Heinrich Hencky

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Heinrich Hencky (born November 2, 1885 in Ansbach ; † July 6, 1951 ) was a German engineer.


Hencky studied from 1912 to 1913 at the Technical University in Darmstadt and received his doctorate there. In 1913 Hencky went to a railway company in Kharkov ( Ukraine ) and after the beginning of World War I was interned by the Russians as an enemy alien in a camp in the Urals . In 1918, when he was interned, Hencky married a Russian woman.

At the Technical University of Dresden he completed his habilitation with a habilitation thesis on the stability of elastic plates. In 1922 there followed a short period as a lecturer at the Technical University of Delft . He stayed in Delft until 1929 . In 1923 he published his most famous work “About some statically determined cases of equilibrium in plastic bodies”.

He was professor of mechanics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1930 to 1932 , where his theoretical approach to mechanics was little sought after at the time.

Hencky returned to the Soviet Union in 1936 on the recommendation of Boris Galjorkin . He came to the Chemical Institute in Kharkov, and then to Moscow University to the Institute of Ilyushin . In 1938 Hencky was expelled to the Greater German Reich. The Nazis did not trust Hencky because of his many stays abroad. With the support of his brother, Hencky was able to find accommodation at MAN near Mainz and stayed there until the end of his life. Hencky died on July 6, 1951 while mountain climbing.

Hencky is now regarded as a pioneer of continuum mechanics and rheology , especially of plasticity theory .


  • The state of stress in rectangular plates . With 12 illustrations in the text and 7 plates. Munich and Berlin, R. Oldenbourg, 1913
  • About some statically determined cases of equilibrium in plastic bodies , Z. Angew. Math. Mech, 1923
  • About the form of the law of elasticity in ideally elastic substances , Zeitschrift für Technische Physik, 9, 215–220 (1928)
  • On the theory of plastic deformation and the resulting post-tensioning in the material , Z. Angew. Math. Mech., Volume 4, 1924, p. 323.

Web links


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Roger and Elizabeth Tanner Heinrich Hencky a rheological pioneer , Rheologica Acta, Volume 42, 2003, p. 93.