Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Reston, Va. — Chandrakant S. Desai, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, Regents’ Professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., was recently named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The Society’s highest accolade, active distinguished membership is comprised of approximately only 200 of its 140,000 members worldwide. Desai will be presented the award, in honor of his seminal contributions to the field of interdisciplinary geomechanics, innovative approaches to modeling and computational mechanics, and his development of new lab test devices. The honor also recognizes his work in establishing an international association, two international journals and promoting the education of prominent civil engineers, on October 20-22, 2011, at ASCE’s Annual Civil Engineering Conference in Memphis, Tenn.
Desai is internationally renowned in the field of experimental and computational geomechanics. He was one of the first persons to use finite elements to solve geotechnical problems, developing new, powerful formulations consistent with the new computational capabilities. He coauthored one of the earliest finite element textbooks and also founded the International Association for Computational Methods in Geomechanics. A hallmark of Desai's work over the years, which continues to this day, is his seminal contribution in research and teaching and professional service in establishing conferences and technical journals that underpin many engineering disciplines. Through his publications —approximately 20 authored and edited books, 20 chapters in books edited by others and more than 310 journal and conference articles—he has created a substantial body of work to benefit the engineering profession.
His professional accomplishments include his long tenure as chief editor of the International Journal of Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, the only publication solely devoted to numerical and analytical methods in geomechanics. He also served as the founding editor-in-chief of ASCE’s International Journal of Geomechanics. Desai was awarded the Karl Terzaghi Award by ASCE’s Geo-Institute, the Nathan M. Newmark Medal by ASCE’s Structural Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Institutes, the Alexander Von Humboldt Prize by the German government and the Meritorious Civilian Service Award by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. He is currently a member of 15 professional organizations.
Desai is an exceptional teacher at all levels. In addition to the many graduate students he has advised, he has promoted special mentoring programs for undergraduate and high school students. But perhaps, more importantly, his students have become highly successful contributors in the civil engineering field. Desai has advised approximately 50 doctoral and 50 graduate students, who have gone on to be highly successful in public and private engineering sectors. Many of the Ph.D. students he has advised have taken teaching positions worldwide, and have become eminent, chaired professors and administrators all over the world.
Desai received a bachelor’s degree from the Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute, University of Bombay in India, a master’s degree from Rice University in Houston, Texas and a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently resides in Tucson, Ariz.
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society.