Glaucio Paulino Wins J.N. Reddy Medal, Award Named in Honor of Friend, Mentor

Professor Glaucio Paulino

Many professional awards are created for giants in their fields as memorials. It’s unusual for the namesake of such an award to be alive. Even more unusual? Winning an award named for a friend and colleague.

Professor Glaucio Paulino is no stranger to fanfare. He’s won many awards for his work, garnering recent recognition from the likes of the American Society of Civil Engineers and American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

But it was particularly special for him to be honored with the 2020 J.N. Reddy Medal from Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures (MAMS).

This medal, established in 2018 and conferred in recognition of distinguished contributions to the field of mechanics of advanced materials and structures, is named in honor of J.N. Reddy, a well-known authority in applied and computational mechanics who’s had a defining influence on Paulino’s career.

“I have known about Professor Reddy since the time that I was a master’s student in Brazil,” Paulino said. “I remember when I first learned about finite elements, in 1987, and used his book titled ‘An Introduction to the Finite Element Method.’

“The book was so well-written and so helpful — it was essential to build my fundamental knowledge in engineering, for which I will always be thankful to him. At that time, I admired him immensely as an engineer and scientist. Today, I admire him in more dimensions than that, including being a great human being and valued friend. I have learned a lot from him back in 1987 (although he may not have known) and I never stopped learned from him, including nowadays.”

The J.N. Reddy Medal is awarded annually to someone who has contributed significantly to the research and education in advanced materials and structures. The medal was instituted in 2018 by Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures (MAMS) Journal to honor Reddy and commemorate his contributions as a researcher, teacher, and author of textbooks.

Reddy is a professor of mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University and the founding editor-in-chief of MAMS Journal.  He is a highly cited researcher, an author of 21 textbooks and over 620 journal papers, and a leader in engineering research and education.

Paulino, the Raymond Allen Jones Chair in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was selected for the J.N. Reddy Medal in recognition of his contributions to theoretical and computational mechanics leading to advances in mimetic inspired methods; topology optimization; and geometric mechanics associated with origami engineering, including configurational metamaterials and reconfigurable structural systems.

According to Reddy, the award selection process is rigorous. An international selection committee, comprised of previous medal winners and prominent researchers in the field, receives a ballot of all those nominated for the medal with supporting materials. Each committee member assigns a weight of 1 to 10, 1 being the first choice selected to receive the medal. As a result of this process, Paulino emerged as the winner of the 2020 J.N. Reddy Medal.

“I have known Professor Paulino for over two decades and he is a very close and cherished friend,” Reddy said. “The significance and impact of Professor Paulino’s contributions to applied mechanics through his pioneering research on cohesive models of fracture, functionally graded materials, structural optimization and material design, and origami structures are well recognized.  As a person, he is very congenial, creative in his works, aggressive in his efforts, and driven to be a leading researcher in everything that he undertakes. I believe that he is a great asset to any academic institution that lists him as its faculty member.”

The award was originally scheduled to be presented to Paulino at the banquet of the MAMS Conference in August 2020, but was postponed due to Covid-19. The medal will now be presented to Paulino at a special online ceremony on March 19, 2021, following his plenary online lecture.