MEMS SEMINAR: Julian Rimoli, "Discontinuous Compression Structures: From Tensegrity Planetary Landers to Lightweight Metamaterials"

Apr 24

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024 – 12:00PM to 1:00PM


Julian Rimoli

Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering welcomes Dr. Julian Rimoli, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at University of California -- Irvine.
Dr. Rimoli will give the lecture, "Discontinuous Compression Systems: "Discontinuous Compression Structures: From Tensegrity Planetary Landers to Lightweight Metamaterials."

ABSTRACT: The term tensegrity, derived from tensional integrity, refers to a certain class of structural systems composed of bars and strings. Through adequate pre-stressing of their string members, tensegrity structures generally become mechanically stable. Traditional approaches for modeling their behavior assume that (i) bars are perfectly rigid, (ii) cables are linear elastic, and (iii) bars experience pure compression and strings pure tension. In addition, a common design constraint is to assume that the structure would fail whenever any of its bars reaches the corresponding Euler buckling load. In reality, these assumptions tend to break down in the presence of dynamic events. In the first part of this talk, we will introduce a physics-based reduced-order model to study aspects related to the dynamic and nonlinear response of tensegrity-based planetary landers. We will then adopt our model to show how, under dynamic events, buckling of individual members of a tensegrity structure does not necessarily imply structural failure, thus significantly expanding the design space for such vehicles. In the second part of this talk, we will show how lessons learned from our study of tensegrity planetary landers can be translated into to the development novel metamaterials. We will introduce the first known class-two 3D tensegrity metamaterial, and show that this new topology exhibits unprecedented static and dynamic mechanical properties.

BIO: Julián J. Rimoli is Department Chair and Henry Samueli Faculty Excellence Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Univ. of California, Irvine. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Aeronautics from Caltech in 2005 and 2009 respectively, and an Engineering Diploma in Aeronautics from Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina (2001). Upon graduation Dr. Rimoli accepted a postdoc associate position at the Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics of MIT. He joined Georgia Tech in 2011, where until 2022 he was the Pratt & Whitney Professor of Aerospace Engineering. His research interests lie within the broad field of computational mechanics of materials and structures.