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University of Minnesota professor Steven Crouch elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Dean of the College of Science and Engineering receives highest professional honor awarded to an engineer

February 7, 2013

Steven Crouch, professor of civil engineering and dean of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The announcement of 69 new members and 11 foreign associates was made today by NAE President Charles M. Vest.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

"This is a tremendous honor for a deserving researcher, a dedicated educator, and a great leader," said University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, who was elected to the NAE in 2010. "Dean Crouch’s election to the National Academy of Engineering is a testament to his deserved standing as a true leader in his field. We are proud of his career and of his leadership of our College of Science and Engineering."

Crouch is recognized by the NAE for his contributions to simulation methodology for the behavior of fractured rock masses.

"This is an honor of a lifetime and an honor for Minnesota as well," Crouch said. "It recognizes the ongoing research conducted here at the University of Minnesota and the lasting contributions made to the field of engineering."

Crouch’s research focuses on numerical modeling of problems in solid mechanics using boundary integral equation methods. His early research dealt with the stability of underground mine openings; more recently, he has studied numerical stress analysis techniques for fiber-reinforced and particulate composite materials. In the mid-1970s he developed a special numerical method called the displacement discontinuity method, a widely used tool for solving problems ranging from crack propagation in elastic solids to the design of underground mining excavations in jointed and faulted rock.

Crouch has received numerous other awards and is coauthor (with A. M. Starfield) of the book Boundary Element Methods in Solid Mechanics, which has been translated into Chinese and Russian.

Before becoming dean in January 2005, Crouch served as the college’s associate dean for finance and planning (1997-2004) and as head of the civil engineering department (1987-1997). Prior to joining the University faculty in 1970, he was a research officer for the Mining Research Laboratory of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa. He received bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in mineral engineering from the University of Minnesota (in 1966, 1967, and 1970, respectively).

Today’s NAE election brings the total U.S. membership to 2,250 and the number of foreign associates to 211. More information on today’s elections, including a list of the newly elected members and foreign associates, is available here.

About the National Academy of Engineering
Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. The mission of the National Academy of Engineering is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. For more information, visit

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Steven Crouch, dean of the College of Science and Engineering and newly-elected member of the National Academy of Engineering

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