A number of new trends in material mechanics and engineering science can be traced back to the PhD work of Hussein Zbib at Michigan Technological University. In particular, the topics of shear bands and plastic instabilities found a new basis and direction, prompting distinguished researchers – of the caliber of Coleman, Batra, Fleck and Hutchinson, Estrin and Kubin, Muhlhaus and Vardoulakis, Tomita and de Borst, Zaiser and Hahner (to mention a few that he interacted with as a graduate student), as well as of Belytschko, Steinmann, Voyiadjis, Polizzotto, and more recently of K. Aifantis/J. Willis and M. Gurtin/L. Anand – to turn their attention to gradient plasticity and make their own monumental contributions in this field. This article first provides a brief account of the initial attempts, I had the joy to share with him, on gradient mechanics theory and its implications to the problems of strain localization and size effects. It then continues with a brief exposition of topics that his “scientific family” has taken up in parallel with him or later on. Finally, it concludes with a sketch of ideas I discussed with him during his post-doctoral period at Michigan Tech (MTU) and his tenure period as a faculty member and Chairman at Washington State (WSU) which, unfortunately, he did not have the time to elaborate upon.

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