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Smart Structures/NDE 2020 Awards

Award Recipients
2019 1st Place EAP-in-Action Demo winners with Session Chair, Yosi Bar-Cohen.

The awards presented at Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation 2020 represent four categories of excellence across various disciplines:

  • SPIE SSM/NDE Lifetime Achievement Awards
  • SPIE Best Student Paper Contest
  • Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication Best Student Paper Award
  • EAP-in-Action Demonstration Awards

The nomination criteria are different for each, and all are awarded onsite. Here is a list of the various awards presented.

See the list of 2019 award winners at the end of each section.


SPIE SSM/NDE Lifetime Achievement Awards

These awards recognize senior researchers who have made significant contributions to the field of Smart Structures and Materials (SSM) or Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) and who have been instrumental in their growth. The award decision is based on the extent of the nominee's impact on our community and participation in the SPIE Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation symposium. The prize consists of an SPIE certificate and a plenary talk at the Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation Symposium the following year.

Click here to review the 2020 SPIE Lifetime Achievement Award criteria and nomination information.

For further information, please contact the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Chairs:

NDE Award Chair: Wieslaw M. Ostachowicz (wieslaw@imp.gda.pl)

SSM Award Chair: Anastasia Muliana (amuliana@tamu.edu)

2019 Winners:

NDE Lifetime Achievement Award winner: Laurence J. Jacobs, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)

SSM Lifetime Achievement Award winner: Diann E. Brei, Univ. of Michigan (United States)


SPIE Best Student Paper Contest

SPIE sponsors the best student paper presentation contest with a cash prize for the first, second, and third place winners. Entrants are judged by a committee of SPIE volunteers. The top six finalist student authors present their papers at a special session at the meeting.

In order to be eligible for the contest:

1) Submit an abstract to the meeting by Wednesday, 16 October 2019

2) Email an extended abstract (i.e., not the same abstract you submission for the general meeting) and an accompanying file to SPIEbeststudentcompetition@gmail.com by Monday, 30 December 2019. Please use the Extended Abstract Template and the accompanying Name and Affiliation Template for creating your extended abstract.

If you have any issues please contact the contest chair, John Domann at jpdomann@vt.edu.

In order to be eligible for the contest:

(1) submit an abstract to the meeting by Wednesday, 22 August 2018.

(2) email an extended abstract (i.e. not the same abstract you submitted for the general meeting) and an accompanying file to SPIEbeststudentcompetition@gmail.com by Monday, 5 November 2018  extended to Friday, 14 December 2018, following the extended abstract template and the accompanying file template. If you have any issues please contact the contest chair, John Domann at jpdomann@vt.edu.

(3) authors must commit to attending the symposium and presenting his or her paper to the committee if selected as one of the finalists.

(4) For those individuals selected as finalists and notified in that regard, a copy of the full paper must be provided to the committee by Monday, 6 February 2019. Please email your full paper to the contest chair, John Domann jpdomann@vt.edu.

(5) the student paper must be accepted to the conference to which it was submitted and student authors are expected to present their papers during the regular symposium as well as at the special session.

Evaluation Criteria: The submitted extended abstracts and finalist paper presentations will each need to demonstrate a connection to smart structures and materials and advance the state-of-the-art. They will be judged according to: 1. Relevance to smart structures and materials applications. 2. Creativity and innovation. 3. Theoretical and/or experimental quality. 4. Appreciation of work done by others 5. Discussion of sources of error (i.e in your work, not in the work of others). 6. In-depth explanation and analysis of results. 7. Effectiveness of presenter's slides and flow of presentation (i.e. oral communication skills).

The sequence of events for the contest is: I. Submission of extended abstract and request for consideration II. Evaluation of abstracts and selection of finalists by the committee and notification of finalists III. Presentation of papers by student finalists at special session of the committee and voting to determine the winners. (Special session) IV. Presentation of certificate to winners.

2019 Winners:

First Place: Kimberly Gustafson, Univ. of Illinois (United States), "Adaptive and compliant wing tip devices enabled by additive manufacturing and multi-stable structures"

Second Place: Jesse Callanan, Univ. at Buffalo (United States), "Standing-to-traveling wave transition in piezoelectric thermoacoustic energy harvesters"

Third Place: Tyler Albright, Kansas State Univ. (United States), "Stochastic modeling of composite strain and fatigue sensing elements"


2019 Honorable Mentions:

Aarushi Bhargava, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States), "Dynamics of focused ultrasound actuated shape memory polymers"

Sudersan Sridhar, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (India), "Finite element formulation for analysis of unsymmetric magnetoelectric laminated plates"

Filomena Simone, Zentrum für Mechatronik und Automatisierungstechnik gGmbH (Germany), "Finite element modeling and simulation of a robotic finger actuated by Ni-Ti shape memory alloy wires"


Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication Best Student Paper Award: In Memory of H. Don Wolpert

The Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication VI conference chairs choose the Best Student Paper Award from their conference. This award is sponsored by the Optical Society of Southern California. A cash prize will be given to the first, second, and third place winners.

2019 Winners:

First Place: Tyler Jenkins, North Carolina State Univ. (United States), "Variable stiffness soft robotics using pennate muscle architecture"

Second Place: Kimberly Gustafson, Univ. of Illinois (United States), "Adaptive and compliant wing tip devices enabled by additive manufacturing and multi-stable structures"

Third Place: Mohammad Ali Kazemi Lari, "Robotic jellyfish actuated with a shape memory alloy spring"


EAP-in-Action Demonstration Awards:

As part of the EAPAD conference of the SPIE Smart Structures/NDE symposia, the EAP-in-Action Demonstration Session has been held over the past 19 years. In an effort to encourage excellence in developing the Electroactive Polymers (EAP) demonstrations and accelerate the transition of EAPs to practical and commercial technologies, award certificates will be issued. A judging committee, consisting of leading EAP experts, will select the award winners among the presenters at the EAP-in-Action Demonstration Session. The judges will assess the presenters' performance as well as the quality and content of the demos. The top ranked three will be recognized and will be awarded certificates.

The demonstration presenters are ranked based on the following criteria:

1.   Originality/creativity

2.   Use of EAP to drive the demo

3.   Performance of the demo

4.   Potential impact

2019 Winners:

First Place: Tim Helps, Majid Taghavi, Richard Suphapol Diteesawat, Aaron Fishman, John Rossiter Univ. of Bristol (United Kingdom), "Electro-ribbon actuators and electro-origami robots"

Second Place: Herbert R. Shea, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), "A fast 200 mg DEA robot"

Third Place: Lenore Rasmussen, Ras Labs, Inc. (United States), "Synthetic Muscle in prosthetics"

2020 Important Dates

Abstract Deadline
16 October 2019

Author Notification
20 December 2019

Manuscripts Due
1 April 2020


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