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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




2013 H. Espinoza
2011 S. Nemat-Nasser


2013 Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal: Horacio D. Espinosa

For outstanding experimental contributions with impact to the fields of nanomechanics, nanoelectronics, and nanomanufacturing.

Horacio D. Espinosa is the James and Nancy Farley Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. He has made contributions in the areas of dynamic failure of advanced materials, micro and nanomechanics. Professor Espinosa received numerous awards and honors including two Young Investigator Awards, NSF-Career and ONR-YIP, and the American Academy of Mechanics (AAM) and Society of Engineering Science Junior Medals. He also received the Society for Experimental Mechanics 2005 Hetenyi and 2008 Lazan Awards. He is a member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Russian Academy of Engineering, and Fellow of AAM, ASME, and SEM. He served as Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Experimental Mechanics.







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