Thomas J. R. Hughes — Lecture

Event Date: December 5, 2019
Speaker: The University of Texas at Austin, Peter O'Donnell Jr. Chair in Computational and Applied Mathematics and Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Speaker Affiliation: The University of Texas at Austin
Sponsor: School of Mechanical Engineering
Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Location: WALC 1055, Hiler Theater
Contact Name: Maria Longoria-Littleton
Contact Phone: +1 765 49-40015
Contact Email:
Priority: Yes
School or Program: College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
College Calendar: Show

Isogeometric Analysis


Thomas J. R. Hughes

The vision of Isogeometric Analysis was first presented in a paper published October 1, 2005 [1].  Since then it has become a focus of research within both the fields of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computer Aided Design (CAD) and is rapidly becoming a mainstream analysis methodology and a new paradigm for geometric design [2].  The key concept utilized in the technical approach is the development of a new foundation for FEA, based on rich geometric descriptions originating in CAD, resulting in a single geometric model that serves as a basis for both design and analysis. 

In this overview, I will describe some areas in which progress has been made in developing improved methodologies to efficiently solve problems that have been at the very least difficult, if not impossible, within traditional FEA.  I will also describe current areas of intense activity and areas where problems remain open, representing both challenges and opportunities for future research.


Dr. Hughes holds B.E. and M.E. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Pratt Institute and an M.S. in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the University of California at Berkeley.  He taught at Berkeley, Caltech and Stanford before joining the University of Texas at Austin.  At Stanford he served as Chairman of the Division of Applied Mechanics, Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chairman of the Division of Mechanics and Computation, and held the Mary and Gordon Crary Family Chair of Engineering.

Dr. Hughes is a fellow of the American Academy of Mechanics (AAM), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM), the International Association for Computational Mechanics (IACM), the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

He is co-editor of the international journal Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, a founder and past President of USACM and IACM, past Chairman of the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME, and past Chairman of the U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (USNC/TAM).

Dr. Hughes 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 the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London, the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Section for Mathematics and the Physical Sciences), and the Istituto Lombardo Accademia di Scienze e Lettere (Mathematics Section).

Dr. Hughes is one of the most widely cited authors in Engineering Science.  He has been elected to Distinguished Member, ASCE’s highest honor, and has received ASME’s highest honor, the ASME Medal.  He has also received the Huber Prize and Von Karman Medal from ASCE, the Timoshenko, Worcester Reed Warner, and Melville Medals from ASME, the Von Neumann Medal from USACM, the Gauss-Newton Medal from IACM, the SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Engineering Science, and many other national and international awards. 

Dr. Hughes has received honorary doctorates from the Université catholique de Louvain, the University of Pavia, the University of Padua, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim), Northwestern University (Evanston), and the University of A Coruña. 

The Special Achievement Award for Young Investigators in Applied Mechanics is an award given annually by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME.  In 2008 this award was renamed the Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award.

In 2012 the Computational Fluid Mechanics Award of the United States Association for Computational Mechanics was renamed the Thomas J.R. Hughes Medal.

Dr. Hughes has delivered multiple plenary lectures at World Congresses of Computational Mechanics and United States National Congresses of Computational Mechanics.  He also has been a plenary lecturer at the International Congress of Mathematicians. 

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