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Hudson, Donald E. (Mechanical Engineer)



  • Existence: 1916 - 1999


Background: Caltech Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, 1943-1981 (Emeritus 1981); Caltech alumnus (BS, 1938; MS, 1939; PhD, 1942).


Description: A native of Michigan, Donald Hudson moved to Pasadena as a young child. He was educated at local schools and entered Caltech as a junior. He stayed on at Caltech for master's and doctor's degrees. During World War II he participated in the Caltech rocket project, working under Frederick Lindvall on the development and testing of torpedoes. After the war he was appointed to a professorial position at Caltech in mechanical engineering. He subsequently developed an interest in earthquake engineering, and with Caltech colleague George Housner, became one of the leaders in this new field. Hudson spent time in India at the University of Roorkee setting up a graduate program in earthquake engineering there. He later became involved in the international organization of earthquake engineering. After his retirement from Caltech, he taught in the civil engineering department at the University of Southern California for four years.


Collection Notes: Oral history 1997. A 77-page interview with Shirley Cohen covers Hudson's career at Caltech and the development and practice of earthquake engineering as a discipline. Hudson includes reminiscences of many Caltech colleagues, including R. A. Millikan, T. von Karman, F. Lindvall, R. Knapp, B. Gutenberg, M. Biot, G. Housner and E. Simmons. Also discussed is Hudson's work in India with the University of Roorkee, as well as his consulting locally and in foreign countries.

Found in 5 Collections and/or Records:

Donald Hudson Oral History Interview with Shirley Cohen [sound recording], 1997-11-12 - 1997-12-17

Scope and Contents Interview in 1997 with Donald Ellis Hudson, professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, emeritus, and a pioneer in the field of earthquake engineering. Hudson received his BS (1938), master's (1939), and PhD (1942, mechanical engineering) from Caltech and then joined the faculty of its Division of Engineering and Applied Science. After retiring from Caltech in 1981 with emeritus status, he moved to the USC School of Engineering, where he chaired the Department of Civil...
Dates: 1997-11-12 - 1997-12-17

Hudson Photographs

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 2008-00055

Additional filters:

Archival Object 3
Unprocessed Material 2
Engineering 3
Historical File 1
Hydraulics 1
Photo Archive 1