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Ryszard Ganowicz

Prof. dr hab. Ryszard Ganowicz
Rector of the Agricultural University of Poznań

(1990-1993, 1993-1996)



Ryszard Ganowicz was born on 2 June 1931 in Vilnius. In 1945 together with his parents and brother he moved to Łódź, and in autumn 1948 – to Poznań. In 1950 he graduated from the Karol Marcinkowski Grammar School in Poznań. He also attended a secondary music school, the class of grand piano. In 1954 he completed undergraduate studies with the degree of Engineer at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, the Higher School of Engineering in Poznań, while in 1956 he graduated from the 2° degree (graduate) studies at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, the University of Technology in Gdańsk. He received the scientific degree of doctor in technical sciences in 1960 at the Warsaw University of Technology for his dissertation concerning Reissner’s board theory and the theory of three-layer boards. In July 1978 the Council of State granted him the scientific title of professor in technical sciences.


At the beginning of his scientific activity Professor Ganowicz was involved in basic research in the field of non-homogeneous and model engineering structures. Apart from theoretical studies he conducted engineering studies on reinforced concrete and steel structures as well as wooden structures. Within the latter field his scientific interests covered e.g. analyses of wooden structural elements and their work under changeable environmental conditions, testing of building structures composed of wood and standard hardboard, and the application of stochastic methods in the description of creep of wooden elements.

A particularly important position in the interests of Professor Ganowicz was taken by the issue of rafter framing wooden structures in Polish churches being historical monuments. Together with his students he initiated search for wooden structure buildings in Poland. Their inventory, evaluation of their status and analysis were subjects of many dissertations. The results of this search and passion of Professor Ganowicz were contained in a book “Historical rafter framing structures in Polish churches”, published in 2000, after his death.


In 1954 he started his scientific and teaching career at the Department of Mathematics and next at the Department of Structural Mechanics, the Gdańsk University of Technology. In 1964 he was employed as a lecturer at the Department of Structural Mechanics and Building Structures, the Higher School of Agriculture in Poznań. In 1965 he started working at the Department of Technical Mechanics, the Institute of Foundations of Technology at the Faculty of Wood Technology, with a break in the years 1967 — 1969 when he was a lecturer in construction theory at the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Khartoum (Sudan). He headed the Teaching Team of Technical Mechanics, the Department of Mechanics and Thermal Engineering, and after the next reform of the organisational structure of the Faculty — the Department of Mechanics and Thermal Engineering. In the years 1975 — 1978 he was the director of the Institute of Agricultural Engineering. After being elected Rector he initiated reforms and adaptation of the Agricultural University to new conditions; he promoted the idea of an extended and attractive educational offer.


The scientific achievements of Professor Ganowicz comprise over 130 items, including 80 printed publications and approx. 50 scientific and engineering studies in the form of reports and expert opinions. Professor Ganowicz published numerous papers in prestigious Polish and foreign journals, such as e.g. “Holztechnologie”, “Wood Science and Technology”, “Holz als Roh- und Werkstoff” and “Theoretische und Experimentale Bautechnik, Forschung und Anwendug”. He was a co-author of a textbook „Statyka” [Statics] as well as four course books. He reviewed papers published in “Applied Mechanical Reviews”, a monthly published by the American Association of Mechanical Engineers, while in the years 1961 — 1965 he was a reviewer at “Zentralblatt für Mathematik”, a journal published in Berlin. Together with workers of the Technical University in Dresden (1985 — 1989) he conducted studies on “Foundations for calculations and dimensioning of wooden building structures” and with the Institute of Technology in Lund, Sweden (1989 — 1992) he investigated the problem of determination of energy in failure longitudinal tension tests for wood. 


Major functions at the University:

  • 1990 – 1993 and 1993 — 1996 Rector of the Agricultural University of Poznań.

Major functions outside the University:

  • Participation in works of divisions and committees of PAS,
  • 1996 representative of the Faculty of Wood Technology at the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO),
  • 1988—1990 vice-chairman of the General Board of the Polish Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics,
  • Member of organising committees of numerous conferences and scientific symposiums in Poland and abroad,
  • 1980—1989 co-organiser and chairman of the “Solidarity” Independent Trade Union at the Agricultural University of Poznań, interned under martial law in December 1981; he created the basis for the organisational structure of the trade union, actively participating in discussions on  autonomy of universities,
  • Member of the National Coordination Committee for Science of “Solidarity”; author of a “Report on the condition of the University”,
  • 1989—1991 senator of the Republic of Poland, the 1st term.


He was awarded e.g. the Commodore’s Cross of the Polonia Restituta, the Gold Cross of Merit and decorated with a medal “Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam”.
He died on 22 May 1998. He is buried at the parish cemetery at Lutycka Street in Poznań.

The Jubilee Book of the August Cieszkowski Agricultural University of Poznań. Poznań 2006