Congratulations to University of Utah biomedical engineering professor Jeff Weiss, who was one of this year’s six recipients of the prestigious Distinguished Research Award, given to U faculty members for “outstanding achievement and excellence in scholarly and creative research.”

Nominees for the award, given by the University of Utah’s office of Vice President for Research, are evaluated on the “impact and significance of their career research, scholarly contributions, and creative endeavors within their respective fields, as well as their commitment to improving and enriching the human condition for our local, national, and global communities.”

Weiss received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego, his doctorate in bioengineering at the University of Utah in 1994 and completed postdoctoral training with the Applied Mechanics Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

He joined the U as a tenure-track faculty member in 2000 as a biomedical engineering assistant professor and named associate professor in 2003. He was associate chair and Director of Graduate Studies for the department from 2006 to 2009 and was named professor in 2010. He is also a faculty member of the U’s Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute.

Weiss’ research has focused on experimental and computational biomechanics, primarily applied to the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular soft tissues. He developed and validated techniques for subject-specific computational modeling of joint mechanics and applied these techniques to the mechanics of knee ligaments and patient-specific modeling of mechanics in the hip. Weiss also developed finite-element-based techniques to incorporate medical image data directly into biomechanics analyses for strain measurement.

His current research interests include the mechanics of angiogenesis, the development of patient-specific analysis methods for joint and tissue mechanics, structure-function relationships in ligaments and tendons, and the development of distribution of software for computational biomechanics. His lab develops, distributes and supports FEBio, an open-source finite element software suite for computational biomechanics and biophysics that is widely used for biomedical research.

“Jeff is widely recognized as an international leader in orthopedic biomechanics,” said U biomedical engineering chair David Grainger, “known particularly for innovative computational methods to solve complex mechanics problems and for developing open-source modeling software adopted globally for this purpose.”

Weiss has received the William H. Harris Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society, the ASME Van C. Mow Medal, the ASME YC Fung Young Investigator Award, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

This year, the University Research Committee received more than triple the number of nominations than the program typically receives.

“Although each of the submitted nominations represented a highly accomplished faculty member, six of the nominated faculty most clearly personified the criteria for this award through the impact their work has had on their respective fields and their commitment to enriching the human condition,” said committee chair Joanne Yaffe.

Award recipients will receive special recognition during the U’s 2021 General Commencement and a $10,000 grant.

Click here to read about all of this year’s Distinguished Research Award recipients.