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Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal



Professor Nemat-Nasser, Distinguished Professor of Mechanics and Materials, is the Director of UCSD's Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials. He studies how materials respond to thermo-mechanical loads imposed by their environment, and how they may fatigue or fail over time. He is especially interested in the mechanics of ceramics, ceramic composites, high strength alloys and superalloys, rocks and geomaterials, and advanced metallic and polymeric composites with electromagnetic, self-healing, and self-sensing functionality; ionic polymer-metal composites as soft actuators/sensors, and shape-memory alloys. He has a history of realizing the impact of experimental mechanics on various scientific and engineering fields, to develop novel materials with new properties. A very brief bio follows:

Sia Nemat-Nasser arrived in the USA in 1958 from Iran. B.S, Sacramento State U, 1960; M.S., 1961, and Ph.D. 1964, UC Berkeley. Assistant professor, Sacramento State U, 1961-62. post-doc, 1964-66, Northwestern U; assistant and associate professor, 1966-70, UCSD; professor, 1970-85, Northwestern U; professor, 1985-present, UCSD. His awards and honors include: Nat’l. Acad. Eng.: Member 2001. ASME: Stephen P. Timoshenko Medal 2008; Mater. Div. establishes Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Medal 2008 (focused on underrepresented minorities & women in engineering); Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award 2006; Honorary Member 2005; Aerosp. Div., Adaptive Struct. & Mater. Systems Best Paper of the Year Award 2003; Nadai Medal 2002; Life Fellow 2001; Chair, Mater. Div. 1997-98; Fellow 1979. ASCE: Theodore von Karman Medal 2008. Sacramento State U: Distinguished Alumni Award 2008. SEM: B.J. Lazan Award 2007; W.M. Murray Medal 2009. SES: William Prager Medal 2002; Founding Fellow 1988; Pres. 1979-80. AAM: Pres. 1996-97, Secy 1989-94, Fellow 1970. World Innovation Foundation: Honorary Member 2004. Tech. Inst.: Willard F. Rockwell Medal 2003. UCSD: Faculty Research Lecturer Award 2005; Sch. Eng./MAE Teacher of the Year Award, 2000-01, 1996-97, & 1994-95; John Dove Isaacs Chair in Natural Philosophy,1995-00. Alburz Educational Foundation Prize 1975.

The Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal is intended to recognize an individual for distinguished, innovative and outstanding work that has realized the impact of experimental mechanics on other scientific and engineering fields through an integrated multidisciplinary research.

Criteria for Selection:

  • The recipient should be recognized for outstanding contributions during his/her career. 
  • There should be no affiliation or nationality restriction on the recipient, only the excellence of contributions to experimental mechanics and its impact on other scientific fields.

The award shall consist of a plaque recognizing the recipient and containing a likeness of Sia Nemat-Nasser, presented at the Awards Luncheon conducted in conjunction with the SEM Annual Conference and an amount of $5,000.00USD.

Award Guidelines






      For innovative singular theoretical and experimental contributions in dynamic fracture and
optical techniques, and their application to rupture faults
  Ares J. Rosakis    

Professor Ares J. Rosakis received his bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering science from Oxford University. He earned his Sc.M. and Ph.D. degrees in solid mechanics from Brown University.


Rosakis researches quasi-static and dynamic failure of metals, composites, and interfaces with emphasis on the use of high-speed visible and infrared diagnostics and laser interferometry.  He also brings together concepts from engineering fracture mechanics and geophysics to understand earthquake source mechanics and the physics of dynamic rupture. He is credited with the experimental discovery of the phenomenon of “intersonic” shear rupture growth in bimaterials and the associated phenomenon of “super-shear” earthquakes.


Rosakis holds thirteen US patents on thin-film stress measurement and in situ wafer level metrology as well as on high speed infrared thermography. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was bestowed the Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques from the Prime Minister of the French Republic. Most recently he was elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europaea), Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) and elected member of Academia Europaea.
  H. Espinoza
  S. Nemat-Nasser






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