Olek Zienkiewicz 18th May 1921 – 2nd January 2009 Elected FRS 1978

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Olek Zienkiewicz is internationally recognised as one of the leading developers of the Finite Element Method which is a computer-based technique that has, since the 1960s, revolutionised design and analysis procedures in civil, mechanical, aerospace and other branches of engineering.

Initially, the formulation of the method followed a traditional structural engineering approach but as the underlying mathematical basis became understood its application to other disciplines became possible.

The methodology remains a flourishing research topic and its application has considerable potential in new scientific areas, including biomedical engineering and the life sciences.