Thomas Hughes is an engineer whose pioneering work on computational mechanics has had a major impact on technical software used around the world. The algorithms he designed have found applications in fields as diverse as automobile crashworthiness and drug delivery, as well as his own domain of aerospace engineering.
Amongst Thomas’s most celebrated achievements are his contributions to the development of the finite element method of computing. This numerical technique can solve complex problems of considerable practical importance by dividing them up into smaller elements that can each be individually solved. The resulting solutions thereby provide a useful approximation to the desired answer at a fraction of the computational power that would otherwise be needed.