Harry Armen Honored For a Lifetime of Contributions to Engineering

NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2010 – Harry Armen, P.E., Sc.D., a resident of Exeter, R.I., will be honored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  He is being recognized for the early development and application of finite element methods to predict the nonlinear behavior of complex structures; for leadership in directing the engineering research and development activities of a major aerospace organization; and for promoting public sector investments in and awareness of engineering research and development.  He will receive Honorary Membership in ASME.

First awarded in 1880, the founding year of the Society, Honorary Membership recognizes a lifetime of service to engineering or related fields.  The award will be conferred on Dr. Armen at the 2010 ASME Honors Assembly held during the Society’s International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Nov. 12 through 18.

Armen joined the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation in 1965.  During his 42-year tenure at that company (subsequently became the Northrop Grumman Corporation), he held numerous supervisory and staff positions, including head of the Applied Mechanics Laboratory, principal engineer, director of engineering sciences, director of the Corporate Research and Development Center, and director of technology development.  He retired as chief technologist in 2007.

An innovative contributor to engineering research, Armen pioneered the application of nonlinear finite element methods to problems of great importance to the aerospace industry.  He developed methods for analyzing the fatigue life of metallic structures and for damage tolerance.  He was also one of the first to develop finite element methods for the computation of crashworthiness of aircraft and automobiles.

Among his experience, Armen was adjunct professor of civil engineering and applied mechanics at Cooper Union, New York; a lecturer in engineering mechanics at Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.); and has served on the Advisory Board of engineering departments at a number of universities, including Stony Brook University, N.Y.,  Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.) and Columbia University, N.Y.

He has served as member (1996-2002) and chair (1999-2000) of the Advisory Committee for the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF).  During this time, he led a NSF Advisory Board to promote and enhance public awareness of the contributions of engineering and the Foundation’s engineering programs to the health, wealth and security of the U.S. citizenry.

Armen is the author/co-author of more than 40 archival papers and technical reports on computational mechanics, fatigue and fracture mechanics, crashworthiness evaluations, and the analysis and design of composite aerospace structures.  He holds two U.S. patents in the field of automotive engineering.

An ASME Fellow and past president of the Society (2004-05), Armen is a member of the ASME Foundation Board, member and chair of the Strategic Issues Committee, member of the Ralph Coats Roe Medal Committee, member and chair of the Fellows Review Committee, member of the Pension Plan Trustees Committee, and member and past chair of the Committee of Past Presidents.  Among other activities, he served as an ASME governor (2000-03) and was senior vice president of the Council on Public Affairs (1997-2000).  In 1991, he was selected by ASME to participate in their Congressional Fellows Program and served as a legislative staff member in the Office of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) from January 1991 to May 1992.  He received the Applied Mechanics Award in 1995 and the ASME Distinguished Service Award in 2007.

He was elected a charter member of the Pan American Academy of Engineering in 2006.

Armen received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Cooper Union in 1961.  He earned his master’s degree in civil engineering and his Sc.D. at New York University in 1962 and 1964, respectively.  He is a registered professional engineer in New York.

About ASME
ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges.  Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society.  ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.