Greek Professor of Computational Mechanics of Structures Distinguished by Japanese University of Kyushu

A Greek Professor, Nikos Aravas, specializing in computational mechanics of structures at the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the University of Thessaly, was presented with the “World Premier International Professor” by the Japanese University of Kyushu.

Moreover, the Greek professor will now formally begin his close partnership with the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) of Kyushu University, in search of ways in which hydrogen affects the mechanical behavior of construction materials.

Mr. Aravas accepted the invitation of the renowned Japanese University with great pleasure and satisfaction. “The Research Committee of I2CNER had submitted its proposal to include me in its research programme, and I am more than happy to be able to travel to Japan on January 28 for the initial meeting” said Mr. Aravas.

The I2CNR is the sixth and most recent member of the WPI Research Centre Initiative, which was founded in 2007 by the Ministry for Education, Culture, Science and Technology of Japan.

Upon explaining his object of study, Mr. Aravas mentioned that the research programme will focus on extracting energy from hydrogen. “Besides the many benefits hydrogen-based energy can display, there is one evil: hydrogen erodes materials and decreases their strength. Our work is to solve such problems.” said Mr. Aravas.

Having worked for 16 years at the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the University of Pennsylvania, the Greek professor has underlined that his cooperation with the Japanese Institute will also be beneficial for the Greek Center for Research and Technology — Thessaly (CE.RE.TE.TH.), which was founded in 2006. Mr. Aravas is the current director of the “Mechatronics Institute” in CERETETH.

Nick Aravas was born (1957) and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he studied Mechanical Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and graduated in 1980. He received his M.S. (1982) and Ph.D. (1984) in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

During his graduate studies he worked as a Teaching and Research Assistant, and in 1982 he received the “J. O. Smith Award for teaching excellence”, which is presented every year by the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of UIUC to an “outstanding young teacher in Engineering Mechanics”.

In 1987 he received the “Presidential Young Investigator Award” presented by the President of the USA “in recognition of ability and potential for contributing to the future vitality of the scientific and engineering effort of the Nation”.

From 1999 to 2002 he was a member of the first elected University Administration and held the positions of Vice Rector for Research and Development and Chairman of the Research Committee of the University of Thessaly. When the Engineering School at the University of Thessaly was formed, he was elected as the first Dean of Engineering and served from 2004 to 2007. Prof. Aravas has also served as Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and as Acting Chairman of the Departments of Civil Engineering and Computer and Communication Engineering at UTH.

Prof. Aravas has worked as an engineering consultant for various companies in the areas of mechanical and aerospace structures, metal forming, ceramic- and metal-powder processing, analysis and design of composite materials, computer manufacturing, etc.


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