News Items (since 2014)


The following paper, among the top cited papers published in 2006, is designated  by Google Scholar as a Computational Mathematics Classic, June 15, 2017

Math. Models Methods Appl. Sci. 16, 1031 (2006).



The University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, 1 University Station C0200, Austin, TX 78712-0027, USA


Dipartimento di Matematica "F. Enriques", Università di Milano, Via Saldini 50, 20133 Milano, Italy


The University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, 1 University Station C0200, Austin, TX 78712-0027, USA


The University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, 1 University Station C0200, Austin, TX 78712-0027, USA


Dipartimento di Matematica "F. Casorati", Università di Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received: 19 February 2006

Revised: 2 March 2006

We begin the mathematical study of Isogeometric Analysis based on NURBS (non-uniform rational B-splines). Isogeometric Analysis is a generalization of classical Finite Element Analysis (FEA) which possesses improved properties. For example, NURBS are capable of more precise geometric representation of complex objects and, in particular, can exactly represent many commonly engineered shapes, such as cylinders, spheres and tori. Isogeometric Analysis also simplifies mesh refinement because the geometry is fixed at the coarsest level of refinement and is unchanged throughout the refinement process. This eliminates geometrical errors and the necessity of linking the refinement procedure to a CAD representation of the geometry, as in classical FEA. In this work we study approximation and stability properties in the context of h-refinement. We develop approximation estimates based on a new Bramble–Hilbert lemma in so-called "bent" Sobolev spaces appropriate for NURBS approximations and establish inverse estimates similar to those for finite elements. We apply the theoretical results to several cases of interest including elasticity, isotropic incompressible elasticity and Stokes flow, and advection-diffusion, and perform numerical tests which corroborate the mathematical results. We also perform numerical calculations that involve hypotheses outside our theory and these suggest that there are many other interesting mathematical properties of Isogeometric Analysis yet to be proved.

Keywords: B-splines; NURBS; finite elements; approximation; error estimates; inverse estimates; stability; elliptic boundary value problems; elasticity; incompressibility; Stokes flow; advection-diffusion; h-refinement

Thomas J.R. Hughes received the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) Distinguished Scientist Award, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, April 19, 2017.

thumbnail hughes

The annual honor goes to a research scientist whose extraordinary work fulfills the SURA mission to “strengthen the scientific capabilities of its members and our nation.”

The award and its $10,000 honorarium were presented to Dr. Hughes April 19, 2017 in conjunction with the SURA Board of Trustees meeting being held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

“Dr. Hughes is an eminent scientist, bringing great distinction to his field of study and institution. SURA is proud to convey this special honor to him,” said Gordon Gee, President of West Virginia University and Chair of the SURA Council of Presidents. “His contributions to the analysis of structural, solid, and fluid systems in the area of computational mechanics–particularly for aerospace–are quite remarkable.”

In his letter of nomination, Gregory L. Fenves, UT Austin president, wrote, “Tom is a valued colleague, an inspiring mentor, and an insightful elder statesman in the field of engineering.” He also noted that the International Congress of Mathematicians–which holds a congress every four years as the largest and most important event in the field of mathematics–selected Hughes to represent the field of Numerical Analysis at its 2010 event.  “In the history of this congress, which spans more than 100 years, [Dr. Hughes] was only the second engineer to have been invited to deliver a plenary lecture,” said Fenves. The first was Theodore von Karman in 1928.

Hughes is the most influential researcher in computer aided engineering and its integration with computer aided design. His published works have garnered over 87,000 citations and his h-index is 134 (Google Scholar), making him one of the most cited engineers.  He has been identified by ISI Thompson as one of the most highly cited authors in all fields of engineering and scientific computing.  The fruits of his work have been implemented in industrial and commercial computer programs that are used throughout the world. He has created entirely new fields of research, such as Stabilized and Variational Multiscale Methods, and Isogeometric Analysis, and continues to lead their development.

The SURA Distinguished Scientist Award was established in 2007, commemorating the organization’s 25th Anniversary. SURA’s Development & Relations Committee manages the solicitation, screening and selection of the recipient from a SURA member institution.  The president and trustees of each of SURA’s 61-member research universities are eligible to make one nomination for the Distinguished Scientist Award.  The award and honorarium were presented to Dr. Hughes during the morning session of the board meeting on April 19 at the Cook Hotel & Conference Center at LSU.

Thomas J.R. Hughes received the SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering, at the SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2, 2017.  

Read all about it:

SIAMCSE17 TomHughes Award

Thomas J.R.  Hughes presented a Lindbergh Lecture, entitled “Isogeometric Analysis: Past, Present, Future,” Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, February 9th, 2017. 

Thomas J.R. Hughes and eight of his former graduate students named Highly Cited Researchers 2016 

Thomas J.R. Hughes, and eight of his former graduate students were identified as Highly Cited Researchers 2016 by Thomson Reuters for the period 2004 through 2014 (    “Highly Cited Researchers 2016 represents some of world’s most influential scientific minds.  About three thousand researchers earned this distinction by writing the greatest number of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers — ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact.”

Dr. Hughes’s former graduate students who earned the distinction are Yuri Bazilevs,  Victor Calo, Austin Cottrell, John Evans, Ming-Chen Hsu, Alessandro Reali, Mike Scott, and Tayfun Tezduyar.

ASME Digital Collection:  Applied Mechanics Reviews Audio Interview: Prof. Thomas J.R. Hughes

From the website:  "Prof. Thomas J.R. Hughes is a leading authority in engineering science and applied mechanics, recognized for his ground-breaking contributions to the computer-aided analysis of problems in fluid and solid mechanics. This AMR audio interview explores his experiences at the interfaces between research and design, academia and industry, and innovation and integration, his unique combination of gumption and curiosity, and how a flailing fire hose may have inspired a revolution in vascular surgery.”

Thomas J.R.  Hughes presened an invited sminar entitled "Patient Specific Computer Modeling and the Predictive Paradigm in Cardiovascular Medicine,” Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, November 16, 2016. 

Thomas J.R. Hughes received the University Co-op Career Research Excellence Award, Blanton Museum, Hamilton Awards Banquet, University of Texas at Austin, October 25, 2016.


Hamilton Awards Banquet, Blanton Museum, October 25th, 2016.  Left to right:  Dan Jaffe, VP Research, UT Austin; Tom Hughes; Maurie McInnes, Executive VP and Provost, UT Austin; Cheryl Phifer, CEO, University Co-op; Michael Hasler, Chairman of the Board, University Co-op.

“Isogeometric Analysis: Past, Present, Future,” Thomas J.R. Hughes presented the Keynote Plenary Lecture at the USACM Thematic Conference on Isogeometric Analysis and Meshfree Methods, La Jolla, California, October 10-12, 2016.

Plenary lecture at the IGA – MF Conference in La Jolla, California, October 10th, 2016.

Thomas J.R. Hughes delivered the inaugural Ernst Melan Distinguished Lecture in Engineering Science, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria, October 5th, 2016.  

Vienna University of Technology established the new distinguished lecture series in the engineering sciences, to honor Melan a pioneer of engineering mechanics in the first half of the 20th century. As professor of elasticity theory, structural mechanics, and building construction at TU Wien from 1925 to 1962, he sustainably shaped the culture of teaching and research at this university, where he held the positions of department head and president. Among his numerous contributions to the engineering sciences, his shake‐down theorem of 1936, and his general treatise of elastoplasticity of 1938, both anticipating many ideas which were hardly discussed before the 1950s, are true landmarks in the history of theoretical and applied mechanics.

Dr. Hughes’s lecture was entitled "Isogeometric Analysis: Past, Present, Future."

Thomas J.R. Hughes received the Slovak University of Technology Medal, October 3rd, 2016.  

On the occasion he presented an invited lecture entitled "Patient Specific Computer Modeling and the Predictive Paradigm in Cardiovascular Medicine,” Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia, October 3rd, 2016.

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“Isogeometric Analysis: Past, Present, Future,” Thomas J.R. Hughes presented a Plenary Lecture at the 12th World Conference on Computational Mechanics and the 6th Asia-Pacific Congress on Computational Mechanics, Seoul, Korea, July 24-29, 2016.

Tinsley and Tom preparing bibimbap in Seoul, July 2016

Tinsley Oden, Tom Hughes and Antonio Huerta preparing bibimbap for over 2000 guests at the banquet in Seoul, Korea, July 28th, 2016.  (I wouldn’t eat that if I were you.)

Thomas J.R. Hughes delivers Householder Seminars

Here is the poster:

Householder Poster Hughes 229

Mathematisches Forschugsinstitut Oberwolfach Mini-workshop on the Mathematical Foundations of Isogeometric Analysis, organized by Thomas J.R. Hughes, Bert Jüttler, Angela Kunoth, and Bernd Simeon, February  7-13, 2016

It wasn’t really snowy the week we were there, but I like this picture of the institute:


Here is a picture of the organizing team.  From left to right, Bert Jüttler, Angela Kunoth, Tom Hughes, and Bernd Simeon.


Here is a picture of the participants.  From left to right: Angelos Mantzaflaris, John Evans, Jörg Peters, Carla Manni, Alan Demlow (the tall guy), Angela Kunoth, Tom Hughes, Nur Sema Akpinar, Ulrich Langer, Bert Jüttler, Peter Oswald, Bernd Simeon, Alesssandro Reali, Helmut Harbrecht, Giancarlo Sangalli, Tom Lyche, Bernard Mourrain.

Oberwolfach, Feb. 10, 2016, photoNormal-1

Invited Lecture to the General Assembly of the Austrian Academy of Science

Thomas J.R. Hughes delivered an Invited Lecture, entitled “Patient Specific Computer Modeling and the Predictive Paradigm in Cardiovascular Medicine,” to the General Assembly of the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna, October 16, 2015.  

Keynote Plenary Lecture at COMPLAS XIII

On September 1, 2015, Thomas Hughes was in Barcelona, Spain to deliver the Keynote Plenary Lecture for the XIII International Conference on Computational Plasticity, Fundamentals and Applications, COMPLAS XIII. It was entitled “Isogeometric Phase-field Modeling of Brittle and Ductile Fracture.  Vidoe of the lecture:

Invited lectures presented during the academic year September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015.

“Isogeometric Analysis,” Invited Seminar, Department of Civil Engineering, Duke University, September 8, 2014.

“Isogeometric Analysis,” Invited Seminar, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Pavia, September 24, 2014.

“Isogeometric Analysis:  Where we are and where we are going,” Invited Plenary Lecture, SMART 2014, First International Conference on Subdivision, Geometric and Algebraic Methods, Isogeometric Analysis and Refinability in Tuscany, La Certosa di Pontignano, University of Siena, Italy, September 29, 2014.

“Isogeometric Analysis: Ten Years After,” Invited Lecture, IMA Special Workshop – Structure-Preserving Discretizations of Partial Differential Equations, University of Minnesota, October 22, 2014.

 “Isogeometric Analysis,” Invited Seminar, Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Vienna University of Technology, November 18, 2014.

“Liquid-Vapor Phase Transitions: Thermomechanical Theory, Entropy Variable Formulation, and Boiling Simulations,” (with J. Liu, C.M. Landis and H. Gomez), Keynote Lecture, 18th International Conference on Finite Elements in Flow Problems (FEF 2015), Regent Taipei, Taiwan, March 16-18, 2015.

“Isogeometric Analysis: Ten Years After,” Computer Science Research Institute (CSRI) Distinguished Lecture, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 13, 2015.

“Isogeometric Analysis: Ten Years After,” Keynote Plenary Lecture, PANACM 2015, 1st Pan-American Congress on Computational Mechanics, in conjunction with MECOM 2015, the XI Argentine Congress on Computational Mechanics, Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 27-29, 2015.

“Isogeometric Analysis: Ten Years After,” Keynote Plenary Lecture, AFSI 2015, Advances in Computational Fluid-Structure Interaction and Flow Simulation, Istanbul, Turkey, May 11-13, 2015.

“Isogeometric Analysis: Ten Years After,” Keynote Plenary Lecture, IGA 2015, III International Conference on Isogeometric Analysis, Trondheim, Norway, June 1-3, 2015.

“Isogeometric Analysis: Where we are and where we are going,” Invited Lecture, NAVAIR Structural Mechanics TIM Conference, Falls Church, VA, June 24-26, 2015.

 “Isogeometric Analysis: Ten Years After,” Plenary Lecture, Aachen Conference on Computational Engineering Science, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany, July 23-24, 2015.

“Isogeometric Analysis: Ten Years After,” Keynote Plenary Lecture, 13th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics, San Diego, CA, July 26-30, 2015.

Thomas J.R. Hughes and five of his former PhD students identified as Thomson-Reuters Highly Cited Researcher 2015. 

 “Highly Cited Researchers 2015 represents some of world’s most influential scientific minds. About three thousand researchers earned this distinction by writing the greatest number of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers — ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact.”  Thomas J.R. Hughes is one of five Cockrell School of Engineering faculty so cited:  Hughes’s former students also named Highly Cited Researchers 2015 are T.E. Tezduyar,  V. Calo,  A. Reali, Y. Bazilevs, and J.A. Cottrell.

Thomas J.R. Hughes is the recipient of the 2014‐2015 Billy and Claude R. Hocott Distinguished Centennial Engineering Research Award

The Billy & Claude R. Hocott Distinguished Centennial Engineering Research Award is supported through an endowment funded by Claude R. Hocott, Ch.E. (B.S. 1933, M.S. 1934, Ph.D. 1937). Hocott's education in engineering, years of practice as an engineer, leadership in industrial research, and active participation and interest in teaching, gave him an increasingly deep respect for quality research. This respect, along with his love for his alma mater, prompted him to establish this award.

The objective of the award is to recognize faculty members who have made significant contributions in advancing the profession of engineering through documented research conducted while affiliated with The University of Texas at Austin. It is important that the recipient's work brought significant credit to the engineering profession and is determined exemplary by the recipient's peers.


Cockrell School of Engineering Dean Sharon Wood presenting the Billy and Claude R. Hocott Award to Tom Hughes, September 25th, 2015. 

Thomas J.R. Hughes elected ASCE Distinguished Member

Distinguished Membership is the highest honor ASCE can bestow:  “A Distinguished Member is a person who has attained eminence in some branch of engineering or in the arts and sciences related thereto, including the fields of engineering education and construction.”  The total number of Distinguished Members elected in any year should not exceed one for every 7,500 members of the society.  

Thomas J.R. Hughes was cited “For major research contributions to the analysis of structural, solid, and fluid systems, for development of methods incorporated in industrial and commercial software used throughout the world, and for leadership in establishing the field of Computational Mechanics as a fundamental engineering discipline.”  

Presented at the Texas ASCE CECON 2015 Conference, Friday, October 2, 2015, Embassy Suites San Marcos, 1001 East McCarty Lane, San Marcos, TX.

Thomas J.R. Hughes receives the AMCA International Scientific Career Award

The 2014 International Scientific Career Award of the Argentinian Association for Computational Mechanics (AMCA) was presented to Thomas J.R. Hughes at the PANACM Conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 28, 2015.   The Award is intended to recognize a scientific career in the field of computational mechanics and interaction with research centers of Argentina. The AMCA Award consists of a statuette made by an Argentine artisan and a diploma.  

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Holding the statuette and the AMCA award diploma in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 28th, 2015.

Peter O’Donnell Jr. Chair in Computational and Applied Mathematics

February 9, 2015.  Thomas J.R. Hughes named the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Chair in Computational and Applied Mathematics.

Wilhelm Exner Medal awarded to Professor Thomas J.R. Hughes

The Wilhelm Exner Medal Foundation was established by the Österreichische Gewerbeverein (ÖGV) in 1921.  Wilhelm Exner was a pioneer in Austrian industrial development, a university professor, engineer, technologist, politician, reformer of industrial education, founder of the Technische Museum Wien (Museum of Technology, Vienna), and Honorary President of the ÖGV.  

Since 1921, the Wilhelm Exner Medal has been awarded to outstanding scientists and inventors whose work opened new possibilities in industrial applications.  Previous laureates include 20 Nobel Prize winners, and the legendary engineers Guglielmo Marconi, Ferdinand Porsche, Werner von Braun, Theodore von Kármán, Geoffrey Ingram Taylor, and Ludwig Prandtl, among others.

During a ceremony at the Annual General Meeting of the ÖGV in Vienna, Austria, November 18, 2014, Professor Thomas J.R. Hughes of the University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, was awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal, “in recognition of his pioneering developments in the field of modeling and simulation, its highly successful economic exploitation, and, more generally, for being an outstanding scientist.”  


The Federal President of Austria, Professor Dr. Heinz Fischer hosted a reception in the Präsidentschaftskanzlei, the President’s office within the Hofburg Palace, prior to the ceremony.

Tom Hughes and Dr. Heinz Fischer, President of Austria, at the reception in the Hofburg Palace preceding the award ceremony.

Translated from the website of the ÖGV: 

“Thomas Hughes, University of Texas, is the world's most widely recognized researcher in the field of computer simulation of technical and biomedical processes. In several important areas of technical science, he has published fundamental contributions that have received over 65,000 citations.  His contributions to computational mechanics, variational methods for complex fluid flows, as well as patient-specific biomedical modeling and simulation of blood flow, have dramatically advanced the potential in medicine and technology.  Hughes is a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Mathematics and Natural Sciences Section.”  

Thomas J.R. Hughes receives JACM Computational Mechanics Award

Thomas J.R. Hughes received the JACM Computational Mechanics Award "For his distinguished achievements in the field of computational mechanics" from the Japanese Association for Computational Mechanics (JACM) on July 22nd, 2014 at the JACM meeting held during the World Congress on Computational Mechanics in Barcelona, Spain.  This is JACM's highest award.

Thomas J.R. Hughes delivers Plenary Lecture at WCCM XI in Barcelona

Thomas J.R. Hughes delivered a plenary lecture at the World Congress for Computational Mechanics in Barcelona, Spain, July 25th, 2014, entitled “Isogeometric Analysis:  Where we are and where we are going.”  Here are a video link of the entire presentation and some pictures:

Thomas J.R. Hughes and six of his former graduate students named Highly Cited Researchers 2014

Thomas J.R. Hughes, and six of his former PhD students were identified as Highly Cited Researchers 2014 by Thomson Reuters for the period 2002 through 2012 (   Researchers earned the distinction by writing the greatest number of papers in the top 1% in their fields during the year of publication, “earning them the mark of exceptional impact.” 

Two of Dr. Hughes’s PhD students who earned the distinction, Wing Kam Liu and Tayfun Tezduyar, are among his earliest and the four others, Victor Calo, Alessandro Reali, Yuri Bazilevs, and Austin Cottrell, are among his most recent.  

Wing Kam Liu was Hughes’s first PhD student at the California Institute of Technology, completing his PhD in Civil Engineering in 1980.  Liu is the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University.  His research interests include theory and methodologies of simulation-driven science and engineering for design of nano-materials and the use of organic and inorganic materials for drug delivery and nano-medicine applications.

Tayfun Tezduyar, the James F. Barbour Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Rice University, received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology under Hughes’s supervision in 1982.  Tezduyar’s research areas include computational fluid-structure interaction, spacecraft parachute modeling, cardiovascular mechanics, and flapping-wing aerodynamics.

Victor Calo, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences and Engineering at KAUST, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University in 2005.  Calo's research interests include computational and analytical aspects of isogeometric analysis, geomechanics, fluid dynamics, flow in porous media, phase separation, fluid-structure interaction, and solid mechanics, and high-performance and geometric computing.

Alessandro Reali is Associate Professor of Mechanics of Solids and Structures at the University of Pavia.  Reali received his MS in 2004 and PhD in 2005 in Earthquake Engineering from the European School for Advanced Studies in Reduction of Seismic Risk (ROSE School) of the Institute for Advanced Study of Pavia (IUSS-Pavia) and the University of Pavia.  Hughes was Reali’s MS advisor and PhD co-advisor at the ROSE School.  Reali's research interests include isogeometric analysis, finite element methods, collocation methods, constitutive modeling, and computational biomechanics.

Yuri Bazilevs is Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of California at San Diego.  Bazilevs received his PhD from the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at the University of Texas at Austin in 2006.  Bazilevs's research is in computational mechanics, isogeometric analysis and fluid-structure interaction, with applications in renewable energy and biomechanics.

Austin Cottrell received his PhD in Computational and Applied Mathematics from ICES in 2007, where his research focus was isogeometric analysis.  Since 2008 he has been with Citigroup developing relative-value trading models for equity options. He is currently based in London as Citi's Lead Quantitative Analyst for Systematic Trading in Europe.

© Tom Hughes 2015