Delaware's Chou wins composites medal
Tsu-Wei Chou
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9:48 a.m., Aug. 31, 2009----Tsu-Wei Chou, Pierre S. du Pont Chair of Engineering at the University of Delaware, has been selected to receive the 2009 Medal of Excellence in Composite Materials. Established in 1984 to mark the decennial celebration of UD's Center for Composite Materials (CCM), the medal has since been awarded to 29 individuals from the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

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Designed by Charles Parks, a local sculptor with an international reputation, the medal was created to honor those who have achieved outstanding leadership in the field of composites. Recipients are chosen by a committee of past medal winners chaired by professor R. Byron Pipes of Purdue University, who is credited with developing CCM's industrial consortium in the 1970s and 80s.

“Dr. Chou, one of the founding fathers of CCM, has had a distinguished career dedicated to research excellence and scholarship and has contributed significantly to the outstanding international reputation that CCM enjoys today,” said John W. Gillespie Jr., CCM director and Donald C. Phillips Professor. “It is most fitting that after 40 years of exemplary service he has won the prestigious Medal of Excellence in Composites during the 35th anniversary of the founding of CCM.”

A faculty member in the UD Department of Mechanical Engineering since 1969, Chou holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the National Taiwan University, a master's degree in materials science from Northwestern University, and a doctorate in materials science from Stanford University. He has served as a visiting professor at universities and research institutes in Argentina, China, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. In addition, he is an honorary research professor of the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Northwestern Polytechnical University of China.

Chou's research interests are in materials science, applied mechanics, fiber composite materials, piezoelectric materials, and nanocomposites. He has performed composites technology assessments in Europe and Asia for the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Office, respectively, and he has authored over 300 archival journal papers and book chapters in these areas. Chou is the author of Microstructural Design of Fiber Composites, co-author of Composite Materials and Their Use in Structures, and the editor of several other books. He is also editor-in-chief of the international journal Composites Science and Technology.

A fellow of six professional societies in materials and engineering, Chou has received the Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award and the Worcester Reed Warner Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Distinguished Research Award from the American Society for Composites, and UD's Francis Alison Award. He has also been recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a highly cited researcher.

CCM is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2009, in conjunction with its hosting the first Joint Canadian and American Technical Conference, sponsored by the American Society for Composites (ASC) and the Canadian Association for Composite Materials and Structures (CACSMA). Chou will receive the medal at the ASC conference banquet, and he will also be honored by a one-day symposium in his name at the conference. The events are scheduled to take place from Sept. 15-17.

“This will be a memorable event for everyone at CCM and especially for Prof. Chou,” said Michael Chajes, dean of UD's College of Engineering. “Few academic research centers can claim a 35-year history, and Tsu-Wei has played a major role in CCM's establishment and growth during that period. He is also credited with pioneering and sustaining many of the international collaborations that have made CCM recognized not only here in the U.S. but throughout the world.”

Article by Diane Kukich