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John A. Blume

John A. Blume — trailblazing earthquake engineer

John A. Blume

John A. Blume (1909-2002) is considered by many in the profession to be the “father of earthquake engineering.” Blume achieved breakthroughs in seismic and structural engineering that had an unprecedented influence on modern earthquake engineering. His engineering advice influenced a host of significant structures, notably the Stanford Linear Accelerator, the restoration of the California State Capitol, and buildings and waterfront structures for Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco.

Blume served as a consulting professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, where he earned his bachelor’s, ENG degree and PhD. A devoted lifelong student of civil engineering, he earned his doctorate at age 57, 33 years after getting his bachelor’s degree. 

Blume also was an expert in nuclear power plant design who consulted for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and who helped with some 70 nuclear plant projects.