Photo of Daniel C. Drucker

Daniel C. Drucker

  • National Medal of Science
  • Engineering

For pioneering contributions to the development of the theory of plasticity and of limit design, for leadership in engineering education and in engineering societies promoting excellence, and for his influential advisory service to the Nation.

Engineer Daniel Drucker led a career so storied, he didn’t just receive medals — he had one named after him. While working at Brown University and the University of Illinois, Drucker studied plasticity, a material’s ability to change shape and regain its original form. Through his studies, the engineer developed the Drucker Stability Postulate, a concept still used today.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune following the engineer’s death in 2001, Drucker’s former colleague Dr. Don Carlson reflected on his lasting influence. “The simple fact that his name is attached to it and that it survived for half a century is indicative of the significance of the guy,” he said.

In 1997, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers created the Daniel C. Drucker Medal to celebrate engineers who excel in applied mechanics and mechanical engineering. Drucker was actually the first person to receive the award — he accepted the honor at his 80th birthday celebration in 1998.

That accolade was just one of many that Drucker received throughout his career. After his death, Drucker’s daughter even found a “Medal for Getting the Most Medals” among his possessions.

By Rachel Warren