Professor David A. Pecknold retired in 2002 after 32 years on the department faculty. His career included teaching, consulting and both university and industrial research experience in structural mechanics and dynamics, development of material models and computer simulation techniques.
Pecknold came to Illinois after earning his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1965. He earned a master's and doctorate from the department in 1966 and 1968, then accepted a position as a mechanical engineer with Shell Development Company in Houston, Texas. He returned to the department in 1970 as an assistant professor and was promoted to professor in 1979. He served as associate head from 1991 to 1996. He also served on the College Executive Committee, the Educational Policy Committee of the Faculty Senate, and the Campus Research Board.
Pecknold served as a consultant on many projects involving subway and railway tunnels, excavations, underground piping systems and aspects of nonlinear structural analysis.
His work in computer modeling, in collaboration with other CEE faculty, has led to the issue of two patents related to the determination of the properties of materials by testing the structural systems of which they are a part.
A paper he published in 1977 with University of Kansas Professor David Darwin, "Nonlinear Biaxial Stress-Strain Law for Concrete," which appeared in the Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers, was considered seminal.
Dr. Pecknold's areas of research included methodsof numerical analysis of plate and shell structures; nonlinear material behavior laws for reinforced concrete; inelastic seismic response of structures; mechanics and failure analysis of high performance composites; and dynamic and impact loading.