David M. Stepp


Assistant Research Professor

Dr. Stepp's research interests seek to establish the fundamental relationships between the structure of materials and their mechanical properties, as influenced by composition, processing, environment and applied stimulus. His specific research thrusts include novel toughening mechanisms in transparent polymers, fracture of gels, rapid and validated mechanical characterization of very low volumes of material, fracture and failure analysis and prediction, nondestructive evaluation and statistical data analysis. In addition to his faculty appointment, Dr. Stepp serves as the chief of the Materials Science Division of the U.S. Army Research Office.

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 189 Hudson Annex
  • Email Address: david.stepp@duke.edu


  • PhD, Duke University, 1998
  • MS, Duke University, 1995
  • BS, Harvey Mudd College, 1993

Research Interests

Polymer and protein engineering, failure analysis, structural engineering.

Representative Publications

  • Vasudevan, A.K. and Nicholas, T. and Stepp, D. and Paris, P.C., International Journal of Fatigue: Forward, International Journal of Fatigue, vol 25 no. 9-11 (2003), pp. 789 - [S0142-1123(03)00168-3].
  • Garg, D.P. and Zikry, M.A. and Anderson, G.L. and Stepp, D., Reliable adaptive structures via sensor integration: Research and development issues, Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, vol 3 (2001), pp. 1918 - 1926 [abs].
  • Stepp, D. and King, J.A. and Worrall, J. and Thompson, A. and Cooper, D.E., High-resolution study of water trees grown in silvernitrate solution, IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, vol 3 no. 3 (1996), pp. 392 - 398 [94.506212] [abs].
  • King, J.A. and Grundmeyer, M. and Stepp, D. and Hugo, D., Water tree morphology, IEEE Trans. Electr. Insul. (USA), vol 28 no. 3 (1993), pp. 415 - 19 [14.236205] [abs].