Vol.2, No 9, 1999 pp. 1018-1020
Vojnotehnički institut VJ, Katanićeva
15, 11000 Beograd
Professor Mladen Berković was born
in 1936. He graduated from the Aeronautics Department of the Faculty of
Mechanical Engineering in Belgrade in 1961. He obtained his MSc degree
from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Department of Mechanics.
He defended his doctoral thesis entitled "Membrane Finite Elements" at
the same faculty in 1978.
After graduating, he was employed at the
Aeronautical Institute (AI) in Žarkovo, in the former Department for Strength.
Aeroelasticity and vibrations were in his charge from 1966. He was elected
the Head of the Section for Aeroelasticity and Vibrations in 1969, the
Head of the Department for Structural Mechanics in 1975 and the Head of
the Department for the Structure Strength Analysis, Aeroelasticity and
Loads in 1979. From 1985 to the year when he left the Aeronautical Institute,
1987, the Department for the Information System of the Aeronautical Institute
was in his charge. He was also Secretary and Vice President of the AI Science
Council in the period from 1978 to 1987.
His university career began in 1979 at
the Institute for Mechanics, Faculty of Mathematics, Belgrade, where he
gave lectures on the Theory of Elasticity, Thermoelasticity and the Application
of Computers in Mechanics, first as a part-time assistant professor, then
as a part-time associate professor.
He was elected a full-time associate professor
in 1987 for the courses of Application of Computers in Mechanics and Testing
of Material Mechanical Properties and in 1992 he held a rank of a full
professor for the same courses (with only their names changed into Computing
Methods in Mechanics and Mechanical Properties of Materials).
His inclination towards both professional
and teaching career was showed at his last year of study when he was chosen
for a demonstrator at the course of Mechanical Elements and when he entered
the competition, in 1960 while preparing his final examination, for the
construction of a standard glider. The Yugoslav Aeronautical Association
accepted his preliminary project, the prototype was made in 1964 and later
the mass production was the largest of the kind in Yugoslavia. In the realization
of this project he encountered many problems he would be absorbed with
in his future work — matrix methods in the Theory of Constructions (called
later the Element Method) and Mechanics of Materials in particular.
During his work at the Aeronautical Institute
he organized activities concerning aeroelasticity, integrity of aircraft
structures and computer technology in these related fields. The special
emphasis should be put on his contribution to the forming of the Laboratory
for Vibration Testing, the AI Computer Center in the 1970s and the project
with the realization of the scientific and technical information system
for the AI as well as for Yugoslav aircraft industry in the l980s. When
scientific and research cooperation of the AI with English, French and
Romanian related institutions and industries was concerned, he was either
a team member or a team leader, spending some time in these countries working
on joint projects. He was also a member of the Federal Ministry of Defence
Commission for technical support in forming syllabus and choosing teaching
staff for the Aeronautical Academy in Missurati (Libya).
However, the structural analysis software
package based on the finite element method, as a result of team work of
Professor Berković and his associates, should be pointed out as the most
important result of his professional and scientific work in the period
from 1961 to 1987. The education version of this software was used for
students' practice during the course of Computational Methods in Mechanics
as well as for a basis of many final examinations and master theses.
Most of almost 100 scientific and over
30 technical bibliographic units written by Professor Berković were related
to theoretical bases and results of this software application in the field
to wich he dedicated 35 years of his work ? computational methods in the
Mechanics of Continua, mostly solids. Most of these papers, as well as
his master thesis and doctoral dissertation, aimed at formulating Solid
Mechanics problem in a way suitable for numerical solving. However, in
his papers theoretical and experimental problems of Mechanics of Materials
are related to the problems of computer systems necessary for the treatment
of resulting mathematical models. Important results of these papers are
some new formulations in the finite element method which enable more efficient
numerical solutions in the fields of the plane problem, the shell theory
and the coupled thermomechanical problem. It should be pointed out that
some of these papers ? belonging to the pioneer works in the fields
of finite elements of thin isoparametric shells, numerical solution of
the coupled thermomechanical problem and application of the generalized
inversion to the problems in the finite element method ? left the trace
in the development of the Computational Mechanics through quotations in
eminent publications, including reviews of extra-categories.
Professor Berković took part in scientific
projects of the Republic Association for Science and the Republic Fund
for Science of Serbia ("Mechanics with its Applications", l981-1985 and
l986-1990). In the project "Contemporary Problems of Mechanics" (1991-1995)
he was a member of the Project Council and the head of the theme "Computational
Mechanics". He contributed considerably by managing the Seminar on Rheology
at the Mathematical Faculty from 1988. Moreever, he wrote reviews for a
number of scientific and research projects from the competence of the Republic
Fund for Technological Development and the Federal Ministry of Defence.
As a chairman or a member of organizing
or scientific committee he participated in the organization of many relevant
Yugoslav and international meetings (let us mention only a few of them
? 1st Yugoslav Symposium on the Finite Element Method in Vrnjačka Banja,
1975; International Seminar on New Developments in the Finite Element Method
in Portorož, 1979; Conference on Hardware and Software in the Structural
Analysis and Computer Aided Design in Belgrade, 1980; several congresses
on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, etc.).
Many years of teaching at the undergraduate
studies at the Mathematical Faculty, where he was leading students successfully
into important and relatively new fields of the Computational Mechanics
and the Mechanics of Materials, resulted into his significant contribution
to the postgraduate studies at the Department of Mechanics where he held
the course on the Computational Mechanics as well as some other special
courses. He also teaches the Computational Mechanics to postgraduate students
at the Centre for Multidisciplinar Studies and the Mechanics of Materials
at the postgraduate studies of the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy.
At one time he received a written invitation of the Teesside Polytechnic,
England, to give lectures on the Finite Element Method and Numerical Analysis
to postgraduate students at the Department of Applied Mathematics, during
1981-82, but he was not able to accept it because of his obligations towards
Professor Berković was an adviser of numerous
diploma pieces, magister theses and doctoral dissertations. Furthermore,
he was a member of many commissions for evaluation and defence of magister
theses and doctoral dissertations at the Mathematical, Technology and Metallurgy
and Civil Engineering Faculties in Belgrade, as well as at the Faculties
of Mechanical Engineering in Belgrade, Kragujevac and Mostar.
Finally, on this occasion of the 60th
birthday of Professor Mladen Berković and the 35th anniversary of his scientific,
research and teaching work, let me, the undersigned ? who had the honour
to be one of his associates from 1976 and not only once a witness of his
readiness to offer wholehearted and precious professional support, generous
aid and unassuming encouragement to younger associates ? wish respected
and dear Professor good health, personal happiness and many more years
of fruitful work.
3rd April 1996