Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Michael Ortiz

Michael Ortiz Ph.D., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Michael Ortiz received his Ph.D. (1981) and M.S. degree (1978) in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate school focus was in structural engineering and structural mechanics (SESM). He also received a B.S. degree (1977) in Civil Engineering from Polytechnical University of Madrid, Spain. Since 1995, he has been on the faculty of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), becoming the Dottie and Dick Hayman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering in 2004 and the Frank and Ora Marble Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering in 2013, the position he currently holds. For more than a decade prior to arriving at Caltech, Professor Ortiz was on the faculty at Brown University rising from the position of Assistant Professor to Professor.

Professor Ortiz is an international leader in understanding and modeling the behavior of materials and structures across length and time scales ranging from atomistic to macroscopic, and at extremes of pressure, temperature, and rates of deformation. He has made important advances in understanding the development and evolution of microstructure during deformation and its role in shaping the macroscopic response of materials and structures. He has investigated the limits of usability of materials, e.g., formability limits, failure mechanisms, fatigue life prediction, plastic deformation, fracture and fragmentation, material and structural instabilities, and others. He is also a leader in the development of mathematical and computational methods that enable the application of high-fidelity multiscale material models to engineering systems. His research sponsors include the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Dept. of Energy, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Army Research Laboratory, and Office of Naval Research. He is author or coauthor of more than 300 peer-reviewed technical papers published in archival journals.

Professor Ortiz has been a Fulbright Scholar, a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar (Caltech), and a Hans Fischer Senior Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies of the Technical University of Munich (2010). He is a Fellow of the U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM, 2002), Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2007), and Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (2013). Professor Ortiz is the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists (2002), the International Association for Computational Mechanics (IACM) International Computational Structural Mechanics Award for Research, the USACM Computational Structural Mechanics Award, the inaugural 2008 Rodney Hill Prize conferred every four years by the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM), and the 2015 Timoshenko Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).