Five decades of structural synthesis: some reflections from a discipline of Schmit

Garret Vanderplaats

Vanderplaats Research & Development


The purpose here is to offer a brief overview of the structural synthesis field and related developments since its inception 50 years ago. I will include three general areas which will be intermixed.

First is a review of Professor Lucien Schmit’s career.

Second is a general overview of the development of the technology.

This is not a review of the many technical contributions already reported in a multitude of references. Instead, I will focus on a more general picture of the development and include some stories not well known. Third is a more personal discussion of my career as it has been influenced by Schmit.

It is a tribute to Lucien Schmit that his single paper, never published in a refereed journal, generated thousands of technical papers and hundreds of professional jobs and has now matured to the point where practical applications are routine, just at the time when the world is recognizing the importance of conserving resources.

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