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James R. Rice

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Harvard University

Expertise: Physics of earthquakes, Glaciology, Geomechanics, Solid & fluid mechanics
About Me Publications
James R. Rice, born 1940 in Frederick, MD, is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Engineering Sciences and Geophysics at Harvard, appointed jointly in its School of Engineering and Applied Science and Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. From 1965 to 1981 he was a faculty member in the Division of Engineering at Brown. His prior education was at Lehigh, with a 1962 Sc.B. in engineering mechanics, and a 1963 Sc.M. and 1964 Ph.D. in applied mechanics.

Rice's research focuses on the mechanics and related hydrologic, materials and thermal science underlying earth and environmental processes. That has included analyses of earthquake nucleation, dynamic rupture propagation, and aseismic deformation transients in fault zones, landslide processes, and more recently, tsunami propagation and meltwater interactions with glacier and ice sheet dynamics. Earlier, his work addressed plastic deformation and cracking processes in mechanical and materials engineering, and related analytical and finite-element computational methodology. His path-invariant integral studies, originally focused on understanding crack tip stress fields in non-linear engineering materials, principally metallic alloys, were quickly adapted to slip weakening descriptions of rupture surfaces in landslides and earthquakes, and later to atomic scale treatments of dislocation nucleation from crack tips in crystal lattices, for assessing the origins of ductile vs. brittle response.

Rice's contributions have been recognized by numerous awards, including the Timoshenko and Nadai Medals of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the von Karman and Biot medals of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Bucher Medal of the American Geophysical Union, the Néel Medal of the European Geosciences Union, and the Reid Medal of the Seismological Society of America. He has been elected to the USA National Academies of Engineering and of Science, to foreign membership in the Royal Society, London, and in the French Académie des Sciences, and has received honorary doctorates from several universities.

For Rice's publications, see http://esag.harvard.edu/rice/RicePubs.html, and or a full cv, see http://esag.harvard.edu/rice/RiceCV.html.

SCEC Participation

SCEC Board of Directors, Member (2002-Present)