Nikola Hajdin, a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and its president of many years, passed away on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Belgrade, after a short illness. Hajdnin, who was born in Vrbovsko in 1923, was a prominent bridge builder, within and outside of the Academy.
The famous Serbian civil engineer was elected an associate member of the SASA in 1970 and gained full membership in 1976. Between 1994 and 2003, he was the vice president of the Academy, after which he served as its president over three terms, from 2003 to 2015, the SASA announced.
He was a professor at the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Belgrade. At this faculty, he obtained a PhD in technical sciences in 1956. He became a research fellow at the Faculty of Civil Engineering in 1958, gained the docent status in 1960, became an associate professor in 1961 and a full-time professor in 1966. He was also a visiting professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETN Zurich) from 1971 to 1973 and a visiting researcher at the Swiss Association for Steel Structures.
During his professional career, Hajdin carried out a number of scientific and professional duties at many domestic and foreign associations. He was President of the Yugoslav Group of the International Association of Bridges and Structural Engineering (IABSE) and a member of the Permanent Committee of this organization, president of the Yugoslav Committee of the International Union for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Belgrade and President of the Yugoslav Society of Structural Engineers. Furthermore, he was a foreign member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, Greek association for research in steel structures and an honorary member of the Hellenic society for theoretical and applied mechanics. In 2000, he was elected doctor honoris causa of the National Technical University of Athens.
Professor Hajdin was a highly respected author of a series of steel and concrete structures, including the railway cable-stayed bridge across the Sava river in Belgrade (with Lj. Jevtović), 1979, the cable-stayed road bridge across the Danube in Novi Sad (1981), the arch dam Glažnje (Macedonia), the structure of the new railway station in Belgrade and the large cable-stayed bridge over the Vistula river in Poland.
Hajdin received numerous awards, among which are the October Award of the City of Belgrade for 1959, the October Award of the City of Novi Sad 1981, the AVNOJ Award 1987, several awards at anonymous competitions for bridges in Yugoslavia, the 1st prize at an anonymous competition for a bridge across the River Vistula in Poland in 1996, the Order of Labor with a Gold Wreath in 1979, the Order of Merit to the Nation with a Gold Wreath in 1987 and the Saint George Plaque of the City of Kragujevac in 2011.