Minta Martin Professor and University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Mechanical Engineering Chair Balakumar Balachandran has received both the 2021 J.P. Den Hartog and 2021 Lyapunov Awards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME). The double award, rare in the field, recognizes the scope and depth of Balachandran’s activities as an engineer, researcher, and educator.
Established in 1987 by the ASME Design Engineering Division, the Hartog Award is one of the highest societal honors awarded in the area of dynamics and vibrations. Balachandran is recognized for advancing the understanding of nonlinear vibrations through textbooks related to vibrations and through research publications on nonlinear oscillations of mechanical and structural systems. He is the second UMD faculty member to be honored with the award. Regents Professor, Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, and past President of the University of Maryland and the National Academy of Engineering, C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., received the prestigious award in 2005.
Mote believes Dr. Balachandran exemplifies the true meaning of the Hartog Award. Recognizing him with the Hartog award is a testament to the extraordinary contributions he has made in vibration engineering for more than three decades.
“When I came to the University in 1998, Dr. Balachandran was one of the first mechanical engineering faculty members I met. He continually impressed me with his dedication to the development and teaching of students through research and education. I was delighted when he invited me to serve on Ph.D. committees, which was an amazing opportunity to engage with the next generation of students in vibration mechanics areas. I have never known any other colleague with the commitment to put into practice so many activities and achieve the highest degree of success with his students. He is truly exceptional.”
The Lyapunov Award, meanwhile, recognizes lifelong contributions to the field of nonlinear dynamics, including impact of research contributions, education and training of researchers and/or practitioners, and leadership in advancing the corresponding field. Balachandran officially received the award at ASME’s international Design Engineering Technical Conferences/Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE), held from August 17 through 19, during which he delivered the Lyapunov Award Lecture. He follows Distinguished University Research Professor Stuart Antman of the Department of Mathematics and the Institute of Physical Sciences and Technology, who was the first recipient of this honor on our campus.
“I’m quite humbled and honored to have received these recognitions from my peers in the field,” Balachandran said. “It’s a tremendous validation of the work we have done at the University of Maryland.”
Robert Briber, interim dean of the Clark School, said the nod from ASME was both extraordinary and well-deserved.
“We're fortunate that Dr. Balachandran is a Maryland engineer: His dedication to mechanical engineering has advanced the field—both at Maryland and beyond. He has made fundamental contributions in research and teaching in both vibration engineering and non-linear dynamics and with the receipt of these awards he is being recognized as a world leader in these fields,” Briber said.
A faculty member at the Clark School since 1993, Balachandran became chair of mechanical engineering in 2011. His research interests include applied mathematics, nonlinear phenomena, dynamics and vibrations, and control. The publications that he has authored/co-authored include a Wiley textbook, Applied Nonlinear Dynamics: Analytical, Computational, and Experimental Methods; a Cambridge University Press textbook, Vibrations; and a co-edited Springer book, entitled Delay Differential Equations: Recent Advances and New Directions. He is a Fellow of ASME and AIAA and a senior member of IEEE. He is a past recipient of the ASME Melville Award (2016) and the Hind Rattan Award (2015) bestowed by the NRI Welfare Society of India.
Recently, Balachandran completed his terms as the editor of the ASME Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics and a contributing editor of the International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics.
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September 14, 2021