The James W. Dally Young Investigator Award

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.


2017 Recipient

For outstanding contributions to engineering education and excellence in research in experimental nano- and micro-mechanics.
Dr. Shuman Xia
Dr. Shuman Xia is an Assistant Professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He obtained his B.S. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics with highest distinction from Beijing University in 2003, and then attended Brown University where he received a M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Engineering (Solid Mechanics) in 2008. He joined the faculty of Georgia Tech in 2011 after completing postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include mechanics of energy storage materials, experimental nano- and micro-mechanics, fracture and failure of heterogeneous media, and mechanics of active materials. He is the recipient of the Orr Early Career Award from the Materials Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Fylde Strain Best Paper Prize, and the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award.
Past Recipients
2016 – Samantha Daly