University Distinguished Professor Gary Cloud Delivers Prestigious Murray Lecture

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November 15, 2012

photo of Gary CloudUniversity Distinguished Professor Gary L. Cloud received the Murray Medal and delivered the William M. Murray Lecture at the 2012 Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM) International Congress and Exposition in June in Costa Mesa, California.

He was selected for this honor in recognition of his distinguished contributions uniting optical and electronic techniques to solve significant problems in mechanics. His lecture was titled "Some Curious Unresolved Problems, Speculations, and Advances in Mechanical Fastening."

"Mechanical joining is one of the oldest, most important, and most neglected aspects of engineering design of machines and structures of all types and sizes," explains Cloud. "Approximately 250 U.S. companies manufacture fasteners worth more than $12 million per year. However, most failures of structures, including aircraft, originate at fasteners, suggesting that improved understanding of the fundamental mechanics of joining is required."

He goes on to point out that the issue is exacerbated by increased demands on systems, particularly in the transportation and military sectors, and by the growing use of composites, for which current fastening practices seem to be underdeveloped owing to complexity.

Cloud, who was the founding director of the MSU Composite Vehicle Research Center, has been a member of SEM for 48 years. He is past president of SEM ('93-'94), having been vice president ('91-'92) and president elect ('92-'93). He also served as a technical editor of Experimental Mechanics from 1985-88. In 2008, his past students and associates founded the Dr. Gary L. Cloud SEM Scholarship Endowment to assist students who intend to make a career in experimental mechanics.

The Murray Lecture was initiated in 1952 as the society's most prestigious lecture. It is presented each year as a continuing honor to William M. Murray, who was the organization's first president and longtime secretary-treasurer, for his many contributions to SEM.