Prof. Arun Shukla is a Simon Ostrach professor in mechanical, industrial and systems engineering, University of Rhode Island (URI). His extreme research in experimental and theoretical mechanics and blast mitigation has won him enormous world recognition. He leads the blast mitigation research team at the Centre of Excellence for Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response, URI. He is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards including four research and teaching excellence awards from the institute. In 2009, IIT Kanpur conferred upon him the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his academic excellence. "Research by definition means creativity. We are all trying to learn new things in everything we do."
Prof. Arun Shukla received his B.Tech. in mechanical engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1976 following which he joined the University of Maryland, College Park, USA for a Ph.D. in the same area. He received his doctorate under the supervision of the legendary Profs. James Dally and George Irwin, the latter being regarded as the father of fracture mechanics. In 1981, he joined the University of Rhode Island as an assistant professor and went on to become a full professor in 1988. In 2000, he was appointed as the first Simon Ostrach Professor of mechanical engineering at the university for his outstanding achievements in research and teaching and continues to be associated with the institute.
Prof. Shukla always had a knack for technology. He enjoyed tinkering with mechanical toys and ultimately chose his passion as his profession. Owing to his seminal work in the areas of experimental and theoretical mechanics, underwater structural response, blast mitigation, optical methods, fracture mechanics, he is regarded as a world leader in fracture and experimental mechanics. As he says, "I don't like to do research under normal conditions. It has to be an extreme environment." For the last thirty years, he has been performing experiments on how materials fracture under unusual circumstances in his laboratory in the Kirk Center for Advanced Technology on the Kingston campus. Since 1980s, he has been working with the US government including the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense on creating materials that can withstand explosions and severe catastrophic events..
In his three decade long illustrious career, he has visited many world-renowned universities including California Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University and IIT Kanpur. He has authored 175+ technical papers and written and edited 10 books. He is the technical editor of the International Journal of Experimental Mechanics and the associate editor of Optics and Lasers in Engineering. He is an elected member of the Russian Academy of Engineering, 2015; European Academy of Sciences and Arts, 2011; and fellow of the American Academy of Mechanics, 2001; American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1996; and Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM), 1993.