During a ceremony at the Annual General Meeting of the ÖGV in Vienna, Austria, November 18, ASE/EM and ICES Professor Thomas J. R. Hughes 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 his office in the Hofburg Palace to honor Hughes, already active in the country as a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
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, Theodor von Kármán, Geoffrey Ingram Taylor, and Ludwig Prandtl, among others.
In awarding the medal, Österreichische Gewerbeverein (ÖGV) noted Hughes as the world's most widely recognized researcher in the field of computer simulation of technical and biomedical processes. In addition, they acknowledged his published work of fundamental contributions as having received more than 65,000 citations. As well, the OGV credited his work in computational mechanics, variational methods for complex fluid flows, and patient-specific biomedical modeling and simulation of blood flow, as having dramatically advanced medicine and technology.
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.