AEM Department Mourns the Passing of Faculty Emeritus William H. Warner
Professor Emeritus William H. Warner passed away on December 27, 2015 after a brief illness. Dr. Warner came to the University of Minnesota as an assistant professor in 1955 in the Department of Mechanics and Materials, which a few years later merged with Aeronautical Engineering. He served as a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics from 1968 to 1995.
William H. Warner was born and grew up in Pittsburgh, where he graduated from Peabody High School at age 16. He then spent two years at Haverford College before transferring to the Carnegie Institute of Technology, eventually earning three degrees in mathematics: B.S. in 1950, M.S. in 1951, and Ph.D. in 1953. He had a two-year post-doctoral position at Brown University prior to coming to the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Warner contributed significantly to the reputation of the University through his outstanding research in many branches of mechanics, including static and dynamic elastic stability, plasticity, viscoelasticity, and optimal structural design. He was a member of the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He played a significant role in the education of several generations of mechanicians. Fourteen students wrote Ph.D. theses under his direction. Five became faculty members elsewhere, three became senior program managers at IBM, and several worked at leading industrial and governmental research laboratories. More than thirty other students received M.S. degrees under his guidance. Throughout his career, Dr. Warner was a tireless university citizen serving on numerous department, college, and university committees. His service to the department included lengthy appointments as the Director of Graduate Studies and the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Dr. Warner was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable devotee of Gilbert and Sullivan, and Bach and Beethoven in a more serious vein. He was a life-long philatelist, and a part-time collector of bad puns. Dr. Warner was an avid reader with a broad spectrum of literary tastes. He claimed that he was probably the only person to have read the whole of Dante's Divine Comedy on MTC bus trips between downtown Minneapolis and the University. He and his wife enjoyed travel. His obituary can be seen here.
The AEM Department will be planning a Memorial Service for Dr. Warner in late March or early April. More details will be posted to the AEM web site as they are available.