The International Centre for Mechanical Sciences announces with the deepest sorrow that Professor Bruno A. Boley passed away in Providence RI on February 11, 2017.
He was born in Gorizia (Italy) in 1924, and his family name Bolaffio was changed into Boley when, in 1939, his family migrated to the United States because of the anti-Semitic laws promulgated by Fascist Italy. In the United States he was admitted to City College of New York in 1940, where he received a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1943. Three years later, he obtained a Sc.D. in Aeronautical Engineering at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn where, upon graduation, he was appointed assistant professor of aeronautical engineering. In 1948, he joined the Goodyear Aircraft Company in Akron, Ohio, returning to Academia in 1950, as an associate professor in aeronautical engineering at Ohio State University in Columbus. From 1952 to 1968, “his most productive years” according to Bruno’s own definition, he was Professor of Civil Engineering at Columbia University. In 1968 he was appointed Professor of Engineering and chairman of the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at Cornell University. In 1972 he joined the Technological Institute at Northwestern University, where he served as Dean until 1986, and then as Dean Emeritus before returning, in 1988, to a professorship at his former department at Columbia. He was internationally recognized for his many seminal contributions to the field of mechanics and, perhaps more importantly, for his good nature and generosity. Among his many achievements and honors, are the classic text (with Jerome Weiner) “Theory of Thermal Stresses”, the Worcester Reed Warner Medal in 1991 (from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers), and the election to the US National Academy of Engineering in 1975. For his whole lifetime he maintained strong personal and scientific ties in Italy. He was a visiting professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Milan, Italy (1964–1965), and his two children (Daniel and Jaqueline) attended secondary school in Milan. During Summer Holidays, Bruno’s family often visited the beach resort of Grado (in the Province of Gorizia, where Bruno had started from). For ten years he was a member of the Scientific Council of CISM. In 1974, as Editor-in-Chief, he started the publication of the Mechanics Research Communications, a well-known international journal that was and still is sponsored by CISM.