Chua Distinguished Professor of Engineering
University of California, Berkeley
Robert O. Ritchie was educated at Cambridge University in England where he received a B.A. degree in physics and metallurgy in 1969, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science in 1973, and the Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree in 1990. Following periods as the Goldsmith’s Research Fellow in Materials Science at Churchill College, Cambridge (1972-1974) and as a Miller Research Fellow for Basic Research in Science at Berkeley (1974-1976), he joined the faculty in Mechanical Engineering at M.I.T. where he became the Class of 1922 Associate Professor in 1979. In 1981, he returned to Berkeley where he has been Professor of Materials Science since 1982; he was also Deputy Director of the Materials Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory from 1990 to 1994, and Director of the Center for Advanced Materials there from 1987 to 1995.
Prof. Ritchie is known for his research in the fields of fracture mechanics and fatigue-crack propagation, having published over 700 papers and edited 19 books in the technical literature. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering in the U.S., a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK, and a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He has been the recipient of several other awards, including the Mathewson Gold Medal from TMS-AIME in 1985, the George R. Irwin Medal from ASTM in 1985, the Rosenhain Medal from the Institute of Materials (London) in 1992, the Nadai Medal from ASME in 2004, and the Acta Materialia Gold Medal in 2014. He was co-chairman of the Gordon Conference on Physical Metallurgy in 1992, President and Honorary Fellow of the International Congress on Fracture (1997-2001), and is a Fellow of TMS, ASM, ASME, the American Ceramic Society, the Institute of Materials (UK), and the Institute of Physics (UK).
He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in the mechanical behavior of engineering materials, which are cross-listed in both the MSE and ME Departments in Berkeley.