Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Ericksen selected for first ever ISIMM prize

The International Society for the Interaction of Mechanics and Mathematics has launched a lifetime achievement prize. The honored recipient of the first award is AEM Professor Emeritus Jerald L. Ericksen.The award is given for exceptional contributions towards building new bridges between Mathematics and Mechanics. Ericksen retired from the department in 1991.

Prof. Jerald Erickson

Below is the description of the award and the selection process as produced by ISIMM.

Professor Jerald L. Ericksen

During his long career Prof. Ericksen has worked in a variety of areas of mechanics, single-handedly opening them to the most profound mathematical investigation. According to R. Rivlin he never followed scientific fashions, he created them. Few scientists in the second half of the XX century may claim more of an impact on establishing connection between mechanics and mathematics, on laying the ground for permanent and fruitful interactions between the two disciplines. The sheer number of mathematicians that Prof. Ericksen directly or indirectly attracted to mechanical problems is greater than anybody can could.

The work of Prof. Ericksen has encouraged mechanicians and mathematicians (not counting condensed-matter physicists and materials scientists) to work actively together in the study of problems which he first pointed out and incisively probed. Prof. Ericksen's scholarly activity has given an altogether pivotal contribution to the rejuvenation of many domains of mechanics: elasticity theory, rheology, theory of liquid crystals, studies of phase-transforming solids, magneto-elasticity, theory of shells and rods, and thermodynamics of continuum, to name just a few. Prof. Ericksen's work is at the basis of the current efforts of the main research groups in any of these disciplines. His papers written in the very original style will continue giving inspiration to an ever-increasing community of scientists in mechanics and mathematics.

Nobody better than C. Truesdell could evaluate the stature of Prof. Ericksen: "His interests and expertness center upon the mechanics of materials and extend to everything that may contribute to it: pure analysis, algebra, geometry, through all aspects of theoretical mechanics to fundamental experiment, all of these illuminated by an intimate and deep familiarity with the sources, even very old ones. He is independent of school and contemptuous of party spirit; his generosity in giving away his ideas is renowned, but not everyone is capable of accepting what is offered. His writings are totally free of broad claims and attributions beyond his own study. Some are decisive, some are prophetic, and all are forthright. His work has served as a beacon of insight and simple honesty in an age of ever more trivial and corrupt science."



Last Modified: Thursday, 23-Aug-2012 09:37:18 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation