Melosh Medal Call for Papers

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

Sponsored by

  • Duke University Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Elsevier


Endorsed by

  • The International Association for Computational Mechanics

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



The Robert J. Melosh Medal Competition was inaugurated in 1989 to honor the pioneering researcher in finite element methods and former chairman of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Duke University.

In a professional career that included work at Boeing, Philco-Ford Laboratory, and MARC Analysis and Research Corporation, as well as teaching at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Washington, Virginia Tech, and Duke, Prof. 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 Prof. 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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Competition Format

The Competition is conducted in two phases:

  • Abstract Review: Extended abstracts are reviewed by a panel of distinguished researchers in computational mechanics. The top six papers are selected as finalists
  • Symposium Talks: The student authors are invited to participate in a symposium held at Duke University (in accordance with Duke’s public health guidelines). The symposium features talks by all six finalists, as well as lectures by the members of the distinguished judging panel

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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 of internationally prominent researchers as judges, including:

  • Remi Abgrall, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 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 Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • Joseph E. Flaherty, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • Richard H. Gallagher, University of Arizona, USA
  • Krishna Garikipari, University of Michigan, USA
  • Omar Ghattas, The University of Texas at Austin, 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
  • Assad Oberai, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, 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
  • Mario Ricchiuto, INRIA Bordeaux, France
  • Mark Shephard, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • James Stewart, Sandia National Laboratories, USA
  • Natarajan Sukumar, University of California, Davis, USA
  • Robert L. Taylor, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Haim Waisman, Columbia University, USA
  • Wolfgang A. Wall, Technische Universität München, Germany
  • Mary Wheeler, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Edward L. Wilson, University of California at Berkeley, USA
  • Peter Wriggers, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany
  • O.C. Zienkiewicz, University of Wales Swansea, United Kingdom
  • Tarek Zohdi, University of California, Berkeley, USA

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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
  • 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

Each paper must have as its 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 PhD-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 the presentation of extended theoretical development, enough detail should be included to allow a reasonable assessment of technical merit.

  • For submissions via regular mail, four copies should be submitted: one (1) with a cover page indicating title, author and affiliation, and three (3) copies with the title but no authors or affiliations indicated
  • For electronic submissions (preferred), only one (1) 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 webpage »

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Important Links

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Key dates pertaining to the 2024 Competition are:

  • July 14: Deadline for extended abstract submissions
  • August 14 (tentative): Finalists notified of acceptance
  • October 14: Melosh Symposium at Duke University


Questions and correspondence should be addressed to:

Submissions 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: +1 919-684-3537


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