Aerospace Engineer Elected Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences

May 8, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas—Professor Thomas Hughes from The University of Texas at Austin has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Thomas Hughes stands in front of a painting done by his daughter of an equation that appeared in his first book
Dr. Thomas Hughes, professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, and a leader in the development of computational mechanics, has developed innovative techniques for computing blood flow in a patient-specific model that are transforming the field of vascular surgery. Dr. Hughes is shown in front of a painting done by his daughter of an equation that appeared in his first book.
Photo: Charlie Fonville

Hughes joins the ranks of America's foremost political and business leaders, poets, entertainers and scientists who have been recognized for international achievements by election to the academy. Former members include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. There are 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners affiliated with the academy, which encourages the exchange of ideas and promotion of knowledge for society's benefit.

Hughes, an expert in computational mechanics and member of the National Academy of Engineering, has developed computational methods for understanding solid, structural and fluid mechanics. He recently has applied this expertise to develop customized models of blood flow for patients using their individual imaging records such as CT scans and MRIs.

This research allows medical professionals to consider various heart disease interventions based on Hughes' models' predicted outcomes of the interventions. In this way, Hughes' innovative techniques for blood flow analysis promise to transform cardiovascular surgery.

Hughes' previous honors include recognition as a 2004 most highly cited researcher worldwide, according to the Institute for Scientific Information. He has also been elected a fellow of seven other engineering professional organizations.

In addition, Hughes will receive honorary doctorates from two universities this year. The University of Pavia, Italy, will honor him in September for his fundamental work in solid, structural and fluid mechanics, with special emphasis on recent work in turbulent flows, stabilized and multiscale methods, and isogeometric analyses. The University of Padua, Italy, will also honor Hughes with an honorary doctorate this year.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences recognizes international achievement in the realms of science, the arts, business and public leadership. For more than two centuries, the organization has brought together the nation's leading figures from universities, government, business and the creative arts. Other early fellows include Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Daniel Webster.

For more information contact: Barbra Rodriguez, College of Engineering, 512-471-7541.