Jean Résal (22 October 1854– 14 November 1919) was a French civil engineer. He was a Professor of mechanical engineering at the École polytechnique, and designed several steel bridges in France, especially bridges above the Seine in Paris.
The career of the brilliant student of the École des Ponts ParisTech was always an upward ladder: service in the Roads and Bridges Department at the Loire-Atlantique Département and thereafter in the shipping authority in Paris.
Résal concentrated on the theory and practice of steel bridges from a very early stage. He had a profound influence on steel bridges at the transition from the discipline-formation to the consolidation period of theory of structures. He will demonstrate the inadequacy of the notion of yield strength in design calculations.
The bold steel arches of the Pont Général-de-la-Motte-Rouge (1885) in Nantes, Pont Mirabeau (1896) in Paris, Pont de l’Université in Lyon (1899), Pont Alexandre III (1900) and Pont Notre-Dame (1914) in Paris set standards for steel bridges. All those bridges could only be built as a result of Résal’s research into elasticity and the strength of structural steels, work that he summarized in a monograph.
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