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Civil engineer and applied mathematician receives the Max Planck Research Prize


Montreal, QC – February 12, 2004 – Dr Patrick Selvadurai, professor of civil engineering and applied mechanics at McGill University, received the Max Planck Research Award in Engineering Sciences for 2003. Dr Selvadurai is the first faculty member at McGill University to receive the award and the first Canadian engineer and theoretical mechanicist to receive the Max Planck Award.

Dr Selvadurai’s research work spans a number of areas in continuum mechanics, computational and experimental geomechanics, and applied mathematics. In conjunction with his mathematical and computational modelling, Dr Selvadurai actively conducts experimental modelling in geomechanics, a rarity for accomplished researchers with interests in theoretical and computational modelling.

"The research support that I have received from NSERC throughout my academic career has had a profound influence on my ability to conduct fundamental research, which has a lasting value, and, most importantly, to train research students who can appreciate the value of fundamental research," says Dr Selvadurai.

The Max Planck Award carries with it research funds that will enable Dr Selvadurai to collaborate with researchers at the University of Stuttgart and other research institutions in Germany over five years. This award acknowledges his outstanding research achievements in the areas of applied mathematics, theoretical and applied mechanics, environmental geomechanics and computational geomechanics.

The Max Planck Award is named after the 1918 German Nobel Laureate in physics, professor Dr Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, who is recognized for numerous scientific accomplishments, including the discovery of energy quanta. Two other Canadians, Dr Donald Dawson and Dr Douglas Morris Ruthven, have received the award since its inception in 1990.