Professor Andrew J. Whittle from MIT was Awarded as Tsinghua Honorary Professor

On May 28th, 2019, the appointment ceremony of Tsinghua Honorary Professor Andrew J. Whittle was held in Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University. Prof. Yongjiu Shi, Chairman of the academic committee of the department of Civil Engineering and Construction Management, briefly introduced Professor Andrew J. Whittle’s distinguished achievements and his long partnerships with this School. Prof. Xiaohui Cheng, Director of the institute of underground engineering, presided over the appointment ceremony. Then, on behalf of the school, Prof. Yongjiu Shi awarded Andrew J. Whittle the certificate of the Honorary Professor.


Prof. Andrew J. Whittle accepted the appointment, and said that he felt much honored to be a member of Tsinghua University. Then he highly spoke of Tsinghua University and shared his stories with Tsinghua. In the end, Prof. Whittle said that he would try his best to connect Tsinghua University with MIT.


In his keynote speech following the ceremony, Prof. Whittle shared with the audience several models of soil developed to predict soil’s behavior precisely. His speech was organized with four parts, which were capabilities of generalized elasto-plasticity, a new rate-dependent clay model, an old alluvium-complex natural geomaterial and a bottom-up multi-scale modeling approach.

Following the ceremony, Prof. Whittle gave a keynote speech titled "Building a Better Mousetrap: The Continuing Quest for More Reliable Models of Soil Behavior". After the speech, there were extensive and further discussions between Prof. Whittle and the audience. Prof. Erxiang Song showed great interests in Whittle’ soil models and they exchanged some of their ideas during the lecture.


About Professor Andrew J. Whittle

Andrew J. Whittle is the Edmund K. Turner Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. He joined the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1988, became a Full Professor in 2000 and has served as Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2009-2013. His research deals with the development of constitutive models for soil behavior and their application in predicting the perance of foundations and underground construction projects.  He has also carried out extensive research on wireless sensor networks for monitoring underground infrastructure notably in the detection and localization of leaks in water pipe networks and served as Chief Scientific Advisor for a successful start-up company, Visenti Pte., now a Xylem Brand company.  

He has also served on review panels for hurricane protection systems in New Orleans (NRC), the ‘stem-to-stern’ safety of the Big Dig tunnels in Boston, and construction delays on the XRL high speedrail project in Hong Kong.  He was aDirector for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (2009-2015).

Dr. Whittle is a Co-Editor of the International Journal of Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics (since 1999). He has published more than 220 papers in refereed journals and conferences, and received several awards for his work from the American Society of Civil Engineers, including the Casagrande Award(1994), the Croes Medal (1994), Middlebrooks Prize (1997, 2002, and 2005) and Huber Research Award (1998).  He is a licensed professional engineer in New York State.  In 2010 he was elected to the American Academy of Engineering.