Today, the International Association for Computational Mechanics (IACM) is a well-established professional society, with almost five thousand affiliates worldwide. Its Awards Program has been established to honor individuals who have made significant contributions in basic or applied computational mechanics, and to showcase the work of creative scholarship of its membership to the entire world.
The IACM Awards are conferred every two years. They were designed to recognize members in different age groups and to achieve different purposes: for senior researchers, to celebrate a lifetime achievement; for mid-career researchers, to honor an exceptional accomplishment; and for early career researchers or graduate students, to reward outstanding young research talent for a significant contribution in computational mechanics.
The IACM O.C. Zienkiewicz Award was initiated by IACM to honor Professor Olgierd Cecil Zienkiewicz, whose research work had a pioneering impact on computational mechanics in both theory and in practice. Professor Zienkiewicz was one of the leading developers of the Finite Element Method, a computer-based technique that has, since the 1960s, revolutionized design and analysis procedures in engineering. He recognized the significant potential of computational mechanics to solve many problems not only in engineering, but also in many other scientific disciplines. In 1968, he founded the first journal dealing with computational mechanics, namely, the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering. Jointly with Professors R.H. Gallagher and J.T. Oden, he called a meeting in 1981 that is at the origin of the International Association for Computational Mechanics. Professor Zienkiewicz was the first president of IACM and acted as such until 1991.
Specifically, the IACM O.C. Zienkiewicz Award is given in recognition of outstanding and sustained contributions to the broad field of computational mechanics. These contributions shall generally be in the form of important research results that significantly advance the understanding of theories and methods impacting computational mechanics. However, special individual contributions in leadership and administration, industrial applications, and engineering analysis that advance computational mechanics shall also represent accomplishments worthy of recognition.