KAUST hosts mechanics symposium in honor of Harvard Professor John W. Hutchinson


Sunday 31 October 2010

This week, KAUST hosted a symposium entitled ‘Future Directions in Mechanics and Material Research’ in honor of Professor John W. Hutchinson.

From Sunday October 31 to Monday November 1, a series of distinguished professors from KAUST, Cambridge, Harvard and other international universities, paid tribute to Professor Hutchinson. A series of talks and lectures were delivered on topics such as soft materials, ductile fracture, mechanic studies and computational mechanics.

Dean of Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering at KAUST, David Keyes provided a lecture on the importance of using appropriate computational mechanics research software in an age beset by commercially driven, non-expert products.

Cambridge Professor, Norman Fleck delivered a talk entitled ‘Dynamic Performance of Sandwich Structures’. The subject of how natured evolved self-cleaning, strong attachment and easy detachment adhesive systems was the focus of Brown University Professor, Huajian Gao’s symposium discussion. Additionally, KAUST Geophysics Professor Martin Mai discussed the importance of Dynamic Earthquake Rupture Modeling in the Presence of Stress Heterogeneity.

Also, speakers at the symposium included other KAUST faculty members as well as guest professors from Cambridge, the Technical University of Denmark, Harvard, the University of North Texas, Northwestern University, Illinois and Brown University, Rhode Island.

In his welcome address, President Shih paid tribute to Dr. Hutchison for his contributions to the field of Mechanical Research, describing him as a mentor and friend.

He said: “John’s career has spanned five decades, covering a spectrum of fields in engineering science. His work has impacted in a significant and enduring way a broad set of technical areas affecting diverse mechanical and structural engineering.”

Before beginning his talk on the ‘Recent Developments in Ductile Fracture’, Dr Hutchinson extended a warm thanks to KAUST for hosting the symposium.

He said: “The most striking thing about our field of research is that we all truly enjoy what we are presently working on – it’s always a pleasure for us.”

Throughout his 50-year career Dr Hutchinson has made seminal contributions to the most important developments in solid and structural mechanics as well as mechanics of materials.

Dr Hutchinson has spent his career in the faculty of Applied Sciences at Harvard where he currently serves as the Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering.