Engineers Celebrate at 2013 Honors Assembly



ASME President Madiha El Mehelmy Kotb presents Sia Nemat-Nasser, Ph.D., distinguished professor of mechanics and materials, and director of the Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials at the University of California, San Diego, with the ASME Medal during this year's Honors Assembly. The award recognizes eminently distinguished engineering achievement.

It was billed as a celebration of engineering and the over 600 Congress participants who attended the ASME Honors Assembly joined in that celebration. This year's Honors Assembly, held on Nov. 18 at the 2013 Congress in San Diego, showcased the achievements and contributions of ten distinguished honorees from the ranks of industry, academia and government.

Among them was Sia Nemat-Nasser, Ph.D., distinguished professor of mechanics and materials, and director of the Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Nemat-Nasser was the recipient of the ASME Medal, which is awarded for eminently distinguished engineering achievement.

His work in micro-architectured composites to mitigate shock-wave induced traumatic brain injury, the management of stress waves and seminal contributions to a broad range of topics in the field of mechanics, along with his excellent contributions in promoting ASME's Materials Division, has distinguished him as the recipient of ASME's highest honor.

"The ASME Honors Assembly is a special event that pays tribute to the achievements and accomplishments of a select few who exemplify the very best of our profession," said ASME President Madiha El Mehelmy Kotb, who served as co-hosted of the event along with Karen Thole, Ph.D., who chairs the ASME Committee on Honors. "These are men and women who are helping the field of engineering live up to its promise to help improve the quality of life for all humanity," added President Kotb.


Ann Dowling, Ph.D., head of the department of engineering and deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Cambridge, U.K., received the Kate Gleason Award during the ceremony. Established in 2011 by the ASME Foundation, the Kate Gleason Award recognizes the contribution of distinguished female leaders in the engineering profession.

Dr. Thole praised the honorees for their extraordinary work and contributions to the engineering profession, which have both "inspired us and challenged us to continue to set high standards and expectations for our work, so that together we can make the world a better place."

Along with Nemat-Nasser, this year's Honors Assembly recipients included G. Wayne Clough, Ph.D., secretary, Smithsonian Institution, who received the Ralph Coats Roe Medal; Sidney A. Bernsen, Ph.D., consultant, recipient of the Melvin R. Green Codes and Standards Medal; Ann Dowling, Ph.D., head of the department of engineering and deputy vice-chancellor, University of Cambridge, U.K., and recipient of the Kate Gleason Award, and Anibal L. Taboas, president and CEO of ASPIRA, Inc., who was presented with the Dixy Lee Ray Award.

ASME Honorary Membership was awarded to Arun Majumdar, Ph.D., vice president for energy at Google, Inc.; Ted Belytschko, Ph.D., McCormick distinguished professor and Walter P. Murphy professor of computational mechanics, Northwestern University; John Howell, P.E., Ph.D., Ernest Cockrell Jr. memorial chair emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin; Said Jahanmir, Ph.D., president and CEO at MiTiHeart Corporation, and Sadik Kakac, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Ankara, Turkey.


ASME President Madiha Kotb presents the Melvin R Green Codes and Standards Medal to Sidney A. Bernsen. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the development, promulgation, or management of documents, objects, or devices used in ASME programs of technical codification, standardization and conformity assessment, or the acceptance of ASME Codes and Standards within the United States or internationally.

Society honors and awards recognize a wide variety of accomplishments. Some awards are based on contributions to engineering literature; others recognize general achievements in the advancement of engineering or outstanding accomplishments by young engineers, and other for distinguished lifetime achievements or outstanding contributions by student members.

In 2013, the ASME Board of Governors, Committee on Honors and ASME Foundation bestowed honors and awards to a total of 81 recipients.

Thole concluded the evening by thanking the Honors Assembly recipients for their work and for the legacy they have provided for future generations of engineers. "You embody the very reason why we Celebrate Engineering tonight."

- Mel Torre, Public Information