Obituary – John P. Wolf, 1938-2019

With profound sadness we announce that Dr John P. Wolf passed away, after a short illness, on Sunday 8th December 2019, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

John completed his first engineering degree at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), followed by a MS at MIT and a PhD at ETHZ .
He started his professional career as the leader of the software development team of STRIP STEP, a pioneering software package for structural analysis of civil structures, in the late sixties. He then became Head of the team for Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology at Elektrowatt AG Zurich, and later Vice President. In 1987 he joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) as researcher and Senior Lecturer. From then on and until his retirement John pursued his research on dynamic soil-structure interaction, supervised several PhD theses, lectured at EPFL and ETHZ, and gave conferences throughout the world.

John is renowned worldwide for his research, publications and books on dynamic soil-structure interaction, including:

– Dynamic Soil-Structure Interaction (Prentice-Hall International Series in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics) by John P. Wolf, 1985
– Soil-Structure-Interaction Analysis in Time Domain (Prentice Hall international series in civil engineering and engineering mechanics) by John P. Wolf, 1988
– Foundation Vibration Analysis Using Simple Physical Models by John P. Wolf, 1994
– Finite-Element Modelling of Unbounded Media by John P. Wolf and Chongmin Song, 1996
– The Scaled Boundary Finite Element Method by John P. Wolf, 2003
– Foundation Vibration Analysis: A Strength of Materials Approach by John P Wolf and Andrew J. Deeks, 2004

Whilst we at Zace Ltd grieve the loss of a dear friend and a colleague whose advice has often been influential, we know that his earnest desire was for his work to continue to find application in science and practice, and we know it will.

John is survived by his wife, Magda, his daughter Natalie and son Alain, and two grandchildren.
Th.Zimmermann, Lausanne, Jan.2020