Papers of Jack E. Cermak
Scope and Contents
The Papers of Jack E. Cermak consists of documents and films dated circa 1955 to 1982, with the bulk falling from 1964 to 1979. The films comprise the largest part of the collection, followed by research files, mainly identified data. Publications and university-related papers are also included as is a plaque.
- Creation: 1948, 1950s-1982
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1964-1979
- Cermak, J. E. (Jack E.) (1922-2012) (Person)
Restrictions on Access
There may be access restrictions on this collection, which will be determined by the archivist on a case-by-case situation. The collection is stored off-site, so advance notice is required.
Restrictions on Use
Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.
Dr. Jack E. Cermak (1992-2012) was a member of the faculty at Colorado State University (CSU) for more than fifty years. He was an alumnus of the college, receiving a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering (1947) and a master's in Hydraulic Engineering (1949) before earning a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics from Cornell University in 1959. Upon completion of his master's degree, Cermak remained at Colorado A&M College (now CSU) as a teaching assistant and instructor in civil engineering and was appointed assistant professor in 1951. He remained in this position until 1954 when he accepted the position of John McMullen Scholar in Engineering Mechanics at Cornell University. Cermak returned to CSU after completing his Ph.D. in 1959. He retired in 1997. In 1981, he co-founded the consulting engineering firm Cermak Peterka Petersen, Inc. and was its president until 2006.
Upon his return to CSU in 1959, Cermak founded the Fluid Dynamics and Diffusion Laboratory and later established the Fluid Mechanics and Wind Engineering Program, serving as Director and Professor-in-Charge of the program until 1985. His groundbreaking research lead to the development of unique wind-tunnel facilities capable of simulating motion in the atmospheric boundary layer. Among his projects, he led important studies of wind impacts on San Francisco's Candlestick Park, the Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) in Chicago, and New York City's World Trade Center.
Among Cermak's many honors, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1973 for his studies of physical modeling of wind effects on buildings and dispersion of air pollutants. In 1986 he was selected as one of the six inaugural University Distinguished Professors at CSU. In 2000, the American Society of Civil Engineers' Engineering Mechanics Division/SEI established the Jack E. Cermak Medal to recognize his lifetime achievements in the field of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics. The medal is awarded for outstanding contributions to research and/or practice in engineering for cumulative distinguished contributions. Cermak's Fluid Dynamics and Diffusion Laboratory was selected by the National Society of Professional Engineers to receive the 1988 Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award, and in 1999, the CSU wind tunnels were selected by the Engineering News-Record as one of 125 great engineering innovations between 1874 and 1999.
Jack Cermak was born in Hastings, Colorado to Joe and Helen Cermak on September 8, 1922. In 1949, Cermak married Helen Carlson. The Cermaks adopted two sons, Douglas and Jonathan. Helen Cermak died in 2005. In 2006 he married Gloria Garza. Jack Cermak died on August 21, 2012.
138 linear feet (87 boxes, various sizes)
Language of Materials
Dr. Jack E. Cermak (1992-2012) was an authority in wind engineering. His groundbreaking research lead to the development of unique wind-tunnel facilities capable of simulating motion in the atmospheric boundary layer. Among his projects, he led important studies of wind impacts on San Francisco's Candlestick Park, the Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) in Chicago, and New York City's World Trade Center. Reel-to-reel films, research files and reports, publications, and university records are included in the collection.
The collection consists of 2 series in 87 boxes with some loose films:
Series 1: Films, 1958-1982 and undated
Series 2: Records, 1948, circa 1955-circa 1975 and undated
The Papers of Jack E. Cermak was transferred from the Engineering Research Center in October 2011 and January 2015.
Some materials have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.
As of August 2019 the collection has not been processed although a survey and inventories have been completed. Papers and films remain in their original state, and the boxes (some of them oversize) have not been replaced.
- Guide to the Papers Jack E. Cermak
- Edited Full Draft
- Prepared by Victoria Lopez-Terrill
- Copyright 2019
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA