Satish Nagarajaiah, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of mechanical engineering at Rice, an authority on seismic isolation and adaptive stiffness structural systems, has been elected to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society.
Nagarajaiah was recognized by Sigma Xi for his “scholarly achievements and contributions to the advancement of knowledge in science and engineering.”
He joined the Rice faculty in 1999 and was elected a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Inventors in 2019. Nagarajaiah has invented and co-invented several devices and systems to protect structures from vibrations, including those caused by earthquakes. The systems are semi-active and smart with variable stiffness, along with adaptive passive versions of both tuned mass-dampers and negative stiffness systems.
Nagarajaiah has co-invented structural monitoring technologies that include strain-sensing nanomaterials and noncontact, laser-based smart strain-sensing skin. He has developed advanced computational techniques and algorithms for nonlinear structural dynamic analysis and the 3D-BASIS computer program, used widely to analyze and design base-isolated structures, including San Francisco International Airport and Apple headquarters.
He has developed sparse and low-rank structural system identification algorithms guided by physics-informed machine learning that are currently being used in cable-tension monitoring in large cable-stayed bridges.
A native of India, Nagarajaiah earned a bachelor’s degree in structural engineering from Bangalore University in 1980 and a master’s in the same discipline in 1982 from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He received his Ph.D. in structural engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1990 and served as a postdoctoral researcher and an assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia from 1993 to 1998.
Nagarajaiah was elected in 2021 as a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the body. He serves as editor of the journal Structural Control and Health Monitoring.
Sigma Xi, the world's largest interdisciplinary scientific honor society, was founded at Cornell University in 1886 and today has some 60,000 members, including more than 200 Nobel Laureates.