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Alan Needleman

Class of 2012-13

Alan Needleman
Alan Needleman

University of North Texas
National Academy of Engineering
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Timoshenko Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Alan Needleman’s research interest is in material science, especially mathematical modeling of fracture, dislocations, and environmental effects on materials. His research is concerned with improving understanding of multifunctional material properties.

Needleman is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is the recipient of several top honors in his field. Following a more than 40 year career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Brown University, he recently joined the University of North Texas. 

Needleman earned his doctorate in engineering at Harvard University in 1970. He spent five years in applied mathematics at MIT before moving to Brown University where he became Florence Pirce Grant University Professor in 1996. He retired from Brown in June 2009, and is currently a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of North Texas. His contributions include the development of a ductile fracture computational methodology, the development of cohesive surface methods for fracture analysis, and creation of a framework that enables the use of discrete dislocation plasticity to solve general boundary value problems. 

Needleman was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1977, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been awarded the Timoshenko Medal—widely regarded as the highest international award in the field of applied mechanics—from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Prager Medal by the Society of Engineering Science, the Drucker Medal by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) as a Highly Cited Author in both the fields of engineering and materials science. Needleman also holds honorary doctorates from the Technical University of Denmark and Ecole Normale Superior de Cachan (France).

Needleman collaborated with Amine Benzerga, associate professor of aerospace engineering; Ray Arroyave, associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Haiyan Wang, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M.

Since he began his appointment in January 2013, Dr. Needleman has joined the University as a TEES Distinguished Research Professor in the Dwight Look College of Engineering’s Department of Material Science & Engineering.

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