Huajian Gao has been selected to receive the 2009 Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers “for groundbreaking research on mechanical properties of both engineering and biological systems across multiple length scales”. Formal presentation of the award is scheduled to take place at the Robert Henry Thurston Lecture, during the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, November 13-19, 2009.
About the Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award:
The Robert Henry Thurston Lecture was established in 1925 in honor of Robert Henry Thurston (Brown, B.S., Civil Engineering, 1859), the first president of ASME and a farseeing leader in science and engineering. The Robert Henry Thurston Lecture, presented annually at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress, provides an outstanding leader in pure or applied science or engineering with the honor of presenting to the Society a lecture that encourages stimulating thinking on a subject of broad technical interest to engineers. The Robert Henry Thurston Lecture was elevated to a Society award in 2000.
Robert Henry Thurston (1839-1903) was born in Providence, Rhode Island. His father, Robert Lawton Thurston, manufactured steam engines in Providence. The young Robert Henry Thurston went to Brown University, where he graduated as a civil engineer in 1859. He was the first professor of mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology (in 1871). There he established Stevens’ mechanical engineering curriculum. Historians credit Thurston with establishing the first US mechanical engineering laboratory for conducting funded research at an academic institution for higher learning. He was the first president (1880-82) of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.