Department of Engineering / News / Honorary Degree for Professor Norman Fleck

Department of Engineering

Honorary Degree for Professor Norman Fleck

Honorary Degree for Professor Norman Fleck

Professor Norman Fleck from the Department of Engineering was honoured at a special ceremony at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).  

“His pioneering work on metallic foams and lattice materials as a new class of engineering materials has been groundbreaking, with various applications in automotive and ship building.”

Professor Marc Geers, Eindhoven University of Technology

Norman Fleck, Professor of Mechanics of Materials in the Department of Engineering, and founder director of the Cambridge Centre for Micromechanics, received an honorary degree from TU/e.

The speech delivered by Professor Marc Geers at the ceremony held at TU/e appears below:

"All engineering applications rely on the mechanical performance of structures and materials, both at large scales and small scales. The key discipline that has a central position in examining the performance of heterogeneous materials, substructured materials, composites up to damage and fracture is Micromechanics. It is the foundation for multi-scale methods in mechanical engineering, which relies on proper insights and descriptions at the small scale. Micromechanics also embraces mechanics of small components and devices, which is essential for high-tech systems.

"It is within this rich engineering discipline that Professor Norman Fleck has become a world leader by integrating experiment, theory and numerical analysis in his research.  His pioneering work on metallic foams and lattice materials as a new class of engineering materials has been groundbreaking, with various applications in automotive and ship building. The book, Metallic foams, a Design Guide, co-authored by Norman Fleck, is the standard reference work on this class of materials. In his work, he contributed to the development of blast-resistant sandwich panels, shape-changing morphing structures, compressive strength of composites, thin foil mechanics, contact mechanics, powder compaction, fatigue of engineering materials, damage, fracture and wear. At small scales, he made pioneering steps with John Hutchinson in the plasticity at small scales, when size matters. He also investigated the non-linear electro-mechanical switching behaviour of ferroelectric layers, enabling the systematic design of robust piezoelectric and ferroelectric actuators and sensors. His research is of very wide scope, and combines scientific insights and practical application. Professor Fleck’s breadth of interest, theoretical and experimental ability, and engagement with and influence on solid mechanics research worldwide, place him among the great contemporary contributors to his field. 

"Norman Fleck is an exciting creative scientist with a strong engineering interest. His worldwide recognition from the Mechanics community is unquestionable. He is highly prominent in the international scientific community. As an ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) highly cited researcher in engineering with more than 300 papers, he is, amongst others, a fellow of the UK Royal Society, UK Royal Academy of Engineering, European Mechanics Society and the European Academy of Sciences. He received several awards, among which I would like to highlight the most recent one. In 2013, he received the Koiter medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the field of solid mechanics with special emphasis on the effective blending of theoretical and applied elements of the discipline, and on a high degree of leadership in the international solid mechanics community. This prestigious medal is named after Professor Warner Koiter, who was an influential and highly recognized Dutch professor, and founding father of Solid Mechanics as a scientific discipline in the Netherlands.

"Norman Fleck is the founding director of the Cambridge Centre for Micromechanics since 1990. The field of solid mechanics and micromechanics is also strong at the TU/e and over the years a strong connection with the University of Cambridge has been established, with several exchanges in both directions. The Eindhoven University of Technology is proud to add Professor Norman Fleck to its list of Honorary Doctors."