Balachandran Named Distinguished University Professor

Balachandran Named Distinguished University Professor

Balachandran Named Distinguished University Professor


Balakumar Balachandran, Minta Martin Professor and Chair of the University of Maryland’s (UMD) Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), has been named a Distinguished University Professor (DUP) by UMD, effective July 1, 2022. The title, given each year to a select group of highly accomplished professors, is the university’s highest faculty honor.

UMD President Darryll Pines, in conferring the title, cited Balachandran’s “outstanding achievements” in nonlinear dynamics and oscillations and their applications in diverse areas of engineering and beyond.

The recognition is typically given to faculty who have been recognized nationally and internationally for the importance of their scholarly and/or creative achievements and who have demonstrated the breadth of interest characteristically encompassed by the traditional role of scholar, teacher, and public servant. Other DUPs in the UMD ME department include Ashwani K. Gupta and Michael Pecht. The late Professor Avram Bar-Cohen was also a recipient of the recognition.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to the university, our students, and the collaborators I have had the privilege to work with over the years,” Balachandran said. “The academic environment in UMD and the A. James Clark School of Engineering has been of tremendous support to my different endeavors here. I have been quite fortunate to be a part of such a community.”

The DUP title is one of several recent honors and awards received by Balachandran, who has been a UMD faculty member since 1993 and has chaired the department of mechanical engineering since 2011. Most recently, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conferred upon him the Pendray Aerospace Literature Award, citing Balachandran’s “permanent contributions to the literature of nonlinear dynamics and vibrations through well-received books which are used worldwide in academia, industry, and government laboratories.” 

He will be presented with the award, which is named for American Rocket Society founder G. Edward Pendray, during the 2023 AIAA SciTech forum, to be held from 23-27 January.

Balachandran is the first UMD faculty member to have received the Robert H. Scanlan Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI), which announced the recognition in June 2022. The previous year, he received both the J.P. Den Hartog and Lyapunov Awards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME). The Hartog Award is one of the highest ASME honors awarded in the area of dynamics and vibrations, and he is one of a handful of researchers worldwide who have received both the Hartog and Lyapunov awards.

A prolific scholar with a dedication to teaching as well as research, Balachandran has authored and coauthored numerous publications, including a Wiley textbook, Applied Nonlinear Dynamics: Analytical, Computational, and Experimental Methods; a Cambridge University Press textbook, Vibrations; and a co-edited Springer book, Delay Differential Equations: Recent Advances and New Directions. He is a Fellow of ASME and AIAA and a senior member of IEEE. In addition, he is a past recipient of the ASME Melville Award (2016) and the Hind Rattan Award (2015) bestowed by the NRI Welfare Society of India.

In June 2022, he was named a fellow of the United Kingdom’s Royal Aeronautical Society, the oldest aeronautical society in the world.

November 7, 2022


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“The academic environment in UMD and the A. James Clark School of Engineering has been of tremendous support to my different endeavors here. I have been quite fortunate to be a part of such a community.”

Dr. Balakumar Balachandran, Distinguished University Professor, Minta Martin Professor, and Chair



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