Ulrich F. Kocks

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Fred Kocks

Ulrich F. Kocks
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Ulrich F. Kocks

1929 (age 91–92)
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materHarvard University
  • Professor
  • Author
  • Humboldt Prize
  • Doctor of Technology honoris causa
  • Senior Scientist Award

Ulrich F. Kocks known as Fred Kocks was born in Germany in 1929.

Education and Career

Fred Kocks graduated from the Department of Theoretical Physics in Göttingen, Germany in 1954 under Richard Becker. He emigrated to the U.S. where he earned his Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University in 1959 advised by Bruce Chalmers. He remained on faculty at Harvard in the Division of Engineering and Applied Physics until 1965, during which time he took sabbatical at the Technical University of Munich that resulted in publication in 1966 of his seminal paper on “Statistical Theory of Flow Stress and Work Hardening" in the Philosophical Magazine.[1] In 1965 he moved to the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) at their invitation to form a Group for Mechanical Properties where he continued to pursue his lifelong interest in the relationship between single crystal behavior and polycrystalline response. At ANL he concentrated on solid-solution alloys and dynamic strain aging in particular. Two further major publications followed as “Thermodynamics and kinetics of slip” (1975),[2] and, “The Kinetics of Non-Uniform Deformation” (1981).[3] After organizing the Gordon Conference in Physical Metallurgy in 1977, he turned to high-temperature deformation and the phenomenon of creep in metals, along with an interest in analogous phenomena in geophysics. In 1983, Kocks moved to the Los Alamos National Laboratory and became a founding member of the Center for Materials Science. He concentrated on both metals plasticity and crystallographic preferred orientation (“texture” in metals, “fabric” in rocks) which helped in the evolution of the freely distributed software “preferred orientation package Los Alamos (popLA)”[4] in collaboration with Prof. John Kallend and many others.[5] His collaboration with Prof. Rudy Wenk at UC Berkeley, a geologist and an expert on texture in rocks (and also a Humboldt Fellow) was particularly productive in this area.[6] He also codified his work on polycrystal plasticity in the freely distributed software “Los Alamos polycrystal plasticity (LApp)” in collaboration with Gilles Canova and many others, which has been used by many researchers in the field.[7] His work on developing texture software found uses in the simulation of complex sheet metal forming operations as noted by the Department of Energy.[8] Kocks & Mecking summarized their career-long collaboration with the “Physics and Phenomenology of Strain Hardening” (2003).[9]

Awards and Recognition

Honors include the Humboldt Prize of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1979; Doctor of Technology honoris causa from Tampere University of Technology, Finland, in 1982; Senior Scientist Award from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in 1985; Fellow of TMS in 1987; Fellow of ASM in 1993 and election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1999.[10] He retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1999 and is now Distinguished Professor Affiliate in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Jacobs School of Engineering, at the University of California San Diego.


  1. Kocks, U. F. 1966, 'A statistical theory of flow stress and work hardening', Philosophical Magazine, 11, 541.
  2. Kocks, U., Argon, A., & Ashby, M. 1975, 'Thermodynamics and kinetics of slip', Prog. Mat. Sci., 19, 1.
  3. Kocks, U. F., 'Kinetics of nonuniform deformation', Progress in Materials Science, Chalmers Anniversary Volume (1981)
  4. "Preferred Orientation Package - Los Alamos". lansce.lanl.gov. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  5. Kallend, J. S., Kocks, U. F., Rollett, A. D., & Wenk, H.-R. 1991, 'Operational Texture Analysis', Materials Science and Engineering, A132, 1-11.
  6. "American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation". www.americanfriendsofavh.org. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  7. "Category:Mesoscale - EVOCD". icme.hpc.msstate.edu. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  8. "Basic Energy Sciences" (PDF). science.osti.gov. 1993. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  9. Kocks, U. F. & Mecking, H. 2003, 'Physics and phenomenology of strain hardening: the FCC case', Progress in Materials Science, 48, 171-273.
  10. "Dr. U. Fred Kocks". NAE Website. Retrieved 2020-06-07.

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