Steve WaiChing Sun Wins the Huber Prize

Civil engineer cited for his research on computational and data-driven poromechanics

Apr 21 2023 | By Holly Evarts
Columbia Engineering Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Steve Waiching Sun

Steve WaiChing Sun, associate professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics at Columbia Engineering, has been awarded the 2023 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Cited for his” fundamental contributions to computational and data-driven poromechanics,” Sun is an expert who synthesizes physical insight, machine learning, and advanced mathematical methods with wide application in engineering analysis. 

His research interests are in the mechanics and physics of geological and porous materials such as soil, rocks, concrete, and salt. His work mainly focuses on computational poromechanics and geomechanics for a wide spectrum of applications ranging from field-scale applications such as geological storage of carbon dioxide, hydraulic fracture, geological disposal of nuclear waste, and vehicle-soil-water interaction to micro-scale simulations of the 3D printing processes and fragmentation and fracture of a single crystal grain.

Since joining Columbia in 2014, Sun has served as lead PI of over 20 government-funded projects. His research group has invented numerous computer algorithms, mathematical models, and AI-driven solutions for civil engineering problems across scales, ranging from predicting the mechanics of detonation of a crystal at the nanoscale to predicting the impacts of freeze-thaw cycles on the kilometers of pavement systems.

Sun will accept the Huber Prize, which is the highest-level mid-career research award in all areas of civil engineering, during the ASCE Society’s Annual Convention in Chicago, IL, October 18-21, 2023. The award is annually given to individuals with notable achievements and contributions in research with respect to all disciplines of civil engineering. This award was first established by the ASCE Board of Directors in 1946 and was given for the first time in 1949.

Stay up-to-date with the Columbia Engineering newsletter

* indicates required