The American Society of Mechanics Engineers (ASME) held its annual International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Expo (IMECE) in Pittsburgh, PA on November 9-15, 2018. ASME-IMECE is the society's flagship conference, with attendance this year reaching close to 2,000 participants. Brown Engineering Professors Yuri Bazilevs and Pradeep Guduru, who are members of the Executive Committee of the Applied Mechanics Division of the ASME, served as the Program Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the ASME-IMECE Track 12: Solids, Structures, and Fluids. The organization of Track 12 is, historically, a responsibility of the Applied Mechanics Division of the ASME. Track 12 also serves as the flagship event for the Applied Mechanics community in the U.S. and beyond.
This year, Track 12 attracted nearly 500 participants, and showcased a stellar technical program featuring four consecutive days of oral and poster presentations covering the exciting new developments in experimental, computational, and analytical methods in Applied Mechanics. The Track 12 Plenary Lectures were delivered by Prof. Thomas J.R. Hughes of UT Austin, recipient of the 2018 ASME Medal, and Prof. Zdenek P. Bazant of Northwestern University, recipient of the 2017 ASME Medal.
The highlight of the Track 12 program was the Awards and Honors Banquet on November 13th. Prof. Balakumar Balachandran of the University of Maryland was the Master of Ceremonies, and several individuals were honored for their numerous, important, and sustained contributions to Applied Mechanics. The honorees with direct ties to Brown Engineering and Solid Mechanics were:
- Profs. Ruike Zhao ScM'14 PhD'16 of Ohio State and Victor Lefevre of Northwestern University received the 2018 Haythornthwaite Foundation Research Initiation Grants. Ruike received her Ph.D. from Brown in 2016 working with Profs. K.-S. Kim and Huajian Gao, while Victor was a recent recipient of the Hibbitt Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown working with Prof. K.-S. Kim.
- Prof. Guruswami Ravichandran ScM'83 ScM'84 PhD'87 of Caltech, was honored with the 2018 Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award.
- Prof. Alan Needleman, now at Texas A&M and an Emeritus Professor of Engineering at Brown, received the 2018 ASME Honorary Member Award.
- Prof. Ares Rosakis ScM'80 PhD'83, P'17 of Caltech, was honored with the 2018 Stephen P. Timoshenko Medal, which is the highest-level award given to an Applied Mechanics researcher by the ASME.
The sustained impact of Brown Solid Mechanics was apparent from the honoree speeches, and it was clear that Brown Solid Mechanics continues its leadership in Applied Mechanics research, and in educating new generations of scientists poised to take leading roles in the community.