UC Santa Barbara engineering professor Robert McMeeking has been awarded the 2014 William Prager Medal from the Society of Engineering Science (SES). The award recognizes “outstanding research contributions in either theoretical or experimental solid mechanics or both.”
McMeeking is cited for “for contributions underpinning finite deformation computational mechanics and the constitutive characterization of advanced structural and functional materials, including fracture and deformation of ceramics, composite materials, ferroelectrics, and the mechanics of adhesion and cells.” He will receive his medal at the SES 51st Annual Technical Meeting in October at Purdue University.
UCSB Chancellor and fellow engineer Henry T. Yang lauded his achievement, saying, “I extend my heartiest congratulations to Professor McMeeking on this most prestigious recognition of his world-renowned research in mechanics and materials. We are all so proud to have him as our colleague.”
“I am very pleased and honored to be awarded the 2014 Prager Medal, especially as I knew Professor Prager when I was a graduate student at Brown and he was an eminent and accomplished professor recognized for his important contributions to applied mechanics and applied mathematics,” said McMeeking. “I would like to thank my mentors, my colleagues and my post-docs and students who all helped make it possible for me to do the work that has been recognized by my receipt of the Prager Medal.”
The Tony Evans Professor of Structural Materials and a professor of mechanical engineering, McMeeking has spent almost four decades in his profession, researching and teaching at Stanford University and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before joining the UCSB faculty in 1985. He was chair of what was then the UCSB Department of Mechanical and Environmental Engineering from 1992 to 1995 and again from 1999 to 2003. Aside from his faculty positions at UCSB, he also holds or has held other academic appointments, including visiting fellow and visiting professor at Cambridge University, visiting scholar at Pembroke College, Sixth Century Professor of Engineering Materials at Aberdeen University in Scotland, and visiting professor of Materials at Saarland University in Germany, as well as various lectureships.
An expert in solid mechanics, materials and structures, McMeeking has conducted research ranging from mechanics of materials to multifunctional materials and structures to thermal barrier coatings, blast- and fragment-resistant structures, to biomechanics and cell mechanics. He has published more than 200 papers and is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Academy of Mechanics. He also was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2005 and the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering in 2012. He is recognized by the Institute of Scientific Information as a Highly Cited Researcher in the fields of Materials Science and Engineering, and was twice awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award — once in 2004 and again in 2013. He was editor-in-chief for the ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics from 2002 to 2012.
In addition to awarding the medal to McMeeking in October, SES also organized a symposium in his honor of McMeeking, with presentations that highlight the major research areas to which he has contributed significantly.