Norman Fleck is an engineer whose research concerns the mechanical behaviour of solids under different conditions at the microscopic level. His major contributions have arisen in the area of novel materials and their applications in a wide range of activities, including the aerospace, automotive and construction industries.
Examples include his studies of failure under compression in fibre-reinforced composites, a combination of waste cellulose fibres, such as sawdust, and polymer resin. Norman is also known for his work on the properties of metal foams — air-filled materials that have potential as impact absorbers in cars — and on stiff but lightweight lattice materials that can be used in aircraft.
Norman is notable for combining his theoretical understanding with enthusiasm for experiment and application. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2013 Warner T. Koiter Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in recognition of his leadership in the international solid mechanics community, and an honourary doctorate from Eindhoven University of Technology, also in 2013.