Civil and materials engineer Glaucio Paulino awarded ASME’s Melville Medal

Glaucio Paulino, Princeton’s Margareta Engman Augustine Professor of Engineering, is a recipient of the 2022 Melville Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the society’s highest honor for best original paper.

Portrait of researcher
Glaucio Paulino is a recipient of the 2022 Melville Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Photo by Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy

Paulino, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and the Princeton Institute of Materials, is an expert in computational mechanics and topology optimization. His research focuses on the design of robotic systems that fold like origami and behave like natural organisms, such as worms or octopus tentacles.

He was honored along with coauthors Ke Liu and Tomohiro Tachi for the paper “Bio-Inspired Origami Metamaterials With Metastable Phases Through Mechanical Phase Transitions,” published in the September 2021 issue of the Journal of Applied Mechanics. First awarded in 1927, the Melville Medal is by the bequest in 1914 of Admiral George W. Melville, honorary member and eighteenth president of ASME.

In the paper, Paulino, Liu and Tachi engineered an origami pattern, named the Shrimp pattern, with application to multi-phase architected metamaterials whose phase transition is achieved mechanically by snap-through. The designs are candidates for a variety of innovative applications, including reprogrammable materials, reconfigurable acoustic waveguides, and microelectronic mechanical systems and energy storage systems.

Images of origami pattern mimicking shrimp
Glaucio Paulino and his coauthors were honored for a paper describing an engineered origami pattern named the Shrimp pattern. Image by Ke Liu et al.

His other recent work includes the demonstration of a robotic arm with many segments, each of which can be moved independently by applying magnetic fields, creating complex shapes and behaviors. Such technology could one day be used in medical devices and, at a very small scale, in drug delivery.

Paulino joined the Princeton faculty in 2021 from Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Previously, he was a professor of engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Brasilia, and a master’s degree in civil engineering from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. He holds a master’s degree in theoretical and applied mechanics and a doctoral degree in civil engineering from Cornell University.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Paulino has also been recognized with ASME’s Belytschko and Drucker Medals, as well as the Mindlin Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers. He received a 2015 Cozzarelli Prize from the National Academy of Sciences for the best engineering paper of the year. He is a former president of the Society of Engineering Science.

Founded in 1880, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers is a nonprofit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society.


  • Glaucio Paulino


  • Bioengineering and Health

  • Materials Science and Engineering

  • Robotics

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