Professor Michael Thouless and Assistant Professor John Hart have been announced the recipients of this year’s ME Department Achievement Awards. They will be recognized at the CoE Faculty Honors Dinner Dance to be held in March.
Thouless’s research interests include micromechanics modeling of materials, interfacial fracture mechanics and adhesion, mechanical properties of thin films and coatings, toughening mechanisms in polymers, and mechanical properties of structural adhesives. Beyond his professorship in the ME department, Thouless serves as Chair of the Senate Advisory Community on University Affairs. By virtue of the position, he also acts as Chair of the University Senate and the Senate Assembly.
Last October, Thouless received a Doctor of Science degree from the University of Cambridge on the basis of having demonstrated academic distinction and becoming an authority in his field. He has been recognized as Professor of the Term by Pi Tau Sigma twice, in 2005 and in 2009. In 2007, Thouless became a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Hart leads the Mechanosynthesis Group within the ME department, a research group whose work focuses on synthesis, properties, and applications of nanostructures and nanomaterials. His research interests include manufacturing and application of nanostructured materials; nanotubes and nanowires; energy conversion; catalysis and reaction control; composite materials and structures; optical, electronic, and fluidic devices; self-assembly; machine and instrument design; and scientific visualizations. In addition to his professorship in the ME department, Hart also teaches in the School of Art and Design.
This year, Hart was selected by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers to receive the 2010 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award. In 2009, he was awarded a Pi Tau Sigma Gold Medal and the R&D Magazine 100 Award, and in 2008, he received the DARPA Young Faculty Award. He is also the founder of Nanobliss, an online gallery of visualizations of small-scale structures that has enjoyed enormous recognition by various news outlets since its inception in 2006.