Dr. Evans majored in zoology and graduated magna cum laude in 1931. He received his master’s and Ph.D. in zoology from Columbia University. After his first year at Columbia, he returned to Cedar Rapids and was asked to teach ornithology, entomology and invertebrate zoology in a summer term at Coe, a tremendous undertaking for one so young. That experience led to a distinguished career in teaching at major institutions in the United States, culminating at the University of Michigan Medical School, where he was professor of anatomy from 1959 to 1976. Dr. Evans also was visiting professor of anatomy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden in 1962-63 and at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan in the fall of 1968.
Dr. Evans had a prolific career in research and writing. His main interests were mechanical properties of bone and their relation to microscopic structure, the variables influencing the mechanical properties of bone, the mechanics of fractures, and the experimental stress-strain analysis of intact bones within and outside the human body. His textbooks - "Stress and Strains in Bones" and "Mechanical Properties of Bones" - were considered classics in the field.
Dr. Evans’ interest and research activities in the field of body mechanics led to an appointment on an organizing committee which in turn led to the formation of the American Society of Biomechanics. He served as the president of that society in 1977-78. Dr. Evans was a co-founder of the Journal of Biomechanics and a co-editor-in-chief of the journal from 1967-79.
He was a Lycia C. Roberts Fellow for six years at Columbia University and a Fulbright Fellow in Italy in 1956-57. He was honored as the recipient of the 1980 H.R. Lissner Biomedical Engineering Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Dr. Evans was editor of nine separate publications and authored 88 scientific articles, four textbooks and 66 abstracts.