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Richard Gallagher Acceptance Remarks

Also in USACM Bulletin Volume 8, Number 2, June 1995
Following are the texts of the presentation remarks by Professor J. Tinsley Oden and acceptance speech by Professor Richard H. Gallagher during the presentation of the John von Neumann Medal at the Banquet of the Third U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics, Dallas, TX on June 13, 1995.

Award Presentation Remarks

J. Tinsley Oden

The USACM is pleased to bestow the John von Neumann Medal on Dr. Richard H. Gallagher for his sustained research contributions to computational mechanics and to the advancement of the subject through his visionary leadership in the broad community of researchers and practitioners of computational mechanics.

Dr. Gallagher has a distinguished career as an engineer, researcher, scholar, author, and university administrator. He began his work on finite element methods in the early 1960s when he was among the first industrial researchers to develop and apply matrix methods of structural analyses to significant problems in aircraft structures. His monograph, "A Correlation Study of Matrix Methods of Structural Analysis," represented an early and definitive work on this new subject. His early published work on aircraft analysis and design by computational methods had significant influence on the entire industry and set into motion the computerization of these technologies that are in place today. He was among the first to consider the use of computational techniques and finite element methods in structural optimization problems and he compiled and edited an important volume on this subject in the 1970s.

Gallagher's early work was done at Bell Aerospace Co., in the 1960s. He earned his Ph.D. from The State University of New York at Buffalo in 1966 and joined the faculty at Cornell University in 1967, where he became Chairman of the Department of Structural Engineering in 1969. While at Cornell, Gallagher made numerous contributions to the emerging field of computational mechanics, publishing well-received texts on Matrix Methods in Structural Analysis, Finite Element Methods, and in 1967 launching as the co-editor of the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering. He was instrumental in organizing several series of international conferences on finite element methods and their application to engineering analysis problems. These include the popular and influential meetings on Finite Elements in Flow Problems, Coupled Problems, the U.S.-Japan Conferences, and numerous others. Parallel to these important meetings, a series of books were published which highlighted finite element methods for fluid and thermal analysis. He has been the author or editor of some 26 volumes on these subjects together with several hundred papers. These works have had a remarkable impact on computational mechanics.

Gallagher became Dean of Engineering at the University of Arizona in 1978, he was Provost at Worcester Institute from 1984-1988 and he became President of Clarkson University in 1989, a position which he now holds. Dr. Gallagher has received numerous awards for his research contributions. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 1983, he received honorary doctorates from the University of Swansea in 1987, Shanghai University of Technology in 1992, Technical University of Vienna in 1987, and ClarksonUniversity in 1995. In 1985 he was awarded the Worcester Reed Warner Medal. He received the Benjamin Garver Lamme Award in 1990 from the ASEE, the Structural Dynamics and Materials Award from the AIAA in 1990, the IACM Congress Medal in 1991 and in 1993 the ASME Medal, the highest honor awarded by that society. The USACM is especially indebted to Dr. Gallagher. He is a founding member of the IACM and the USACM and has promoted these organizations aggressively since their inception.

As a recipient of the von Neumann Medal, Dr. Richard H. Gallagher is recognized for his many fundamental contributions to computational mechanics, particularly to finite element methods, optimization, and to the engineering literature through his papers, journals, books, and monographs, and he is also recognized for his contributions to the profession of engineering.

Award Acceptance Speech

Richard H. Gallagher

My delight at receiving this honor is colored by a regret at not being present to receive it in person. Yet, who could ask for a better surrogate than Olek Zienkiewicz, the leading figure of this field we call computational mechanics, but more important to me, my friend and collaborator of over 30 years standing.

This is an awesome honor, for so many reasons, not the least of which is its presentation before an audience of friends, colleagues and former students. It is tempting to look back an express appreciation for having been able to work in this field and to observe the work of others who have brought the subject to its present remarkable importance in engineering design and analysis. It has, indeed, been a unique privilege.

It is far more important, however, to recognize the continual progress and revitalization of the field by those who contribute to it today and into the future. You, the attendees here tonight, and thousands like you around the globe, have made the entire topic of computational mechanics the great field that it is. I look forward to the USACM meetings ahead, where I will learn from this work and perhaps continue to contribute to it as well.

Again, in closing, my deepest thanks for a very great honor.