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05/22/95

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Engineering student receives finite element analysis award

STANFORD -- James Stewart, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, is co-winner of the seventh annual Robert J. Melosh Competition for the best student paper on finite element analysis. Finite element analysis is a computer simulation technique that models complex systems by breaking them down into a large number of elements and then analyzing the elements and their interconnections. The competition is open to all undergraduates, graduates and young scholars who are either in school or have graduated within the previous year. It draws entries from around the world.

Stewart's entry was titled "A posteriori error estimation and adaptive finite element computation of the Helmholtz equation in exterior domains." It describes his doctoral thesis research, performed under the direction of Professor Thomas J.R. Hughes. The paper describes a method for automatically obtaining the desired level of accuracy in computer solutions of an equation that governs important acoustic and electromagnetic phenomena.

The Stanford graduate was one of seven finalists who presented their papers orally at Duke University, which sponsors the contest. Winners were selected on the basis of paper content and presentation, and received a medal and honorarium.

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