Roger G. Ghanem, the Gordon S. Marshall professor of engineering technology at the University of Southern California, has been honored with inclusion by ASCE in its 2023 class of distinguished members for contributions to the probabilistic modeling and characterization of complex systems, and in particular the development of computational stochastic methodologies adapted to the risk management and design of multiscale materials and interacting systems.
Ghanem is also a professor in USC’s department of civil and environmental engineering and, prior to 2005, served on the faculties of Johns Hopkins University and SUY-Buffalo. He is internationally recognized for his eminence and leadership in the fields of analyzing and quantifying uncertainty in complex engineering systems, probabilistic multiscale modeling and analysis, and probabilistic modeling of stochastic systems.
His work revolutionized the way ubiquitous uncertainties are treated through the introduction of Karhunen-Loeve and polynomial chaos expansions in order to describe any uncertain quantity in engineering, including the response of stochastic systems. The impact of his innovations has been truly groundbreaking, and his methodologies constitute the standard for dealing with uncertainties in civil engineering and engineering mechanics. They are used by hundreds of other researchers.
Multiscale modeling, another area where he has contributed seminally, has emerged as one of the most important areas in mechanics, as computational power is increased. Ghanem introduced rigorous, innovative approaches regarding probabilistic equivalence, stochastic model reduction, and stochastic upscaling. Again, the impact has been major.
Still another important avenue of contribution has been service to ASCE. Ghanem was part of a small group of scholars who were instrumental in successfully establishing the Engineering Mechanics Institute, and also served as its president. In recognition of the excellence of his research, he has been the recipient of the Society’s Theodore von Karman Medal and Walter E. Huber Civil Engineering Prize.
Ghanem has been an elected member of both the U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and the Executive Council of the U.S. Association of Computational Mechanics, and chair of the UQ-SIAG of SIAM. He currently serves on the NRC Panel on Ballistics Science and Engineering at the Army Research Laboratory. He taught several short courses on UQ to industry, academia, and government and organized workshops on Uncertainty Quantification and Validation.
Besides co-authoring over 350 technical articles related to stochastic systems and predictive science, Ghanem has devoted time on the editorial boards of many journals. He has supervised 30-plus postdoctoral associates, 36 Ph.D. students, and numerous master’s and undergraduate students.
Other awards include Junior and Senior Research Prizes from IASSAR and the Structural Mechanics Research Award from USACM. Financial supporters have been NSF, ONR, AFOSR, DARPA, DOE, NSSA, and a host of industries.