The 2000 JH Michell Medal

The Selection Panel for the 2000 J.H. Michell Medal proposes that the Medal be awarded to Dr Antoinette Tordesillas.


In 1987 Antoinette received a BSc Honours Degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Adelaide, undertaking a research project involving hot-dip galvanising. Since that time her research has been characterised by the application of mathematics to industrial problem solving. In 1992 she was awarded the PhD Degree from the University of Wollongong for solving a number of elastic contact problems arising in high speed paint coating processes, which employ rubber covered rotating cylindrical rollers. The detailed algebraic calculations involved in her PhD thesis demonstrate her unusual capacity to concentrate her energy to rapidly solve difficult and complicated problems. This high level of "problem-attack" which she adopts is a feature of her approach to research.

In 1991 at the ANZIAM meeting at Hanmer Springs, New Zealand, she was awarded the TM Cherry Student Prize for her talk on the numerical solution of three-dimensional contact problems for layered elastic media. Immediately after that meeting she travelled to the UK and received the same award at the British Theoretical Mechanics Colloquium, held in Oxford. In 1991 she also held a British Council Postgraduate Fellowship in the Department of Theoretical Mechanics at the University of Nottingham.

Since completing her PhD she has held teaching positions at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Kansas State University and the University of Melbourne where she is presently a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Antoinette holds the rare distinction of being awarded, in Australia, a US Army Research Grant to analyse soil-tyre problems using the contact mechanics of rolling and/or sliding bodies. Her research work in mechanics is of the highest quality, with publications appearing in prestigious journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics, the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, the Journal of Elasticity and the Journal of Engineering Mathematics.

The high quality of her research and the energy and enthusiasm which Antoinette has exhibited in establishing her career, makes her fully deserving of the JH Michell Medal for 2000.

Updated: 11 Jan 2008