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Remembering Hussein Zbib

Closeup of Hussein M. Zbib
Hussein M. Zbib

Washington State University Professor Hussein M. Zbib, 61, passed away Feb. 10, 2020 at his home in Pullman.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 6, 2020 in the WSU Compton Union Building Junior Ballroom.

Zbib, a professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering since 1988, was recognized as an international leader in dislocation dynamics and plasticity theory and for his contributions in the fields of mechanics and materials science and engineering. He developed models and theories used by materials scientists and engineers around the world, improving understanding of the basic mechanics underlying deformation of metals. As director of WSU’s Computational Mechanics and Materials Science Laboratory, he conducted research in the field of multi-scale theoretical modeling and predictions of the thermo-mechanical behavior of advanced materials.

His research group, for instance, developed theoretical models to simulate the behavior of materials, such as copper, that are exposed to high doses of radiation. It was well known that such materials can deform and fail, but the mechanics were not well understood until Zbib and his co-workers developed a new class of computational tools.

He published more than 250 technical articles, edited 12 books and presented many invited talks. Zbib also served as editor of the prestigious Journal of Engineering Materials and Technology, which is published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Over his career, he supervised and mentored more than 30 masters and doctoral students, six postdoctoral fellows, 11 visiting scholars and 15 undergraduate research assistants. Many of his students went on to become internationally recognized researchers and leaders in academia and at national laboratories.

Zbib was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the ASME as well as an executive member of the Lebanese Academy of Science. He was a recipient of the 2010 Khan International Award for outstanding contribution to the field of plasticity. He also received research excellence awards from the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture in 1994 and in 2015 and from the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering in 2000. He was named a Regents Professor, the university’s highest faculty title, in 2018. He also served as the director of the School of MME from 2003-2011.

Hussein Zbib was born Nov. 26, 1958 in Beirut, Lebanon to Mustapha & Sahjouna Zbib.  His parents were from South Lebanon.  He completed his schooling in Beirut, graduating from Aamlye Technical College.  He came to the US in 1979 and began his college education at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan.  Zbib received his bachelor, masters and PhD in Mechanical Engineering and engineering mechanics from MTU.  He married Marcia Ann Rowe in Hancock, MI on July 12, 1986 and in 1988 they moved to Pullman when Zbib accepted a position at WSU.

Zbib enjoyed being with family and friends.  He enjoyed cooking and dancing and he and his wife Marcia were active in both the Palouse dance club & gourmet club.  Zbib also enjoyed golfing, fishing, boating, reading, cross country skiing, ping pong, tennis, going to fine dining restaurants and spending time at the gym exercising and swimming.  Together he and his wife Marcia enjoyed traveling both throughout the US and internationally.  His teaching, research and attending conferences were always at the forefront of his life.

Zbib is survived by his wife Marcia; mother Sahjouna Zbib; 2 brothers Ali & Bilal Zbib; 3 sisters Fadia, Hana & Iman Zbib; and his many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his father Mustapha Zbib; brother Hassan Zbib and two sisters Ferial & Sanaa Zbib.  Kimball Funeral Home of Pullman has been entrusted with arrangements.  Memorial donations are suggested to the Excellence Fund of the School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering at WSU.

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