Encyclopedia of Continuum Mechanics

Living Edition
| Editors: Holm Altenbach, Andreas Öchsner

Ambartsumian, Sergey (Aleksandr)

  • Vahram HakobyanEmail author
  • Ara Avetisyan
  • Karen Ghazaryan
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-53605-6_336-1

Sergey (Aleksandr) Ambartsumian (March 17, 1922, Gyumri, Armenia; †August 4, 2018, Yerevan, Armenia) was one of the founders of the scientific school of mechanics in Armenia and was an internationally recognized scientist who made outstanding contributions to continuum mechanics. His scientific interests spanned anisotropic plates and shells, magnetoelasticity and coupled electro-magneto-mechanical effects of thin structures, elastic solids showing strength-differential effect, micropolar and viscoelastic media, biomechanics, space exploration based on a new space elevator concept, smart material, and nanomaterials.

Open image in new windowSergey (Aleksandr) Ambartsumian


Sergey A. Ambartsumian was born in Aleksandropol (now Gyumri) in Armenia in 1922. He graduated from Yerevan Polytechnic Institute (1942), where he received a candidate degree (PhD) in 1946. He received a degree of Doctor of Technical Sciences from the Institute of Problems of Mechanics of the USSR Academy of Sciences (Moscow) in 1952.

Professional Carrier

From 1943 up to 1946, S.A. Ambartsumian lectured in the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute and from 1948 up to 2015 in the Yerevan State University. At the same time, from 1946 up to 1955, he was employed at the Institute of Structures of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences as senior researcher, head of department, and deputy director of the Institute. In 1959 he was appointed director (up to 1971) of the Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics of the Academy of Sciences. He was the founder and first director (1971–1977) of the Institute of Mechanics of the Academy of Sciences which combined theoretical and experimental studies in solid mechanics. From 1974 up to 1977, S.A. Ambartsumian was the vice-president of the Academy of Sciences. In 1977 he became the rector of Yerevan State University (1977–1991). He served in the Institute of Mechanics of Armenian National Academy of Sciences for 27 years as the head of department and leading researcher. For more than 25 years, he was a member of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, honorary director of the Institute of Mechanics of NAS RA, and honorary president of the Engineering Academy of Armenia.

Scientific Achievements

Ambartsumian published about 400 refereed papers in Russian, Armenian, and international peer-reviewed journals, contributed to more than 100 proceedings of domestic and international conferences, and was the author or co-author of 22 monographs or textbooks. He obtained original and fundamental results in continuum mechanics. He suggested a new general theory of anisotropic layered shells which was published firstly in a the monograph Ambartsumian (1962b, 1964, 1966). One of his most-cited papers (more than 750 citations) is Ambartsumian (1958), where a new higher-order shell theory which takes into account of the transverse shears has been presented firstly. Ambartsumian generalized his fundamental theoretical and applied results in the field of layered anisotropic plates and shells in several monographs published in USSR, Armenia, the USA, China, Singapore, and Japan (Ambartsumian, 1967, 1971). In addition, he wrote some literature surveys (Ambartsumian, 1962a). He is the author of the multimodular theory of elasticity (Ambartsumian, 1982). Together with his colleague A.A. Khachatryan, he proposed a mathematical justification for this theory and developed effective solution methods for beams, rods, plates, and shells made of material showing the strength-differential effect w.r.t. stretching and compression. This theory was generalized in monograph and translated and published in China. Ambartsumian and his colleagues G.E. Bagdasaryan and M.V. Belubekyan developed the general theory of electro-magneto-elasticity of thin plates and shells (Ambartsumian et al., 1977). This theory was applied to describe the dynamic behavior and coupled effects of elastic electroconductive, current-carrying, or ferromagnetic thin structure under action of external magnetic field. Numerous results were summarized in many papers and in four books. Ambartsumian together with M.V. Belubekyan created an original micropolar theory of films and plates, which combines his refined theory of anisotropic shells and plates with the classical nonsymmetric theory of elasticity. The results were summarized in Ambartsumian and Belubekyan (2016).

Ambartsumian supervised a number of young researchers as PhD students or as postdoctoral researchers. Among these researchers are academicians G. Bagdasaryan and L. Agalovyan and professors S. Durgaryan, V. Gnuni, and R. Kirakosyan who in different years headed the Institute of Mechanics and science departments of the Institute of Mechanics in Armenia. He established many long-term fruitful and friendly scientific collaborations, especially with prominent scientists of the former Soviet Union (Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Latvia) and USA.


He was a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2003), a foreign member of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences (2013), a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (1992), a member of the Armenian National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, and a member of the Russian National Committee of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. He was very active in several editorial boards of Armenian, Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian, and other international journals in the field of mechanics and applied mathematics. Ambartsumian was the editor-in-chief of editorial boards of four scientific journals in Armenia: Vestnik of Natural Sciences, Physics, and Mathematics of Russian-Armenian University, Reports of Armenian National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of Armenian National Academy of Sciences, and Mechanics and Proceedings of Engineering Academy of Armenia.

Other Activities

S.A. Ambartsumian combined science and student teaching with public and social activities. He was a member and chairman of the Supreme Council of Armenia (parliament) and deputy and member of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR (parliament). He was honored by numerous governmental medals and orders, science distinctions, prizes, and awards.


  1. Ambartsumian SA (1958) On a general theory of anisotropic shells. J Appl Math Mech 22(2):305–319MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ambartsumian SA (1962a) Contributions to the theory of anisotropic layered shells. Appl Mech Rev 15(4):245–249Google Scholar
  3. Ambartsumian SA (1962b) Theory of anisotropic shells (in Russ.). State Publishing House for Physical and Mathematical Literature, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  4. Ambartsumian SA (1964) Theory of anisotropic shells. TT-F-118, NASA Technical TranslationGoogle Scholar
  5. Ambartsumian SA (1966) Some current aspects of the theory of anisotropic layered shells. In: Abramson HN (ed) Applied mechanics surveys. Spartan Books, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  6. Ambartsumian SA (1967) General theory of anisotropic shells (in Russ.). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  7. Ambartsumian SA (1971) Theory of anisotropic plates: strength, stability, vibration. Technomic Publishing Company, Stamford, TT-F-118Google Scholar
  8. Ambartsumian SA (1982) Theory of elasticity for materials with variable moduli (in Russ.). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  9. Ambartsumian SA, Belubekyan M (2016) Applied micropolar multimodulus theory of shells and plates (in Russ.). Palmarium Academic Publishing, SaarbruckenGoogle Scholar
  10. Ambartsumian SA, Baghdasaryan GE, Belubekyan MV (1977) Magneto-elasticity of thin shells and plates (in Russ.). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vahram Hakobyan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ara Avetisyan
    • 1
  • Karen Ghazaryan
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Mechanics of National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of ArmeniaYerevanRepublic of Armenia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Holm Altenbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Fakultät für Maschinenbau, Institut für MechanikOtto-von-Guericke-Universität MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany