Ray William Clough "une des legends of earthquake engineering” avec 12 autres ingénieurs dont les derniers: George W. Housner (1910-2008), Nathan M. Newmark (1910-1981), Joseph Penzien (1924-2011) et H. Bolton Seed (1922-1989), est né le 23 juillet 1920 à Seattle et décédé le 8 octobre 2016.


  • BS Washington 1942
  • PhD MIT 1949

Carrière académique et distinctions

  • Professeur de génie Civil à Berkeley depuis 1950
  • Co auteur du programme SAP2000
  • George W. Housner Medal from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
  • Médaille Prince Philip de la Royal Academy of Engineering in London.
  • Benjamin Franklin Medal 2006
  • NAE 1968
  • NAS 1979
  • National medal of Science 1994
  • Académie Norvège
  • Académie de Chine
  • Honoris causa Goteborg, Trondheim


  • Stiffness and Deflection Analysis of Complex Structures – (M. Jonathan Turner, Ray William Clough, Harold C. Martin, LeRoy C. Topp) Journal of the Aeronautical Sciences, 23 :805-882, (1956)
  • The finite element method in plane stress analysis – (Ray William Clough) Proceedings, 2nd Conference on Electronic Computation, A.S.C.E. Structural Division, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (1960)
  • Cours IPSI: Dynamique des structures avec E.L. Wilson et G.C. Hart (1975)
  • Cours IPSI: Dynamique des structures (Théorie avancée) avec G.C. Hart et J. Penzien (1977)
  • Cours IPSI: Les Eléments Finis - Formulations et méthodes numériques en calcul statique et dynamique linéaire et non linéaire avec K.J. Bathe et E.L. Wilson (1978)
  • Cours IPSI: Dynamique des structures - Principes fondamentaux et méthodes numériques avec E.L. Wilson et G.C. Hart (1980)
  • Original formulation of the finite element method Finite Element Analysis and Design 7 ;89-101 (1990)
  • Early Finite Element Research at Berkeley 5e National Conference on Computational Mechanics (1999)


  • 1975 : Dynamics of Structures, (Joseph Penzien, Ray William Clough) (McGraw Hill) - traduit en français sous le titre Dynamique des structures, Tome 1: Principes fondamentaux par Jean-Louis Claudon (Ed. Pluralis, 1980). Il reprend les trois premières parties de l'ouvrage original.

Quelques liens pour en savoir plus

Et pour méditer, voici le dernier § du papier de 1990

However, during the past several years I have noticed an even more troublesome tendency among many engineers: to accept as gospel the stress values produced by a finite element computer program--without realizing the limitations of the approximation procedure being applied. Clearly, the assumption of specified strain patterns used in formulating the element stiffness makes it impossible for stress equilibrium to be satisfied locally at arbitrary points within the elements. Equilibrium actually is considered only at the nodal points of the assemblage, and even at those points it is satisfied only in an integrated virtual work sense. Therefore, the engineers who make use of a finite element analysis must apply good engineering judgment in interpreting the results of the analysis, based on a thorough knowledge of the finite element stiffness formulation.

Hommages :

  • Université de Berkeley

Ray was a great guy and a humble man, yet he was tremendously accomplished,

He provided the basis for many of the popular commercial computer programs, such as ETABS and SAP 2000

Ray Clough was an outstanding scholar and great person in our scientific community. Most people will remember him as one of the great pioneers of the Finite Element Method, as the man who coined the name of this powerful method. However it would not do justice to him if we would not equally acknowledge his distinguished achievements in the development and application of earthquake engineering.