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Honors and Awards Guidelines

Nominations are now closed for 2017.


The Executive Committee (EC) of the United States Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM) seeks to recognize outstanding contributions to computational mechanics. The Association has established several Honors and Awards associated with its broad objectives to:

"promote and recognize research, commercial and academic activities in the general area of computational mechanics that take place within the United States."

This procedure document provides the specifics of the USACM Award Procedures. This document serves as a guide on award procedures, that should be updated and passed on to new Officers of the Executive Committee, and is not meant to be interpreted as rules for conducting USACM awards.

General Provisions

USACM has established the following Honors and Awards:

  • John von Neumann Medal
  • The Belytschko Medal
  • The Thomas J.R. Hughes Medal
  • The J. Tinsley Oden Medal
  • Gallagher Young Investigator Award
  • USACM Fellows Award

Frequency - The awards are intended to be presented during the USACM National Congress on Computational Mechanics and shall be made once every two years.

Eligibility - Awards are open to all nominees, with the exception of the age limitation for the Gallagher Award.  In addition, members of the Executive Council are ineligible, except for the Fellows Awards.

A person may receive only one of the following awards in a lifetime: Belytschko Medal, Hughes Medal, and Oden Medal.  This also refers to the awards that preceded these Medals.  [This provision was approved by the USACM EC in 2014].

Nominations - An Honors and Awards Chair, appointed by the President, shall form appropriate award subcommittees and solicit nominations for the Association's Honors and Awards.

Approximately six months before the Congress the USACM President will request the Honors and Awards Chair to conduct the award selection process in accordance with USACM Award Procedures.

The Honors and Awards Chair will report to the President on the progress of the selection procedure at least once before the ballots for selection are sent out. When the selection process is complete, the Honors and Awards Chair will report the results to the President and the President will approve of the results.


Honors and Awards Committee

The Honors & Awards Committee will be chaired by a past-president of USACM, appointed by the USACM President. The Honors & Awards Committee will include all current Officers of USACM, and sufficient additional appointees selected by the Chair, to staff the subcommittees as described below.

From the membership of the Honors & Awards Committee, a subcommittee for each Honor and Award shall be established. Each award subcommittee shall invite the last two recipients of the award to participate. For the von Neumann Medal, all previous recipients shall be invited to participate on the subcommittee.

The members of the Honors & Awards Committee and members of the USACM Executive Council are not eligible for any USACM award, except the Fellow Award.

Nomination Procedures

The award nomination process begins with the Honors and Awards Chair soliciting nominations for the various awards from the membership. A call for nominations will be prepared by the Chair that describes the awards, procedure for making a nomination, due date for nominations, and any applicable special circumstances.

Nomination guidelines:

  • A nominator can only nominate one candidate for each award, except for Fellow where no more than three nominations can be made.
  • Self-nominations will not be accepted.
  • Each nomination must be made using the USACM Honors and Awards Nomination Form.
  • Members of the Honors & Awards Committee may only nominate candidates for the award of Fellow.

Award Selection Procedures

The Chair of the Honors and Awards Committee will appoint a chair of each subcommittee, and forward the nominations and supporting information to the chair of each subcommittee.

The Chair of each subcommittee will prepare a ballot for the award, and it will contain the names of the nominees, nominator(s) of each nominee, and one-page resume of each nominee. At least two weeks duration from the date of the mailing the ballots is allowed for the return of the ballots to the subcommittee Chair. The vote may also be cast by e-mail.

Each award subcommittee shall select an award recipient from the eligible nominations; the subcommittee shall verify the recipient's eligibility for the award. Each subcommittee's recommendation of a recipient, along with an appropriate award citation, will be reported to the Honors and Awards Chair. The Chair will collect the selections and report the recommendations to the USACM President. The President will approve, or reject with reason, the Honors and Awards Committee recommendations.

Award Notification and Presentation Procedures

After the award selections are approved by the USACM President, the Honors and Award Chair will coordinate the award notification and presentations. The presentations shall be made jointly by the USACM President and the Awards and Honors Chair. A suitable announcement of the Honors and Awards and recipients shall be prepared by the Chair for inclusion in the Congress Program. The Chair shall notify the membership of the award recipients, as appropriate, and see that the corresponding entries are made on the USACM Honors and Awards web pages.

Notification Letters

The President will send letters to the recipients informing them of their selection and requesting their presence at the Congress Honors and Awards presentation.

The R.H. Gallagher Young Investigator Award notification letter shall include the following recognition of the Award's Wiley sponsorship

"The award consists of a silver medal and a honorarium of 1500 US Dollars, both donated by John Wiley & Sons, Publisher of the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, in honor of Richard H. Gallagher, co-founder of the Journal."

Medals, Plaques and Certificates

In general, the Chair of the Honors and Awards Committee is responsible for arranging for the preparation of the certificates, plaques, and medal. The Honors and Awards Chair should select a vendor, or use the same vendor as his predecessor, for the plaques and certificates. The vendor should be provided the plaque and certificate design with recipient name and citation.

Medals are to be prepared for the following awards:

  • The Belytschko Medal
  • The Thomas J.R. Hughes Medal
  • The J. Tinsley Oden Medal
  • R.H. Gallagher Young Investigator Award.

Certificates for the Fellow Award should be prepared and presented in a suitable folder. The USACM President shall sign the certificates before the presentation.

The R. H. Gallagher Young Investigator Award

The R. H. Gallagher Young Investigator Award is sponsored by John Wiley Publishers and requires special handling. In addition to the above-mentioned plaque, this award includes a medal and honorarium provided by Wiley.