Saturday, April 18, 2009

Desai, Krauss receive national awards

Two members of our Arizona scientific community were honored this past week with national awards.

The Structural Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Institutes of the American Society of Civil Engineers has awarded its 2009 Nathan M. Newmark Medal to University of Arizona Regents' Professor Chandra Desai [right, top].

The award is given "for outstanding and seminal contributions for development and application of new constitutive models, laboratory test devices, and computational methods in geomechanics, structural mechanics and other areas in engineering." The selection committee noted Desai's success "in the area of computational mechanics, with emphasis on the finite element and finite difference methods, and material modeling."

Desai is a nationally known authority on geotechnical and structural engineering, including how buildings, dams and other structures interact with soil and respond to seismic activity.

Also, Lawrence Krauss
[right, bottom] was honored with an award for Scholarship in the Public Interest at the Center for Inquiry’s 12th World Congress on Science, Public Policy, and the Planetary Community. Prior recipients include Carl Sagan, Stephen J. Gould, Elizabeth Loftus, Martin Gardner and Leon Lederman.

Lawrence is a professor at ASU in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Department. This latest honor came just days after the close of the highly publicized Origins Symposium at ASU. Lawrence is director of the Origins Initiative at ASU.

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