Nagarajaiah, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and of mechanical engineering, materials science and nanoengineering in Rice’s Brown School of Engineering, is one of 168 fellows who will be inducted at the academy’s annual meeting April 10 in Phoenix.
Election as an NAI fellow is among the highest professional distinctions for academic inventors. The 4,000-member academy recognizes accomplishments in patents, licensing and commercialization, and fellows are nominated by their peers for “creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society,” according to the academy.
Nagarajaiah is a leading expert in the field of adaptive stiffness structural systems. He has invented and co-invented several devices and systems to protect structures from damaging vibrations, including those caused by earthquakes. These include systems that are semiactive and smart with variable stiffness, as well as adaptive passive versions of both tuned mass dampers and negative stiffness systems.
With Rice colleagues, Nagarajaiah also co-invented structural monitoring technologies that include strain-sensing nanomaterials and noncontact, laser-based smart strain-sensing skin. He has also developed advanced techniques for nonlinear structural dynamic analysis that have been widely used to analyze and design structures, including the San Francisco International Airport and Apple’s headquarters.
Nagarajaiah is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), an inaugural fellow of the ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute and editor of the journal Structural Control and Health Monitoring. His previous awards and honors include a 1999 National Science Foundation CAREER award and the ASCE’s 2015 Moissieff Award and 2017 Reese Research Prize.