ICES Professor Thomas J. R. Hughes has been selected to receive the American Society of Mechanical Engineer's (ASME) highest honor, the 2018 ASME Medal. Established in 1920, the medal recognizes “eminently distinguished engineering achievement.”
Hughes is "honored for the pioneering development of computer-aided engineering and design technologies disseminated in industrial and commercial software used throughout the world, thereby improving engineering product development; and for originating and leading new fields of computational engineering research."
Hughes’ career spans over five decades. He has been with UT Austin since 2002, where he is currently professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, holder of the Peter O'Donnell, Jr. Chair in Computational and Applied Mathematics, and leader of the ICES Computational Mechanics Group.
A pioneer in the development of the finite element method, Hughes is a leading researcher in computer-aided engineering and its integration with computer-aided design. His work has been incorporated in computer programs used to design and analyze airplanes, automobiles, high-speed trains, consumer products, industrial processes and other applications; and to diagnose disease and guide medical interventions.
Hughes’ published works have garnered more than 98,000 citations and his h-index is 142. He is one of the most widely cited authors in scientific computing.
He has delivered numerous lectures at national and international congresses.
An ASME Fellow, Dr. Hughes received the Society’s Melville Medal in 1979, Worcester Reed Warner Medal in 1998 and Timoshenko Medal in 2007. In 2008 the Applied Mechanics Division renamed its Special Achievement Award for Young Investigators the Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award.
Among his extensive list of other honors, Dr. Hughes is a member of seven academies, including both the U.S. Academy of Engineering and the U.S. Academy of Sciences, and he holds six honorary doctorates.
Hughes earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1965 and 1967, respectively. He earned his master’s degree in mathematics and Ph.D. in engineering science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974.