Vladimir Shukhov (28/8/1853- 2/2/1939) : A forgotten giant.
Vladimir Grigoryevich Shukhov was a Russian engineer-polymath, scientist and architect renowned for his pioneering works on new methods of analysis for structural engineering that led to breakthroughs in industrial design of world’s first hyperboloid structures, lattice shell structures, tensile structures, gridshell structures, oil reservoirs, pipelines, boilers, ships and barges.
In 1876 Shukhov graduated from the Moscow Technical school with distinction and a Gold Medal. Shukhov went to Philadelphia, to work on the Russian pavilion at the World’s Fair and to study the inner workings of the American industry.
On his return to Russia in 1877, Shukhov decided to assume the office of Chief Engineer in a new company specializing in innovative engineering. Shukhov worked with Bari at this company until the October Revolution. Their works revolutionized many areas of civil engineering, ship engineering, and oil industry. The thermal cracking method, the Shukhov cracking process, was patented by Vladimir Shukhov in 1891.
Besides the innovations he brought to the oil industry and the construction of numerous bridges and buildings, Shukhov was the inventor of a new family of doubly-curved structural forms. These forms, based on non-Euclidean hyperbolic geometry, are known today as hyperboloids.
Shukhov developed not only many varieties of light-weight hyperboloid towers and roof systems, but also the mathematics for their analysis. Shukhov is particularly reputed for his original designs of hyperboloid towers such as the Shukhov Tower. The tower was saved from deconstruction in 2014, after a concerted campaign calling for the preservation of the tower.
About the Author:
Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.