Honors and Awards Guidelines

Honors and Awards Guidelines

Honors and Awards Guidelines (Revised 10/24/2022)


The Executive Committee (EC) of the U.S. 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.

General Provisions

USACM has established the following Honors and Awards:

  • John von Neumann Medal
  • The Belytschko Medal
  • Thomas J. R. Hughes Medal
  • J. Tinsley Oden Medal
  • Gallagher Young Investigator Medal
  • USACM Fellows Award [2-4 awarded each time]


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


Awards are open to all USACM Individual Active Members (as defined in the bylaws under memberships) with the following exceptions:

  • An age limit (40 years old or younger) for the Gallagher Young Investigator Award is set. Nominee cannot turn 41 years of age or older during the year the award is given
  • Members of the Executive Committee are ineligible to receive an award, except for the Fellows Awards.
  • A person may receive only one of the following awards in a lifetime: The Belytschko Medal, Hughes Medal, and Oden Medal. This also applies to those preceding the renaming of the medals.
  • John von Neumann Medal is to be awarded to outstanding researchers in the area of computational mechanics whose affiliation is with a U.S. Institution. All other awards are to be made to Individual Active Members only. Affiliate Members are not eligible for any awards.

Nominations General Procedure (or Honors and Awards Committee and subcommittees)

The Honors and Awards Committee will consist of:

  • All the current officers of USACM
  • An Honor and Awards Chair appointed by the President from the two past-presidents
  • Sufficient additional appointees selected by the Chair to staff the subcommittees as described below.
  • It is preferable that all Subcommittee Chairs come from the Executive Committee (meaning officers, members-at-large, and directors).

The Honor and Awards Chair will form Award Subcommittees as well as appoint Chairs for each Subcommittee. The subcommittees will consist of 5 members as follows and should be formed before the Call for Nominations is sent out.

  • Subcommittee Chair
  • Two past recipients,
  • one member appointed by the Honors and Awards Chair and
  • one member appointed by the Subcommittee Chair

For the von Neumann Medal, in addition to the guidelines for all the Subcommittees, all previous recipients may be invited to participate on the subcommittee; however, the size of the Subcommittee cannot exceed 5 members.

Conflict of Interest.  Individuals on the awards subcommittees with obvious conflict of interest should recuse themselves from voting for those candidates. Such conflicts of interest typically include the nominee's direct students or advisors within the last 10 years. If the issue cannot be resolved within the subcommittee, it will be the responsibility of the Chair of the Honors and Awards Committee to resolve the issue.

Nomination Procedure

The nominations for Honors and Awards begin approximately six months before the awards are presented at the USNCCM. The Honors and Awards Chair distributes a Call for Award nominations to the eligible USACM membership; the call will describe each award, details on the procedure for making a nomination and the nomination date as well as any special circumstances.

Nomination Guidelines

  1. A nominator must be a USACM Individual Member and can only nominate one candidate for each award, except for Fellow where no more than three nominations can be made.
  2. Self-nominations will not be accepted
  3. Each nomination must be made using the official USACM Honors and Awards Nomination Form which will be distributed during the call for nominations. 
  4. Members of the Honors and Awards Committee may only be nominated for the Fellows award.
  5. Members of Honors and Award subcommittees may not nominate a candidate for the Award being reviewed by the subcommittee on which they are serving.
  6. Nominees may only be nominated for one award per award cycle.

Award Selection Procedure

At the conclusion of the nomination process, the USACM staff will review the nominations and verify eligibility for each nominee. After this, the nominations and supporting documentation (one-page summary) will be forwarded to the chair of each award subcommittee.

The Chair of each Subcommittee will call a meeting of its members to discuss the nominations and make a final recommendation for the award to the Honors and Awards Chair. The recommendation should also include a citation, a summary of the process used to make the selection. The Honors and Awards Chair will set a deadline of about one month to receive the recommendations.

The Awards Subcommittees are urged to take into account diversity in their considerations, including minority and female candidates.  They should also consider those who have been actively involved with the USACM community.

After all the recommendations are received from the subcommittees, the Chair will present them to the President who will approve or reject with reason, the Honors and Awards Committee recommendations.

Note:  The Honors and Awards Subcommittees will remain anonymous. 

Award Notification and Presentation Procedure

After the award selections are approved by the President, the President will notify the awardees. The notifications will inform them of their selection and request their presence at the next USNCCM, where a formal presentation by the President and/or Honors and Awards Chair will be made.

The R.H. Gallagher Young Investigator Award notification letter will include the following recognition of the Award’s Wiley sponsorship:

The award consists of a silver medal and an honorarium of $1,500 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.

The announcement of the awards will be made at the following USNCCM. However, awardees may inform their universities/institutions at the time of notification for press releases purposes. Public announcement of the awards will be made after the presentations are made at the USNCCM.

Medals and Certificates

Medals and certificates for all the awards except the Gallagher Investigator award will be kept and maintained in the USACM office. Each Medal will have inscribed the name of the awardee and year awarded on the back. The Fellows will receive a Certificate. The Gallagher Medal will be provided by John Wiley


Benefits of Membership

Active USACM members receive the following benefits:

  • Discounts for USACM congress registration fee
  • Registration discount for IACM congresses and most events sponsored by IACM 
  • Registration discount for all US thematic conferences and workshops
  • Newsletter
  • Membership spotlights on the USACM website
  • Voting privileges (electing USACM officers, EC members  and USACM awards) are reserved for regular members only as is the eligibility for the USACM awards.



Why USACM Membership

As one of a growing nationwide group of engineers and scientists involved in commercial or academic activities in Computational Mechanics (CM), you need up-to-date information and an active network of contacts. Membership in USACM can help you obtain information and provide forums for meeting new colleagues and friends.