COMPUTATIONAL CIVIL ENGINEERING

May 30th-31st 2019, Iasi, Romania

ANTON ŞESAN
School initiator
1916 - 1969



Prof. SesanProfessor Anton ŞESAN was born on December 26th 1916, in Hotin County, in a highly regarded family of scholars. He graduated from the High School of Rădăuţi and later on from the Polytechnic School of Bucharest.

Professor ŞESAN receives his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1940. Being a highly skilled engineer he soon becomes the lead engineer for several construction sights bringing his contribution to the construction of many industrial and civil buildings, bridges, water-works, a.s.o.

Receiving a strong theoretical education combined with the practical applications and his dedication to the research, Professor ŞESAN’s career turns to academia. In 1943 he joins The “Gheorghe Asachi” Polytechnic Institute of Iaşi as an assistant professor for Strength of Materials. Two years later, in 1945, he becomes an Associate Professor and starts teaching Civil Constructions. In 1948 he becomes a tutor for Structural Statics and three years later a full professor in Structural Statics.

During his 26 years in the academia Professor ŞESAN also taught classes on Structural Dynamics, Plastic Analysis of Structures and Earthquake Engineering.

He was the head of the Structural Statics and Strength of Materials Department, vice-dean, vice-rector and supervised many doctoral students.

In parallel to his academic life Prof. Anton ŞESAN collaborated with many design offices and research institutes, being also nominated the head of the National Research Institute in Civil Engineering (INCERC) from 1957.

Professor ŞESAN dies at the age of 53.

Paying homage to the “dedicated teacher and scientist” who was Professor Anton ŞESAN, 50 years after his passing away, is a good opportunity to remember, in hindsight, his well-rounded and complex personality.

Professor Anton ŞESAN was a full professor of Statics, Dynamics and Stability of Structures, topics that he continuously updated and developed. His lectures were always brought to date with the latest information in the field, both scientifically and practically. His teaching method was based on getting the students involved in the teaching process through continuous dialogue, trying to shape their minds into logical and engineering thinking of all underlying phenomena of the behavior of civil engineering structures. His lectures were also attended by his younger colleagues who were always eager to learn from his wide experience as a researcher and practitioner.

Professor ŞESAN started to promote the use of automated calculus by means of mathematical algorithms applied to structural elements and systems from the early 50s. It was during that time that attempts were made to build computers based on indigenous Romanian design concepts by scientists from different research institutes in Romania.

Professor Anton ŞESAN proposes and defines the notion of “factorial moments” based on which generally valid equations between bending functions were developed. The “factorial moments” concept was also successfully used for accurately assess the influence of the shear force on deformations and for the calculation of displacements in the post-elastic range.

He also brought his contribution in terms of design methods applied to structures by setting the ground for the “Active Moments Method”, a variant of Displacement Method. The advantages of the proposed method consist of working with non-balanced moments at the nodes of a structure or kinematic system, the use of primary systems with reduced number of constraints leading to a simplification of the generalized mathematical model that could be applied to any structural topology. The proposed method also contributed to the improvement of the known iterative calculation approaches.

Professor ŞESAN also contributed to the static calculus of structures in the post-elastic domain by demonstrating the uniqueness of the mathematical solution of “minimum work principle” applied to all cases of static equilibrium (mechanical, elastic and plastic). Moreover, he proposes a generalized method for plastic moment distribution, in terms of work quantities, valid for any given structural topology.

Perhaps the most important contribution of Professor Anton ŞESAN to the field of civil engineering was related to the seismic protection of structures. Taking into account the catastrophic aftermath of the 1940 earthquake and being aware of the occurrence of other significant seismic events, either in Romania or around the world, Professor ŞESAN was among the first in Romania to make a priority from the study of the behavior of civil engineering structures to seismic events. He paid special attention to the probabilistic methods for assessing the safety of structures and realized that improving the accuracy of the Limit State Design Method could only be achieved by investigating, experimentally and theoretically, the behavior of structures in the post-elastic domain.

Together with a group of professors from The Faculty of Civil Engineering and researchers from INCERC, Professor ŞESAN designed and built a set of three shake tables (600 kN, 150 kN and 50 kN payloads) that were used to determine the response of full-scale and scaled-down models of structures to various seismic actions.

Professor Anton ŞESAN authored over 140 scientific papers.