J. W. Dally Young Investigator

James W. Dally, P.E., Ph.D., has been internationally recognized for seminal contributions to the development of experimental methods for studying dynamic fracture mechanics and stress wave propagation problems; for academic leadership; and for developing innovative teaching materials and textbooks for undergraduate and graduate education.

Since his retirement from active teaching and research at the University of Maryland, College Park, Jim serves as an engineering consultant for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and manages College House Enterprises, LLC (Knoxville, TN), a niche publisher of engineering textbooks.

Previously, Jim taught at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY); the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago; and the U.S. Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, CO); and he served as dean of engineering at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston. He also held positions at the Mesta Machine Co. (Homestead, PA); IIT Research Institute, Chicago; and IBM (Manassas, VA).

An ASME Fellow, Jim is also a Fellow and Past President of the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM) and the American Academy of Mechanics, and a member of American Society for Engineering Education and the National Defense Industrial Association.

Among his distinguished honors, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (1984); was selected by his peers to receive the Senior Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award in the College of Engineering (1991) and the Distinguished Scholar Teacher Award (1993) at the University of Maryland. He was a member of the University of Maryland team that received the Outstanding Educator Award sponsored by the Boeing Co. (1996), and more recently, he received an Outstanding Alumni Award (2009) from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s mechanical engineering department, the 2012 Daniel C. Drucker Medal from ASME and the Archie Higdon Distinguished Educator Award from the Mechanics Division of ASEE in 2013.

Jim earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, in 1951 and 1953, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. in mechanics from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1958.

Award Guidelines      Award Nomination Form


2024 Recipient

Picture of Martha Grady

For original contributions in experimental mechanics at biological interfaces and exemplary teaching of mechanics courses.

Martha Grady
Dr. Martha E. Grady (Meg) is an Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY, USA. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Central Florida, Masters and PhD degrees in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and spent two years at the University of Pennsylvania as a Postdoctoral Fellow before beginning her faculty appointment in 2016. She is a past chair of the Biological Systems and Materials technical division and current chair of the Education Committee for the Society for Experimental Mechanics. She was awarded the UCF MAE Alumni Young Engineer Award in 2015, the NSF CAREER Award in 2021, and the UK College of Engineering Excellence in Research Award in 2022. Her research is supported by NSF, NIH, and NASA. Her research interests lie at the intersection of materials, deformation mechanics, and medical interfaces.

The Society acknowledges the following individuals who were given the J. W. Dally Young Investigator Award in the past.
2023 - Zhu Mao 2022 - Yuhang Hu 2021 - Kejie Zhao
2020 - Alper Erturk 2019 - Jamie Kimberley 2018 - Addis Kidane
2017 - Dr. Shuman Xia 2016 - Samantha Daly