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BRYŁA, Stefan Władysław

* 17. 8. 1886, Krakow, Poland
† 3. 12. 1943, Krakow, Poland

civil engineer

From 1903 to 1908, B. studied at the Faculty of Engineering of the Technical College in Lwow, where he began his scientific work, and in 1909 earned the title doctor of technical sciences. From 1907 to 1909, he worked as an assistant, and from 1909 onwards, as an assistant professor at the Chair of Bridge Building at the Technical College. He lectured technical drawing, engineering sciences and statics. In 1910, by the order of the Technical College, the Academy of Sciences in Krakow sent him abroad. He studied at the Technical College in Berlin-Charlottenburg, at École des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, and at the University of London. At the same time, he worked on steel constructions in Germany, France, and England. In 1912, he began practical work in construction workshops and on construction projects of large buildings in Canada and the USA, including the world’s largest building at that time, the Woolworth Building in New York. In the years 1913/14 and 1919/29, he lectured at the Technical College in Lwow as an assistant professor of construction statics. He was interned during World War I. He was given the post of professor at the Polish University College in Lwow, where he lectured on civil engineering from 1915 to 1917. Between 1915 and 1918, he also worked at a construction bureau for building bridges. In 1921, he became full professor and chairman of the other Chair of Bridge Building at the Technical College in Lwow. He lectured on the civil engineering of bridges and on the theory connected with it, significantly expanding the knowledge of reinforced concrete bridges. In 1934, he became chairman of the Chair of Structural Building at the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical College in Warsaw, where he lectured on construction statics and construction mechanics, and on the structures of steel building. In the years 1938/39, he was also the dean of this faculty. B. introduced the term spatial influential areas into the theory of bridge building, and tried to solve the problem of influential bodies. In his publications, he discussed the principles of calculating and projecting reinforced concrete box girders, and the theoretical foundations of electrowelding and steel structures. B. researched the theoretical aspects of shaping rolled gauges. In the years 1927/28, he worked on the structure of the first European road bridge over the river Słudwia near Łowicz, which was built with electrowelding. It was a single-span truss bridge, built without rivets, which saved about 20 percent of steel in the construction. This success was described by many foreign technical newspapers. In 1928, he compiled the first regulations in the world on welding steel structures for the Ministry of Public Works.
B. also planned reinforced concrete structures in Warsaw: a locomotive factory (1922); a student dormitory on Narutowicz Square (1926); a nine-storey building for the General Insurance Company on Kopernika Street (1928); the structure of the Polish Savings Bank, leaning on a steel frame with a dome made of tubular parts (1931/33); the structure of the sixteen-storey skyscraper „Prudential”, which is now the „Warszawa” Hotel (finished in 1932); the Lazareta building on Niepodległości Street; the building of the military fund on Krakowskie Przedmieście Street (1933); and a building for the navy. He was also responsible for the projects of the fourteen-storey building of the Chamber of Finance in Katowice (1931); the building of the covered market in Katowice (1935); and the building of the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow (1934-1936), using for the first time welded hollow steel supports, which also functioned as ventilation shafts. His is also the project for the reinforced concrete structure for the church „at Kamionka” in Warsaw, as well as the iron structure of the tower of the Church of St. Elizabeth in Lwow, and numerous church roofs with double suspension structures. He introduced the so-called continuous girders into civil engineering, i.e., cut and welded T-girders with hexagonal openings. He was the first to build a sheet metal girder from individual pieces of sheet metal. He proved the increase in the strength of continuous girders on beds. Together with Wacław Paszkowski, he discussed the norms for planning concrete and reinforced concrete structures (1933). B. focused on construction economy, on certain problems in civil engineering, and on the use of insulation means. He analysed building disasters and created his own categorisation of the reasons for these disasters: a fault in the plan, poor building site, poor construction material, faulty execution, and the so-called external reasons (e.g. carelessness). B. was a full member of the Warsaw Scientific Society (1936), the chairman of the Association of Polish Engineers and Technicians in Russia (1915-1918), a member of the Permanent International Committee of Bridges and Engineering Structures (1929), a corresponding (1932) and full member (1935) of the Academy of Technical Sciences. In 1918, B. took part in the Polish-Ukrainian War. During the defence of Lwow, he was second-in-command of the mobilisation detachment. Between 1926 and 1934, he was a member of the Christian Democratic Party in the Polish parliament; between 1934 and 1939 he was the president of the Christian Federation of Trade Unions in Poland. In the middle of the 1930s, he organised a research centre for the protection of buildings from water at the Technical School in Warsaw. At the time, this centre was the most modern institution of its kind in Poland. B. received six patents in the field of steel structures, which he had registered between 1928 and 1935.

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