Ted Belytschko Lecture Honors Longtime McCormick Faculty Member

Lecture series to bring prominent speaker to Northwestern each year

Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science has announced the creation of a new lecture series in honor of Ted Belytschko, a longtime faculty member and expert in computational methods for computer simulation of mechanical events such as car crash testing.

Ted BelytschkoThe Ted Belytschko Lecture recognizes Belytschko for his contributions to the field of computational structural mechanics and his impact on McCormick’s Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering. The lecture will bring a prominent speaker to Northwestern’s Evanston campus each year.

“Ted’s pioneering work has had amazing consequences. For example, he has dramatically altered crashworthiness design by replacing prototype testing with computer simulation, advances that have modernized the field, improved efficiency, and possibly saved lives,” said McCormick Dean Julio M. Ottino. “We are immensely proud of Ted’s legacy.” 

A member of Northwestern’s faculty since 1977, Belytschko’s interests lie in the development of computational methods for engineering problems. He has developed explicit finite element methods that are widely used in crashworthiness analysis and virtual prototyping. Recently, the methods he developed have been instrumental in enabling the auto industry to replace physical prototype testing with computer simulation in crashworthiness design. These methods also have replaced prototype testing in many other industries, thus shortening the design cycle.

One of the most cited researchers in engineering science, Belytschko is the recipient of numerous honors, including membership in the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the U. S. National Academy of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a founding director of the U.S. Association for Computational Structural Mechanics, and in 2012, the association named a medal in his honor. The ASME Applied Mechanics Award was renamed the ASME Ted Belytschko Applied Mechanics Division Award in November 2007.

Belytschko is editor-in-chief of the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering and co-author of the books Nonlinear Finite Elements for Continua and Structures and A First Course in Finite Elements.