Dean Mary C. Boyce Awarded the 2020 Timoshenko Medal

Nov 02 2020 | By Holly Evarts

Columbia Engineering Dean Mary C. Boyce has been named the recipient of the 2020 Timoshenko Medal, which is the highest honor accorded by the Applied Mechanics Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She was cited for her “foundational achievements on the large strain nonlinear deformation of elastomers, thermoplastic polymers and polymeric composites; and for the development of rich mathematical mechanics descriptions of material response that reveal the material physics and mechanisms.” The award, which was established in 1957, is also widely recognized as the highest honor accorded by any society worldwide in the field of applied mechanics.

“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition,” says Dean Boyce, also the Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor. “It is humbling to join an incredible history of fellow applied mechanicians who have pursued the frontiers of mechanics which underly so many advances in our world today. From the engineering advancements at the largest scale of spacecraft, aircraft, railroads, automobiles and bridges, down to those at the nano and micro scales of electronics, materials, and biology, mechanics continues to uncover, predict, and design so many engineering and scientific advancements needed for our future. I am very humbled to be part of such a remarkable cohort.”

Dean Boyce is a leader in polymeric materials and soft composites research. Her research focuses on materials and mechanics, particularly in the areas of multi-scale mechanics of polymers and soft composites, both those that are man-made and those formed naturally. Her work on the interplay between micro-geometry and the inherent physical behavior of materials has led to innovative hybrid material designs with unique and transformative mechanical properties that can be applied to a wide range of industrial and academic fields. These include polymer processing, composite material design, soft actuators and pattern transforming materials, tire mechanics, as well as biological cells and tissues.

A strong advocate of interdisciplinary research and the translation of innovation to impact, in her role as dean of Columbia Engineering, Dean Boyce has increased faculty in cross-cutting fields, and launched an inspiring vision for the school, Columbia Engineering for Humanity. With this strategic vision, the School aims to pioneer interdisciplinary frontiers and translate research breakthroughs and ideas into innovations that foster a sustainable, healthy, secure, connected, and creative humanity.

Dean Boyce has been widely recognized for her scholarly achievements, including election as a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering. Dean Boyce earned her BS degree in engineering science and mechanics from Virginia Tech, and her MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.

The formal presentation of the award is scheduled to take place at the Applied Mechanics Dinner, during the 2020 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, November 13-19, 2020, at Portland’s Oregon Convention Center.