The award is given every year to a young investigator, generally under 35 years of age or have worked no more than 7 years since receiving their doctoral degree, and whose contributions have the promise to define new directions in theory and application of Engineering Mechanics, in the vein of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), a man of unquenchable curiosity and feverishly inventive imagination.
The EMI of ASCE selected Professor Sun "for his fundamental contributions to computational multiscale poromechanics. The 2018 EMI Leonardo da Vinci Award will be presented to Professor Sun on Thursday, May 31st, 2018 at the Awards Banquet of the EMI 2018 Conference to be held at MIT, Cambridge, USA. This is the second EMI da Vinci award given to Columbia faculty members, following the 2014 award to Professor Haim Waisman. Columbia University is the first and only institution received the EMI da Vinci award more than once.
Source 1: http://www.asce.org/templates/award-detail.aspx?id=452&all_recipients=1
Source 2: civil.columbia.edu/professor-waiching-steve-sun-wins-2018-emi-leonardo-da-vinci-award