Nicholas J. Hoff

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Nicholas J. Hoff
BornJanuary 3, 1906
Magyaróvár, Hungary
DiedAugust 4, 1997 (1997-08-05) (aged 91)
Alma materStanford University
Known forElastic stability of aerospace structures
AwardsASME Medal (1974)
Theodore von Karman Medal (1972)
Scientific career
FieldsApplied mechanics
InstitutionsPolytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, Stanford University
Doctoral advisorStephen Timoshenko
Doctoral studentsA. Cemal Eringen, Bruno A. Boley

Nicholas J. Hoff, (January 3, 1906, Magyaróvár, Hungary – August 4, 1997) was an award-winning engineer specializing in aeronautics and astronautics, which he taught at Stanford University.


Hoff spent his adolescence in Budapest, where he went to the same high school that had been attended by Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, and John von Neumann. After high school, he enrolled at ETH Zurich, where he studied under Aurel Stodola. He graduated with an engineering degree in 1928.

In 1938, Hoff moved to America, in order to study solid mechanics under Stephen Timoshenko, receiving his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1942.[1] His plans to return to Hungary were interrupted by the onset of the Second World War. In 1940, Hoff joined the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn as an instructor in aeronautical engineering, eventually becoming full professor in 1946 and head of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1950. He subsequently joined the faculty of Stanford University in the fall of 1957.

He served as the chair of the ASME Applied Mechanics Division (1955).

Awards and honors[edit]