ASCE has honored Christian Soize with the 2022 Alfred M. Freudenthal Medal for his fundamental contributions to computational stochastic mechanics and its application to emerging problems in engineering.
Soize has been a pillar of the stochastic mechanics community for the past 30 years. He has authored 12 books and a large number of papers on various aspects of stochastic mechanics and dynamics. In addition, he has led the stochastic mechanics community over the past two decades, providing constant guidance and leadership, organizing sessions, symposia, and conferences that disseminate the knowledge of the ASCE stochastic mechanics community beyond its hedges.
He delivered a keynote lecture at the inaugural 2008 EMI Inaugural Conference in Minnesota. In addition to his textbooks, which have become the reference for advanced research on such topics as the Fokker-Planck equation, Structural Acoustics, and the Mathematics of Random Phenomena, Soize has single-handedly and very boldly initiated a few research areas that continue to attract a growing interest:
- In particular, his structural fuzzy concepts (not to be confused with the theory of fuzzy sets) for modeling and treating medium frequency dynamics problems was a milestone in how these problems are approached. He addressed, rigorously and elegantly, the sensitivity of the dynamics in the medium-frequency to small uncontrollable perturbations, providing both a methodology together with associated numerical algorithms.
- Also, his invention of the Energy Operator for the efficient modeling of medium-frequency dynamics has provided structural dynamics with a very sharp tool for analyzing very large-scale computational models, which are essential for today’s technology. This research is currently very widely applied in the aerospace and automotive industries, where structural acoustics presents both functional and operational challenges.
- More recently, Soize’s fundamental understanding of stochastic analysis and his very keen insight into the structure of engineering problems were manifested in his development of so-called nonparametric probabilistic models. These models are very well adapted to the reality of scarce data and modeling errors. The development of these models hinges on a deep understanding of random matrix theory and highlights a broad scientific culture that spans quantum physics, stochastic analysis, computational mechanics, and experimental mechanics. A number of sessions at recent conferences (AIAA, ASME, USNCM, ASCE) have been devoted to adapting and extending these nonparametric models to many problems of science and engineering.
The Alfred M. Freudenthal Medal recognizes distinguished achievement in safety and reliability studies applicable to any branch of civil engineering.