Thomas J. R. Hughes, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, NAS, NAE, an expert in research and application of the finite element method – a technology that has transformed the analysis and design of complex systems in engineering – has been honored by ASCE for his contributions as an outstanding leader in the engineering profession by being named to the 2015 Class of Distinguished Members.
Hughes is Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and holds the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Chair in Computational and Applied Mathematics Chair at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, University of Texas at Austin. Hughes began his career as a mechanical design engineer at Grumman Aerospace, subsequently joining General Dynamics as a research and development engineer. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology, and Stanford University before joining The University of Texas at Austin.
Hughes is a widely-cited author in scientific computing, and he has received numerous national and international awards for his research. In addition to ASCE, he is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Royal Society of London, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Istituto Lombardo Accademia di Scienze e Lettere. Hughes has received honorary doctorates from A Coruña, Louvain, Pavia, Padua, Trondheim, and Northwestern Universities.
He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Pratt Institute, and a master of science in mathematics and Ph.D. in engineering science from the University of California, Berkeley. He is an elected member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi.