ASCE has honored Stein Sture, Ph.D., Hon.D.GE, F.EMI, Dist.M.ASCE, with the 2021 Maurice A. Biot Medal for his contributions to experimental, theoretical, and computational mechanics in advancing the understanding of mechanical behavior of geologic and particulate media under general stress state including failure.
While Stein has contributed to many research areas in engineering mechanics, the main theme of his research has revolved around efforts to elevate the understanding and modeling of soils and general porous media whose response to loading is inherently complex, being generally inelastic, hysteretic, and stress-path and stress-state dependent. What distinguishes him most from many other geomechanics researchers is his tremendous breadth of knowledge in the physical, theoretical, experimental, as well as practical, aspects of many geomechanics and engineering problems.
His innate ability to see and integrate critical elements and insights from different angles is particularly extraordinary. He always has a sharp sense of where more research or development is the most fruitful and how to get there with systematic methods and sound physics. Equipped with his unusually acute physical insights of real geomaterial behavior and his strong mechanics acumen, Stein has made numerous significant contributions to computational geomechanics as well.
His low-gravity/effective stress experiments on soil in space, past lunar soil mechanics studies, and his current involvement in Martian exploration for NASA are great illustrations of Stein’s scientific prowess and how he has helped expand the reach of civil engineering to other serious scientific explorations. Stein serves as a great model for our next generation of engineering mechanics researchers and is an admired colleague to many in our community.
The Maurice A. Biot Medal was established to recognize the lifetime achievement of Dr. Maurice A. Biot and is awarded to an individual who has made outstanding research contributions to the mechanics of porous materials.