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SSRC Mourns Reidar Bjorhovde

It is with great sadness that SSRC recognizes the passing of Reidar Bjorhovde.

Professor Bjorhovde was many things - world-class researcher, music aficionado, impeccable dresser - but most of all he was an incredibly thoughtful and kind individual. His contributions to the Council are many, via his influential research work and leadership, and he will be sorely missed.

A card will be sent to Pat on behalf of SSRC along with contributions to the charities mentioned in the below obituary.

Professor Bjorhovde will be sorely missed. Rest in peace.


Reidar Bjørhovde, Dr-Ing, PhD, PE, age 80, of Tucson, Arizona, died on Monday, November 29, 2021 from the effects of Parkinson’s.

Reidar was born on November 6, 1941, in Harstad, Norway to Rebekka Josefin and Reidar Conradi Bjørhovde. After earning a Doctor of Engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim, he moved to Pennsylvania to study at Lehigh University, receiving a PhD in Civil Engineering in 1972. His research and dissertation on the strength of steel columns became the basis for both national and international design codes.

His long career included work in industry, academia and as a consultant, including a 22-year affiliation with Nucor Corporation. His expertise in the stability, strength and reliability of steel used in building and bridge design and construction brought him numerous prestigious awards and opportunities to advise on research and projects in the US, Canada and around the world. He was very involved with the American Institute of Steel Construction and the American Iron and Steel Institute, where he both served on and led many technical committees. He was a Fellow of the Structural Engineering Institute and was awarded the designation of Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineering. The he author of many seminal papers and articles, he served as editor for the Journal of Constructional Steel Research for nearly 20 years and was the inaugural editor of the AISC Engineering Journal.

A true Renaissance man, Reidar was a serious student of classical music. For nine years he was a popular weekend announcer for KUAT FM, Tucson’s classical music radio station. As a passionate patron of the arts, he particularly enjoyed the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and attending orchestra concerts wherever his travels took him in the world. He loved history and his standard poodles, and there was nothing he liked better than good wine and a lively discussion.

Reidar was married to his beloved wife, Pat, for 49 years. Together they loved traveling, concerts, collecting art and spending time with family and friends. He enthusiastically supported her work for nonprofit arts organizations.

He is survived by his three sisters, Kirsten, Randi and Gerd, son Ian (Cheryl Pendergrass) and daughter Heather, and children from his first marriage, Erik (Ee Fei Koo), Anne (Valentin Rossebo) and Knut (Armine). He has 12 grandchildren: Elisabeth, Owen, Taylor, Cory, Runar, Aksel, Jacob, Victor, Katinka, Laurits, Jamie and Anna and several nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful caregivers at Canyon View Assisted Living and Agape Hospice. In accordance with Reidar’s wishes there will be no service, but contributions may be made to the Tucson Symphony Orchestra or the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

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