Ted Belytschko Lecture Welcomes Thomas J.R. Hughes

Aerospace engineering expert will speak November 25 at inaugural lecture

Thomas J.R. Hughes, a leading expert in computational mechanics and professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Texas-Austin, will deliver the inaugural Ted Belytschko Lecture on Monday, November 25.

Thomas J.R. HughesThe lecture, “Isogeometric Analysis, Phase-field Modeling and Fracture,” will take place at 4 p.m. in the ITW classroom in the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center, 2133 Sheridan Road, on Northwestern University’s Evanston  mpus. The talk will explore isogeometric analysis, a computational approach that integrates computer-aided drafting (CAD) and finite element analysis (FEA) technologies. Hughes will summarize the mathematical developments that confirm the approach’s effectiveness, present sample applications, and describe his current work.

Hughes began his career as a mechanical design engineer at Grumman Aerospace, subsequently joining General Dynamics as a research and development engineer. After receiving his PhD, he joined the faculty at the University of California-Berkeley, eventually moving to the California Institute of Technology and then Stanford University before joining the University of Texas. At Stanford, he served as chairman of the Division of Applied Mechanics, chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and chairman of the Division of Mechanics and Computation, and occupied the Mary and Gordon Crary Chair of Engineering.

Ted Belytschko

His numerous achievements include the Huber Prize and Von Karman Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); the Timoshenko, Worcester Reed Warner, and Melville Medals from ASME (formerly the American Society of Mechanical Engineers); the Von Neumann Medal from the United States Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM); the Gauss-Newton Medal from the International Association for Computational Mechanics (IACM); and membership in the US National Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Established in 2013, the Ted Belytschko Lecture recognizes Belytschko for his contributions to the field of computational structural mechanics and his impact on the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. 

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.

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 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.