Departments of Energy, the UK Nuclear Inspectorate, the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Euratom, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, among others. His publishing career over 50 years included more than 150 journal articles and several books, the most recent published in 2009.

Awards included an Honorary DSc from the University of Leicester, the Nadai Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineering and the Halliburton Award from the University of Illinois

Fred  Leckie is survived by his son Gavin and wife Elizabeth, his son Gregor and wife Sylvia, and grandchildren Hamish, Catriona, Mia, Isabel, Angus and Elspeth.

He was predeceased by his wife of 43 years Elizabeth (nee Wheelwright), who he met at Stanford, and son Sean.

Emeritus Professor Alan Ponter

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