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Call for Proposals: Recent Trends in Mechanics

The US National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (USNCTAM) publishes periodic Reports on Recent Trends in Mechanics. An archive of recent reports can be found at the Committee’s website. The USNCTAM has reorganized the process for generating such reports; a SubCommittee (K. Ravi‐Chandar, Chair (, G. McKinley, Vice‐Chair (gareth@MIT.EDU), A. Karagozian ( and E. Tadmor ( has been charged with developing these reports. See the attached file for further detail.

Vicky Nguyen is named Editor of the iMechanica Journal Club

vicky NguyenVicky Nguyen, of the Johns Hopkins University, is named Editor of the iMechanica Journal Club.  Vicky has a broad vision for mechanics, and has made contributions to diverse topics.  in 2008, she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.  In 2013, she received the Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award and the Eshelby Mechanics Award for Young Faculty.

The mission of the Journal Club is to facilitate discussion at the frontier of mechanics and its applications. 

To enable the discussion, each month an Editor selects a Discussion Leader, who in turn posts a Theme.  The Theme stays at the top of the front page of iMechanica for the entire month.  See Recent and Past Themes, and the Operating Notes for the Journal Club.

Vicky will share the responsibility of editing the Journal Club with Xuanhe Zhao.  Feel free to contact either of them if you have an idea for a theme, or if you would like to volunteer a colleague.

  • Email Vicky Ngyen:
  • Email Xuanhe Zhao:

Speech of Acceptance of the 2013 Timoshenko Medal by Richard M. Christensen

dcApplied Mechanics Division Honors & Awards Banquet, 19 November 2013, Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego.

Thank you to all of you for this fine honor.

For sure I have been around a long time and I have seen it all, so I’ll give you some impressions of what I have observed over the long haul in the world of applied mechanics.  Let me start by mentioning that I have a technical paper coming out in Journal of Applied Mechanics in the January 2014 issue.  This was kindly facilitated by the technical editor, Yonggang Huang.  If you wish, please consider that as my formal speech, but no one wants to hear about equations tonight.

Instead I’ll talk a little about technical generations.  Each generation has its own character and its own challenges.  What is a generation if not a collection of workers, individuals.  So this is really about individuals.  It’s not so much about exactly what each of them did, but more about the how and the why they did what they did.  What was their propulsion system, their energy source?

Stephen Juhasz died on 19 June 2013 at the age of 99.

Stephen Juhasz died on 19 June 2013 at the age of 99. The following brief description of Juhasz's career was provided by Norm Abramson.

Juhasz received his Dip. Ing. From Budapest Technical University in 1936; Teknologie Licensiate (doctorate) from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden in 1951; and an Honorary Doctorate of engineering from Budapest Technical University in 1989.

He immigrated to the United States from Hungary via Sweden and Canada in 1952 and joined the research staff of MIT working in the fields of thermodynamics and heat transfer, as he had in Sweden and Canada.

Frederick A. Leckie died at age of 84

We are deeply sorry to report that Fred Leckie died on Friday, 14 June 2013, at the age of 84.  A brief description of Fred's career is contained in the 2000 ASME Materials Division Newsletter, when Fred received the Nadai Medal.

The funeral is at Christ Church, 1415 Pelhamdale Avenue, Pelham Manor, NY 10803, on Friday June 21st, at 10am.  In lieu of flowers, a contribution can be made to the University of St. Andrews American Foundation Inc with a note for it to be applied to bursaries for Scottish students in memory of Fred Leckie.

Mary Boyce named Dean of the School of Engineering of Columbia University

See annoucement.  Congratulations to Professor Mary Boyce!

Michael Ortiz and David Hibbitt are elected to the US National Academy of Engineering

Today, February 7th, the NAE is announcing the election of 69 new members and 11 new foreign associates. The public announcement will be issued at 10:00 a.m. (EST) and will be posted on the NAE website.

Congratulations to Michael Ortiz and David Hibbitt!

Speech of Acceptance of the 2012 Timoshenko Medal by Subra Suresh

Subra_Suresh,_Director_of_the_National_Science_FoundationApplied Mechanics Division Honors & Awards Banquet, 13 November 2012, Level Four, Grand Ballroom C, Hilton Americas, Houston.

It is a tremendous honor to speak at the Applied Mechanics Dinner as this year’s Timoshenko medalist.  I was one year old when Prof. Stephen Timoshenko delivered the inaugural lecture in this series.  I was a teenager when I first heard his name, and used his textbook on elasticity for my undergraduate class.  

I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and creative students, post-docs, visitors and collaborators in my research group.  The recognition that I am receiving here is due in large part to their contributions to mechanics, and I accept this honor on their behalf.   

I am perhaps unique as a Timoshenko medalist in that, in addition to being an active scientist, I am also the head of a large federal agency.  Some colleagues have asked me how I feel being away from academia in Washington.  I am reminded of the story associated with Woodrow Wilson, who was president of Princeton University before running for Governor of New Jersey and subsequently for President of the United States.  When asked by a reporter why he left his Ivy League school to go into Government, President Wilson is said to have replied, “So I don’t have to deal with politics anymore”.

The Timoshenko lecture traditionally involves reflecting on one’s life journey and career.  I honor that tradition tonight as I examine my journey, its twists and turns, and the many serendipitous events that have shaped my perspectives, values, research and career. 

Subra Suresh elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Subra Suresh, material scientist and the Director of the National Science Foundation, is elected to the US National Academy of Sciences.  He is iMechanica user 190.  Congratulations!

Mary Boyce and Huajian Gao elected to the National Academy of Engineering

National Academy of Engineering Elects

66 Members and 10 Foreign Associates

                   WASHINGTON — The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected 66 new members and 10 foreign associates, announced NAE President Charles M. Vest today. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,254 and the number of foreign associates to 206.

Francis Charles Moon named the 2012 Thomas K. Caughey Dynamics Award Winner

Francis Charles Moon is named the 2012 Thomas K. Caughey Dynamics Award Winner.

The Thomas K. Caughey Dynamics Award was established in 2008 and is conferred in recognition of an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of nonlinear dynamics through practice, research, teaching, and/or outstanding leadership.

The Award, which includes a medal, a plaque, and an honorarium of $1,000, will be presented at the AMD Banquet, tentatively scheduled on Tuesday, 13 November 2012, during the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, to be held in Houston, Texas, 9-15 November 2012.

David J. Benson named the 2012 Ted Belytschko Applied Mechanics Award Winner

David J. Benson is named the 2012 Ted Belytschko Applied Mechanics Award Winner.

The Applied Mechanics Award was established in 1988 by the ASME Applied Mechanics Division. The Award was renamed the Ted Belytschko Applied Mechanics Award in 2008. The Award is given to an outstanding individual for significant contributions in the practice of engineering mechanics; contributions may result from innovation, research, design, leadership or education.

2012 Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigators Named

Yuri Bazilevs, Xi Chen, and Kenji Takizawa are named 2012 Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigators.

The Young Investigator Award was established in 1998 by the ASME Applied Mechanics Division.  The Award was renamed the Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award in 2008. The Award recognizes special achievements in Applied Mechanics for researchers under the age of 40.

Speech of Acceptance of the 2011 Timoshenko Medal by Alan Needleman

Alan NeedlemanApplied Mechanics Division Honors & Awards Banquet, 15 November 2011, Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom A&B, Third Level.

Thank you, Ares, for your kind introduction. I am greatly honored to have my name added to the list of Timoshenko Medalists. However, receiving the Timoshenko Medal has a down side. I'll describe the down side through a story told by Jean-Baptiste Leblond. At the circus in Imperial Rome a slave was thrown to the lions. The lion stalked the slave and then attacked. As the lion jumped on him the slave grabbed the lion's mane and whispered in its ear. To the crowd's amazement the lion slinked off into a far corner of the arena and sat down. The Emperor called the slave over and said “If you tell me what magic you worked I'll give you your freedom.” The slave replied “It wasn't magic. I just told the lion if he ate me he'd have a good meal but then he'd have to give an after dinner speech. “

Fortunately for me, many previous Timoshenko after dinner speeches are available on iMechanica. I will follow several of those and talk about my life in mechanics. Before I start on that, I want to mention four mechanicians who have had an enormous influence on my professional life as well as having greatly enriched my personal life: John Hutchinson, Viggo Tvergaard, Jim Rice and Erik van der Giessen. There is not enough time to detail my debt to them.

My life in mechanics began my senior year at the University of Pennsylvania. I took a course in continuum mechanics from Hsuan Yeh who was Dean of the Towne School. The course was so interesting that I decided that was what I wanted to study in graduate school. I went to graduate school at Harvard and was very lucky that a young faculty member named John Hutchinson agreed to be my thesis adviser. My PhD thesis involved the finite strain, finite element analysis of a two dimensional periodic array of circular holes (motivated by the pioneering ductile fracture studies of Frank McClintock and Jim Rice). This initiated me into two emerging developments in solid mechanics: finite element methods and materials mechanics. As John Hutchinson remarked in his Timoshenko Medal address, we did not realize we were participating in a revolution.

John W. Hutchinson is awarded the Ludwig-Prandtl-Ring

Professor John W. Hutchinson, of Harvard University, will receive the 2012 Ludwig-Prandtl-Ring.  The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt, the German Society for Aeronautics and Astronautics.   Ludwig Prandtl was a great pioneer of modern Aerodynamics.  The Ludwig-Prandtl-Ring is awarded annually to the maximum of one individual for outstanding contributions to Aeronautics and Astronautics.   

Hassan Aref died this weekend

With deep sorrow we write to  convey the sad news that Hassan Aref has just passed away.  According to an email from Ishwar Puri, Head of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, of Virginia Tech, Professor Hassan Aref went on an extended weekend visit to his home in Illinois on Thursday night.  He died there on Friday, sitting in his chair.

Katia Bertoldi is new Editor of the iMechanica Journal Club

Katia BertoldiKatia Bertoldi, of Harvard University, has graciously accepted our invitation to be Editor of the iMechanica Journal Club. Katia has a knack to organize really interesting and inspiring symposia and workshops.  Here are two examples:

Extreme Mechanics: Elasticity and Deformation.
The New England Workshop on the Mechanics of Materials and Structures.

Katia is a dynamic and energetic researcher.  In addition to working on problems of broad interest to mechanicians, she works effectively with industries, and with people in areas not in traditional mechanics.  She is exceptionally close to students.

iMechanica has now over 26,800 registered users.  We are excited that Katia will take this leadership role, and bring iMechanica users together to discuss mechanics problems of the day.  

Katia Bertoldi is a new Editor of the iMechanica Journal Club

ImageGen.ashxKatia Bertoldi, of Harvard University, has graciously our invitation to be Editor of the iMechanica Journal Club. Katia has a knack to organize really interesting and inspiring symposia and workshops.  Here are two examples:

Katia Bertoldi is a new Editor of the iMechanica Journal Club

ImageGen.ashxKatia Bertoldi, of Harvard University, has graciously our invitation to be Editor of the iMechanica Journal Club. Katia has a knack to organize really interesting and inspiring symposia and workshops.  Here are two examples:

Speech of Acceptance of the 1979 Timoshenko Medal by Jerry L. Ericksen

ericksenNew York, 6 December 1979.  First of all, I am flattered and pleased to have the association with the proud name of Timoshenko. Over the years, my respect for him has grown, as I have gained appreciation of how much he did to upgrade the education of mechanics, in engineering. The trend which he helped initiate has continued so that, today, his works seem rather naive and unsophisticated. In part, this is naturally associated with growth on the subject. It might also reflect some good judgment on his part. There are limits to kinds of changes which rather conservative professions will accept. Such need some prodding, if they are to avoid becoming obsolete. Collectively, those of us here represent a kind of activity which we call Applied Mechanics. Like social clubs, it has a kind of formal structure of organization, or we would not be here tonight. At least some like to think of it as more than a club, a profession or some­thing like it. As a profession, it has some responsibility to pinpoint or generate the interesting and important problems, and to find ways to bring to bear the best talent to solve these. Where it fails, the profession will lose ground to another which is more effective. Times have become harder, so we can ill-afford to lose ground, and we should be more aggressive in finding new turf. I would like to reminisce about personal experiences, to illustrate these points.

Particularly, I remember two previous occasions when Ronald Rivlin served to introduce me. One was for a lecture which I gave at an ASME meeting in Atlanta. Afterward, he opined that it would be a good idea if my next performance took the form of mime. Tonight, I shall ignore this sage advice to keep my mouth shut. The other goes back many years, when I was a graduate student in mathematics, at Indiana University. Then, it was not him personally, but his research which was involved. I was not so interested in mathematics, per se, but in what could be done with it. Available courses in continuum mechanics interested me more, but didn't quite fit the bill. During my last year, Clifford Truesdell joined the faculty, and gave a course on general continuum mechanics, covering about what was later published in his now well-known article, "The Mechanical Foundations of Elasticity and Fluid Dynamics". I was excited by Rivlin's imaginative work on rubber elasticity and non-Newtonian fluids, becoming hooked on the subject. I then moved to the Naval Research Laboratory which was, for a time, a center of the activity. It is still pleasant to remember the heated but friendly arguments concerning the foundations of continuum physics, with Rivlin and Richard Toupin, particularly. Imaginative work can induce young people to enter into a field, if they learn of it. Rivlin's work got me involved but, except for Truesdell, I might not have encountered it.

Alan Needleman will receive the 2011 Timoshenko Medal

needlemanWe have just learned that Professor Alan Needleman, of the University of North Texas, will receive the 2011 Timoshenko Medal.

Alan Needleman has been a leading innovator in developing the mechanics of large plastic deformation and  fracture.  His career has been intertwined with the rise of the field of computational solid mechanics.  To this field he has made many significant and lasting contributions, usually as the first to demonstrate that computational approaches are both feasible and likely to yield insight.

Needleman performed the first finite element calculations of void growth and coalescence (in early 1970's), of necking in tensile bars (in 1972), of debonding using models which embed cohesive zones (in 1983), and ductile crack growth using models which simulate void nucleation, growth and coalescence (in the early 80's). There are more major contributions. He was one of the first to perform accurate numerical computation of the development of shear band localizations in realistic geometries, and the pictures of emerging bands which came out of the studies where widely regarded as "classics". He has simulated crack growth patterns, including bifurcation and branching, in the dynamic fracture of brittle materials. Most recently, he originated and still drives the effort to development computational methods to predict macroscopic stress-strain behavior based on discrete dislocation mechanics. In all these cases, his primary contribution has been to lead the way and to demonstrate the feasibility and power of computational approaches to the particular phenomenon.

George Bugliarello died on 18 February 2011

George Bugliarello, president emeritus and former chancellor of Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), an acknowledged visionary who brought about significant changes in engineering and education, died after a short illness on February 18.  He was trained in hydrodynamics and civil engineering.  His lifelong investigation was  how natural, mechanical, information and energy systems affect society.   

Rodney Hill died on 2 February 2011

Rodney Hill was born on 11 June 1921.  He was a Reader, then Professor, in The Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), of The University of Cambridge, during the period 1969-1979. He is widely regarded as among the foremost contributors to the foundations of solid mechanics over the second half of the 20th century. He was author of 'The Mathematical Theory of Plasticity' published in 1950.

He established the 'Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids' in 1952 and acted as its Editor-in-Chief until 1968. He was elected FRS in 1961 and was awarded a Royal Medal by the Royal Society in 1993 'for his outstanding contribution to the theoretical mechanics of solids, and especially the plasticity of solids'.

Speech of Acceptance of the 2010 Timoshenko Medal by Wolfgang G. Knauss the following the italicized portions were stricken from the oral presentation to better approximate the time length suggested. They are retained here primarily for the preservation of historical developments in mechanics.

Experimental Mechanics of History

It is a great honor to be selected to address you tonight on the occasion of receiving the Timoshenko Medal, the award notification of which caught me by total surprise. Selections for such honors are sometimes difficult and possibly contentious processes, and I thank the 15 or so colleagues making up the various committee groups for their forbearance and benevolence towards me. I am proud of this award, because it makes me only the fourth Caltech faculty recipient, with Theodore von Karman, Eli Sternberg and Anatol Roshko the forerunners, and with two of these being heavily devoted to experimental work. I belong to a generation that no longer has a personal connection to Stepan Prokofievich Timoshenko, nor do I possess an academic genealogy which connects me to him, other than the assiduous studies of his “black books” as other Timoshenko awardees have called them. Instead, my history links me, in direct sequence, to Max Williams, Ernie Sechler, Theodore von Karman, Ludwig Prandtl, August Föppel and Christian Otto Mohr, of Mohr’s circle fame: I owe a lot to these, my academic “forefathers”.

One of the intended purposes of the addresses following the Timoshenko award dinners is, if somewhat loosely, to preserve a history of (applied) mechanics. The choice of my title implies the reverse, namely that mechanics can and does describe or control history. That is indeed true if one thinks of the structural systems that contain viscoelastic materials which require the tracking of the deformation or loading histories to describe the system response. This may be a superficial twist of words, but the realistic implications are severe, as, I hope, you will see.

Qian Weichang (钱伟长) passed away on 30 July 2010

imageQian Weichang passed away on 30 July 2010. 

He was 98.

Qian, a pioneer in mechanics and applied mathematics in
modern China, was one of the three famous "Qians" in China's science and
technology field. He was well known alongside Qian Xuesen, the father
of China's space program, and Qian Sanqiang, a nuclear physicist who
oversaw the development of China's nuclear program.

Read the full article on Xinhua net

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