The University Record, October 2, 2000


John Hermann Enns

John H. Enns, professor emeritus of engineering mechanics, died Aug. 30 in Rancho Bernardo, Calif., following a short illness. He was 93.

Enns was born in Russia in 1907 and emigrated to the United States in 1923. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Kansas State University in 1932, and studied physics at the U-M, earning a master’s degree in 1935 and a doctorate in 1942.

He was an instructor at the Detroit Institute of Technology in 1936–39 and held a similar post at Michigan State University (then Michigan State College) in 1939–1943, and was named assistant professor there in 1943 before beginning his career at the U-M. In 1944, he was named research physicist at the Engineering Research Institute and was appointed associate professor of engineering mechanics in 1958. He was named professor of engineering mechanics in 1961 and held that post until his retirement in 1972.

“Throughout his career, Prof. Enns has been an avid researcher,” noted the Regents at his retirement. “His initial efforts were devoted to studies in spectroscopy, which resulted in two United States patents. Subsequently he explored the mysteries of solid state physics, and later devoted himself to studies in the areas of lattice dynamics and the micromechanics of solids. He has made distinguished contributions to his field, which has drawn the praise and recognition of his colleagues everywhere.”

At retirement, Enns moved to California, where he enjoyed golf and swimming and visits with his family. He was a member of the American Physical Society and was active in the San Diego chapter of the U-M Alumni Association.

He is survived by his wife, Ramona; sons John (Gail) of Washington, D.C., Nelson (Pat) of Albuquerque, N.M., and Philip (Jan) of Adrian; and four grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the University Office of Gift Administration, P.O. Box 966, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-0966.

Submitted by News and Information Services