ME PhD Candidate Phani Motamarri is the recipient of the 2014 Robert Melosh Medal. This is a prestigious award in computational science and mechanics.
The Robert J. Melosh Medal Competition was inaugurated in 1989 to honor Professor Melosh, a pioneering researcher in finite element methods and former chairman of civil and environmental engineering at Duke. In a professional career that included working at Boeing, Philco-Ford Laboratory, and MARC Analysis and Research Corporation, as well as teaching at Rensselaer Polytechniv Institute, the University of Washington, Virginia Tech, and Duke University, Professor Melosh made significant and varied contributions to the finite element method. The Competition was established in view of his body of work, and aims to reflect Professor Melosh’s dedication to the education of young engineers and researchers by providing a forum for student researchers to present their work and interact with each other and with leading researchers in the field. The winner of the Competition, as determined on the basis of a submitted extended abstract and oral presentation of the paper, receives the Robert J. Melosh Medal and a $500 honorarium.
The Competition is conducted in two primary phases. Initially, extended abstracts are reviewed by a panel of distinguished researchers in computational mechanics. Based on this review process, the top six papers are selected as finalists, and their student authors are invited to participate in the second phase of the competition, a symposium at Duke University. The symposium features lectures by the members of the distinguished judging panel, as well as talks by all the selected finalists.
This year, the Melosh symposium was conducted on April 25 and included students and post-docs from CMU, Stanford, UT Austin, UCSD, UIUC, MINES ParisTech. Motamarri was selected from among the seven finalists to receive the medal. Motamarri is the second person from University of Michigan to receive this prestigious award, since its inception in 1989.
Motamarri’s advisor is ME Associate Professor Vikram Gavini.