Robert Kenedi was born in Hungary on 19 March 1921 and went to Glasgow in 1938 to study civil engineering in classes conducted at the Royal Technical College leading to the degree of the University of Glasgow, from which he graduated with distinction in 1941. After spending two years as an Alien on Auxiliary War Service in Britain, he was appointed (in 1943) Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering of the Royal College of Science and Technology in Glasgow, which later became the University of Strathclyde. Robert Kenedi spent the first ten years of his professional career working primarily on strength of materials related research, developing new applied knowledge and strain gauge technology for stress analysis in thin-walled structures. He worked as a consultant to the Cold Rolled Sections Association and this resulted in the development of design codes for structures fabricated of such components. The thin structures work was applied to thin shells and related to the design of nuclear containment vessels. Concurrently, he obtained his PhD in structural engineering from Glasgow University in 1949. In the late 1950s he realised the potential application of his knowledge to the analysis of the mechanical behaviour of biological tissue. Together with the late Professor Tom Gibson FRSE, a prominent plastic surgeon from Glasgow, he developed an internationally renowned programme in biological tissue mechanics.
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