Rice Earns ASCE’s von Karman Medal

BY 
May 1, 2014

Rice, JamesJames R. Rice, Ph.D., F.EMI, M.ASCE, is the recipient of the von Karman Medal for his fundamental contributions to mechanics and its engineering applications. Mallinckrodt Professor of Engineering Sciences and Geophysics at Harvard University, Rice, for almost half a century, has defined many of the most exciting frontiers of solid mechanics and has made significant contributions to fields like interfacial fracture, poroelasticity, frictional stability, and crack front waves. Rice’s work is marked by elegant mechanics, state-of-the-art computations, and penetrating interpretation of results within a broad context of laboratory and field observations. Being an excellent communicator, Rice has been instrumental in showing the materials science and geophysics communities that careful, rigorous mechanics can address seemingly intractable problems in their disciplines. His focus in recent years is on mechanics directed to earth and environmental problems, including fault zone processes, earthquake nucleation, dynamic rupture propagation, meltwater interactions with glacier dynamics, landslide processes, and general hydrologic phenomena involving fluid interactions in deformation, flow, and failure of earth materials. Among engineering and scientific society awards, Rice has been awarded the 2007 ASCE Maurice A. Biot Medal for poromechanics, the 1988 Society for Engineering Science William Prager Medal for solid mechanics, the 1994 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Timoshenko Medal for applied mechanics, the 1996 ASME Nadai Award for materials engineering, the Academy of Sciences of Turin Panetti-Ferrari International Prize of 2008 in Applied Mechanics, the 2012 American Geophysical Union Walter H. Bucher Medal for contributions to knowledge of the crust and lithosphere, and the 2013 Seismological Society of America Harry Fielding Reid Medal for contributions in seismology and earthquake engineering.

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