Melosh Medal Call for Papers

28th Annual
Robert J. Melosh Medal Competition
for the Best Student Paper on Finite Element Analysis

Submission Deadline – January 16, 2017
Symposium – April 28, 2017

Sponsored by:

  • Duke University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Elsevier


Endorsed by:

  • The International Association for Computational Mechanics

[ Background | Format | Past Judges | Scope | Submission Procedure | Contact]


The Robert J. Melosh Medal Competition was inaugurated in 1989 to honor Professor Melosh, a pioneering researcher in finite element methods and former chairman of civil and environmental engineering at Duke. In a professional career that included working at Boeing, Philco-Ford Laboratory, and MARC Analysis and Research Corporation, as well as teaching at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of Washington, Virginia Tech, and Duke University, Professor Melosh made significant and varied contributions to the finite element method. The Competition was established in view of this body of work, and aims to reflect Professor Melosh's dedication to the education of young engineers and researchers by providing a forum for student researchers to present their work and interact with each other and with leading researchers in the field. The winner of the Competition, as determined on the basis of a submitted extended abstract and an oral presentation of the paper, receives the Robert J. Melosh Medal and a $500 honorarium.

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The Competition is conducted in two primary phases. Initially, extended abstracts will be reviewed by a panel of distinguished researchers in computational mechanics. Based on this review process, the top six papers are selected as finalists, and their student authors are invited to participate in the second phase of the competition, a symposium at Duke University on April 28, 2017. The symposium features lectures by the members of the distinguished judging panel, as well as talks by all selected finalists.

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Past Judges

A key feature of the Competition is the interaction between student finalists and established researchers that is facilitated by the Melosh Medal Symposium. Past competitions have benefited from the participation as judges of several internationally prominent researchers, including:

  • Ted Belytschko, Northwestern University, USA
  • J.S. Chen, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • Ray W. Clough, University of California at Berkeley, USA
  • Michael Crisfield, Imperial College, United Kingdom
  • Charbel Farhat, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
  • Jacob Fish, Rensselaer, USA
  • Joseph E. Flaherty, Rensselaer, USA
  • Richard H. Gallagher, University of Arizona, USA
  • Omar Ghattas, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • Sanjay Govindjee, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Antonio Huerta, UPC
  • Thomas J.R. Hughes, University of Texas, Austin, USA
  • Greg Hulbert, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
  • George Karniadakis, Brown University, USA
  • Raymond D. Krieg, University of Tennessee, USA
  • Patrick Le Tallec, Ecole Polytechnique, France
  • Robert J. Melosh, Duke University, USA
  • Joop Nagtegaal, Hibbitt, Karlsson and Sorensen, Inc., USA
  • J. Tinsley Oden, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • George Peric, Swansea University, United Kingdom
  • Peter Pinsky, Stanford University, USA
  • Ekkehard Ramm, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Mark Shephard, Rensselaer, USA
  • James Stewart, Sandia National Laboratories, USA
  • Robert L. Taylor, University of California at Berkeley, USA
  • Wolfgang A. Wall, Technische Universität München, Germany
  • Edward L. Wilson, University of California at Berkeley, USA
  • Peter Wriggers, Universitaet Hannover, Germany
  • O.C. Zienkiewicz, University of Wales Swansea, United Kingdom

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Submissions are invited in all areas of finite element analysis, including theoretical development, implementational procedure, programming aspects, novel and innovative applications, and integration of finite elements into the design process. Additionally, submissions in related areas of computational mechanics (e.g., boundary elements, meshless methods) will also be welcomed, particularly where the technical contribution of interest may be expected to enhance our understanding of finite element procedures.

Prospective topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Solid and Structural Mechanics
  • Computational Fluid Mechanics
  • Stochastic Problems
  • Geomechanics
  • Mesh Generation, Refinement and Adaptivity
  • Meshfree Methods
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Scientific Visualization
  • Finite Elements in CAD, CAM and CAE
  • Biomechanics
  • Parallel Computing and FEM
  • FEM in Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering
  • Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering

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Submission Procedure

All papers must have as their first named author a student or a recent student no more than one year beyond graduation. It is expected that most submissions will describe Master's or Ph.D.-level work; however, truly exceptional work done by undergraduate researchers will also be welcomed. Submitted papers should be in extended abstract format, three to five pages in length (including all graphics). Although the page limit will prevent presentation of extended theoretical development, enough detail should be included to allow a reasonable assessment of technical merit.

If the paper is submitted via regular mail, four copies should be submitted: one with a cover page indicating title, author and affiliation, and three copies with title but no authors or affiliations indicated. For electronic submissions (preferred), only one copy of each is required. Documents prepared using LaTeX with the Elsevier LaTeX class file elsartarticle.cls, are preferred. LaTeX instructions and a link to download the class file template are available from Elsevier at this page.

The journal Finite Elements in Analysis and Design devotes a special issue annually to the Melosh Competition. All student finalists and judges will be invited to prepare a full-length article describing their work for inclusion in this issue.

Key dates pertaining to the 2017 Competition are:

  • January 16, 2017 – Deadline for Extended Abstract Submission
  • February 20, 2017 – Finalists Notified of Acceptance
  • April 28, 2017 – Melosh Symposium at Duke University

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All submissions and correspondence should be directed to:

The Robert J. Melosh Medal Competition
Duke University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Box 90287
Durham, NC USA  27708-0287

Phone: +1 919-660-5075