Nicholas P Jones

1972 to 1976

Nicholas (Nick) relished competition and success.  During his five years at school he was the top student every year and this culminated in Nick receiving the Dux Award and gaining a Junior Scholarship at the end of his 7th Form year.  (Nick was known to be disappointed with 99% in SC bookkeeping (in Form 4) such was desire for perfection!)   Not only was Nick the “brains” of his era, he was a leader and sportsman.  Nick was Head Boy is 1976 and Captain of the 1st XI Hockey 1975/76.  As well he was an accomplished athlete.

Nick attended Auckland University where he studied Engineering.  In 1980 he gained his Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) with Honours and immediately headed to Pasadena, and in June 1981 completed his Master of Science (Civil Engineering) at the California Institute of Technology.  A Ph D in Civil Engineering followed.   His thesis title: “Flow-Induced Vibration of Long Structures” was completed in 1986.

Nick joined Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore as a faculty member with the Department of Civil Engineering in 1986 and was appointed chair of the department in 1999. In 2002, he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to head the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering until his return to John Hopkins to serve as fourth dean of the Whiting School of Engineering.

His research interests include various aspects of structural dynamics, flow-induced vibration and wind engineering. He has received numerous awards for both teaching and research and serves on a number of national committees, including the Wind Effects Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers Structural Engineering Institute and ASCE’s Aerospace Division Executive Committee. He has served recently on the board of directors of the American Association for Wind Engineering, to name just a few. Until recently he served as editor of the Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics.

Following are just some of the numerous awards Nick has received over his illustrious career:

1977, 1978, 1979                        Auckland University Senior Prize in Engineering

1979                             Auckland University Annual prize for Civil Engineering

1979                             William Georgetti Scholarship (NZ)

1979                             Senior Hulme Scholarship (NZ)

1980                             Fulbright Travel Award (NZ)

1980                             Smith and Louise Lee Memorial Fellowship (Caltech)

1987                             George Owen Teaching Award (John Hopkins University)

(Presented annually by the senior class for outstanding teaching and devotion to undergraduates)

1988                             Maryland Young Engineer of the Year

1989                             NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award

1991                             Robert Pond Teaching Award (John Hopkins University of Engineering)

1997                             ASCE Huber Research Prize

1999                             Erskine Fellow, University of Canterbury

1999-2004                      International Editor of the Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics

2001                             John Hopkins University Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award

2007                             ASCE Robert H Scanlan Medal

2009-2010                      President, American Association for Wind Engineering



Nick heaps credit on Matamata College as an influential and great place to prepare him for life beyond school.  He has many great friends and lots of respect for those teachers who gave him a sound beginning to his education.

Nick has three daughters – no doubt they are blessed with his “good looks and brains!”  He has returned to Matamata on a regular basis over the years.  His Mum, Estelle, worked as the Principal’s Secretary at the college for many years and continued to live in Matamata until her passing.  One of Nick’s brother is a prominent lawyer working in Matamata.