Legacy of Action:
Dr. Clyde E. Work
Emeritus of Engineering Mechanics
Dr. Work began his education at Stirling College in Kansas, transferring to South Eastern Missouri State College. He moved on to the University of Illinois where he received his B.S. degree in Physics in 1945, an M.S. in 1948 and a Ph.D. in 1962 in the field of theoretical and applied mechanics.
Dr. Work taught for four years at the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy New York. In August 1957 he came to Michigan Tech and started the Engineering Mechanics Department.
His research has included the study of accumulation of damage when materials are subjected to repeated stress, presenting his research at the American Society for Testing materials. He was chairman of the Papers and Proceedings Committee of the Society for Experimental Stress Analysis. He served as chairman of the North Midwest Section of the American Society for Engineering Education. He earned the Charles B. Dudley Medal in 1954 for meritorious research in materials. His published work includes ‘Problems for Employing Faculty Members in Industry” which he compiled for the Relations with Industry Committee for the ASEE.
He served as associate dean of engineering at Michigan Tech.
He was honored by the University of Illorin Nigeria for his contributions in helping to establish the engineering curriculum at the African university. On the occasion of the 7th Foundation Day ceremony, to which Dr. Work was invited, Vice Chancellor of Illorin University S. Afolabi Toye said, "To do justice to the mentioned achievements of the faculty, we must remember and praise the founding fathers of the engineering discipline in this university. Associated with such efforts is Professor C.E. Work a Foundation professor who worked tirelessly and with uncommonly radiant intellectualism as a pioneer and who is here as a very special guest of the university. I am happy to note that Professor Work belongs to that rare breed of expatriates whose beneficial influence on our society continues to be felt long after they have discharged the services for which they were originally appointed. Professor Work served the university for one year as a visiting professor during the 1978-79 session when the faculty was established. Apart from the excellent testimony to his distinguished scholarship then, he later launched a vigorous appeal for donation of books and periodicals to the University of Ilorin library among the faculty members of the College of Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Consequently, the Unilorin Library received, between 1981 and now, donations of 925 titles of very valuable books and periodicals in the field of engineering and technology. The university librarian recently indicated that another big consignment of important books and periodicals is being sent as a donations through professor Works’ efforts."
Professor Work also had a one year assignment in India with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (UNESCO). He helped develop a two year graduate program in engineering materials at the Naulana Azad College of Technology in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. The emphasis on the curriculum was on design and production of heavy engineering equipment.
In 1984 he was selected for the Distinguished Educator Award by the mechanics division of the American Society of Engineering Education. The award is given to outstanding and distinguished contributions to engineering mechanics education. He was cited for his leadership and service to the engineering profession on both the national and international scale during a career marked by " innovation, excellence, boundless energy and unselfish caring." The ASEE noted that Dr. Work was known for "integrating his extensive professional pursuits with a sincere sensitivity for the social and spiritual concerns of his students and colleagues and he has been an inspiration to all those with whom he has been associated."
Certainly much more can be added to his accomplishments over the years of service. Alumni are invited to add their stories, quips or quotes.