ASCE has honored Colin Atkinson, Ph.D., with the 2020 Maurice A. Biot Medal for outstanding contributions to the development of fundamental mathematical solutions to problems in fracture mechanics of fluid-saturated porous media, and for linking these contributions to the successful applications in energy resources recovery sectors worldwide.
Atkinson has made groundbreaking research contributions to analytical developments in poromechanics, fracture mechanics, elasticity, hyperelasticity and applied mathematics. He has made many fundamental contributions to the development of mathematical approaches to the theory of crack propagation in fluid-saturated poroelastic media. These studies have served as benchmark papers for the calibration of numerical approaches for fracture in poroelastic materials based on boundary integral equation and finite element techniques and for the analysis of poroelasto-dynamic problems.
His contributions in the area of fracture mechanics and theoretical studies of crack problems involved obtaining some of the first solutions for dynamically expanding cracks and crack propagation in the presence of a variety of dissipative mechanisms.
The value and utility of the mathematical results developed is underpinned by their extensive application in modern computational developments that are relevant to energy resources extraction using hydraulic fracturing to stimulate crack growth in oil shales and other carbonate reservoirs. His work has had a wide impact across the whole of the oil and gas industry.
Atkinson has authored or coauthored nearly 300 papers in archival journals and has five patents. His was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1998.
The Maurice A. Biot Medal was established to recognize the lifetime achievement of Dr. Maurice A. Biot and is awarded to an individual who has made outstanding research contributions to the mechanics of porous materials.