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Table of Contents


AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects




Archival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

R. S. Rivlin



May 6, 1915 – October 4, 2015

Authorized Form of Name

Rivlin, R. S. (Ronald Samuel), 1915-2005

Additional Forms of Names

Rivlin, Ronald S.



Dr. Ronald Rivlin graduated with a BA in mathematics and physics and ScD from St. John's College at the University of Cambridge. He studied many topics throughout his life from elasticity and stability to non-Newtonian fluids and electromagnetism. His research helped found a new branch of theoretical physics called "nonlinear continuum mechanics."

Important Dates

May 6, 1915Birth, London (England).

1937Obtained BA in Mathematics and Physics, St. John's College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (England).

1937 – 1942Research Scientist, General Electric (GE) Company, Coventry (England).

1942 – 1944Scientific Officer, Telecommunications Research Establishment.

1944 – 1953Physicist (1944-1947); Senior Physicist (1947-1950); and Superintendent of Research (1950-1953), British Rubber Producers Research Association, Welwyn Garden City (England).

1952Obtained ScD, St John's College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (England).

1952Immigrated to the United States.

1953 – 1967Professor of Applied Mathematics (1953-1963); Chairman, Division of Applied Mathematics (1958-1963); and Professor of Applied Mathematics and Engineering Science, L. Herbert Ballou University Professor (1963-1967), Brown University, Providence (R.I.).

1958Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

1958Awarded the Bingham Medal, Society of Rheology.

1961 – 1962Guggenheim Fellow, University of Rome.

1963Co-hosted Fourth Annual International Congress on Rheology, Rhode Island.

1966 – 1967Professeur Associé, University of Paris.

1967 – 1990Professor of Mathematics and Mechanics, Centennial University Professor and Director, Center for the Application of Mathematics (1967-1980); Adjunct Professor (1980-1990); and University professor Emeritus (1980-1990), Lehigh University, Bethleham (Pa.).

1971 – 1975Vice President (1971-1973) and President (1973-1975), Society of Rheology.

1975Awarded the Panetti Prize and Medal, Academy of Science of Turin.

1977Russell Severance Springer Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley.

1980Doctor of Science hon. caus., National University of Ireland.

1980Doctor of Science hon. caus., University of Nottingham, England.

1981Honorary Member, Mexican Society of Rheology.

1981 – 1982Awarded the von Humboldt Senior Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

1982Doctor of Science hon. caus., Tulane University Foreign member, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

1984Doctor of Science hon. caus., University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

1984 – 1985Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin).

1985Member, National Academy of Engineering.

1985 – 1986Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Delaware.

1987Awarded the Timoshenko Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

1988Honorary Member, Royal Irish Academy.

1992Awarded the Charles Goodyear Medal, Rubber Division, American Chemical Society.

1993Awarded the Theodore von Karman Medal, American Society of Civil Engineers.

October 4, 2005Death, Palo Alto (Calif.).


Theoretical physicist and applied mathematician.



London (England)

Undergraduate Education

Cambridge (England)


Coventry (England)

Welwyn Garden City (England)

Providence (R.I.)

Bethleham (Pa.)

Graduate Education

Cambridge (England)


Palo Alto (Calif.)


Continuum mechanics.



Non-Newtonian fluids.





Rivlin, John


Rivlin, Violet


Advisors & Collaborators

Marvin, R. S.

Co-hosted the Fourth International Congress on Rheology.

Thomas, Alan

Advised by Rivlin at the British Rubber Producer's Research Association.

Truesdell, C. (Clifford), 1919-2000

Co-founded the Society for Natural Philosophy.


Treloar, L. R. G.

Both employed at General Electric Company.

Weissenberg, K. (Karl)

Both employed at the British Rubber Producers Research Association.


Major Positions

British Rubber Producers’ Research Association

Physicist; Senior Physicist; and Superintendent of Research.

Brown University. Department of Applied Mathematics

Professor of Applied Mathematics; Chairman, Division of Applied Mathematics; and Professor of Applied Mathematics and Engineering Science, L. Herbert Ballou University Professor.

General Electric Company

Research Scientist.

Lehigh University

Professor of Mathematics and Mechanics; Centennial University Professor; Director, Center for the Application of Mathematics; Adjunct Professor; and University Professor Emeritus.

Telecommunications Research Establishment (Great Britain)

Scientific Officer.

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Physics

Russell Severance Springer Visiting Professor.

University of Denver. Department of Physics

Distinguished Visiting Professor.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Accademia nazionale dei Lincei

Foreign member.

Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung

Recipient of the 1981-1982 von Humboldt Senior award.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences


American Chemical Society

Recipient of the 1992 Charles Goodyear Medal, Rubber Division.

American Society of Civil Engineers

Recipient of the 1993 Theodore von Karman Medal.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Recipient of the 1987 Timoshenko Medal.

Mexican Society of Rheology

Honorary Member.

National Academy of Engineering


National University of Ireland

Received Doctor of Science hon. caus.

Royal Irish Academy

Honorary Member.

Society of Rheology (U.S.)

Vice President and President. Awarded the 1958 Bingham Medal.

St. John's College (University of Cambridge)

Received BA in Mathematics and Physics (1937) and ScD (1952).

Tulane University. Department of Physics and Engineering Physics

Received Doctor of Science hon. caus.

Università di Roma

Guggenheim Fellow.

Université de Paris

Professeur Associé.

University of Nottingham

Received Doctor of Science hon. caus.

Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin



Archival Resources


Personal files of Hebrew University professors.

Central Archive.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

520 Mount Scopus Campus. The Hebrew University. Jerusalem, 91905

Ronald S. Rivlin papers, circa 1940-2005.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Published Resources


Collected Papers of R. S. Rivlin/ G. I. Barenblatt, D. D. Joseph, editors.


National Academies Memorial Tributes - Ronald Rivlin.