Mechanics and Materials Science

Mechanics and materials science research in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science focuses on the following areas:

  • Continuum mechanics
  • Elasticity
  • Tissue biomechanics
  • Nonlinear finite element analysis
  • Computational mechanics

Opportunities for Graduate Study

The department offers an M.S./Ph.D. study track in mechanical engineering with a core in mechanics and materials science that encompasses elasticity, plasticity, continuum mechanics, tissue biomechanics, and nonlinear finite element analysis.

The department also offers a program of study towards the Masters of Engineering (M.Eng) in Mechanical Engineering. This 30-credit degree program includes course work towards departmental requirements, an area of specialization, business and management fundamentals, and an internship or applied research experience. Students have the flexibility to focus on topics of biomechanics, computational mechanicsl dynamics and vibration mechanics relevant to career preparation for the aerospace industrial sector.

Associated Faculty

Matthew L Becker

Matthew L Becker

Hugo L. Blomquist Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

Research Interests: Polymer chemistry; bioconjugate chemistry; molecular imaging and additive manufacturing; materials for bone, soft tissue, neural and vascular tissue engineering; drug and protein delivery; degradable materials for flexible electronics

L. Catherine Brinson

L. Catherine Brinson

Sharon C. and Harold L. Yoh, III Distinguished Professor

Research Interests: Study of advanced material systems and developing new methods to characterize and to model material behavior. Her lab’s research objective is to characterize and model advanced materials systems, at scales spanning the range of molecular interactions, micromechanical and...

F. Hadley Cocks

F. Hadley Cocks

Professor with Tenure in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: A wide variety of areas in materials science, including crystal growth, mechanical properties of kidney stones, lunar science, diffraction optics, materials for radiation detection, and radiation shielding.

Stefano Curtarolo

Stefano Curtarolo

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Artificial Intelligence Materials Science; Autonomous Materials Design; Computational materials science; High-Entropy Disordered Systems; Materials for Energy Applications; Materials for Aerospace Applications. Prof. Curtarolo multidisciplinary research makes use of state-of-the...

Olivier Delaire

Olivier Delaire

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Olivier Delaire investigates atomic dynamics in materials, focusing on problems at the interface of Materials Science, Physics and Chemistry. His research group utilizes a range of experimental and computational approaches, including neutron and x-ray scattering techniques,...

John Everett Dolbow

John Everett Dolbow

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Modeling quasi-static and dynamic fracture of structural components, the evolution of interfaces with nonlinear constitutive laws, and developing models for stimulus-responsive hydrogels

Ken Gall

Ken Gall

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Materials science, mechanical properties, metals and polymers. Specialties: Shape memory materials, biomaterials, 3D printing.

Jeffrey Glass

Jeffrey Glass

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Interests: Electronic materials and the associated devices/instruments improved by these materials, especially electrode applications in miniature mass spectrometry, energy conversion and storage and liquid waste disinfection for developing regions. Electrochemical measurements and...

Laurens E. Howle

Laurens E. Howle

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Hydroelastic modeling of deformable structures, transport in thermal and chemical systems, experimental and computational fluid dynamics, nonlinear and complex systems, heat and mass transport in biological systems, stability of fluid motions, machine learning, data mining,...

Po-Chun Hsu

Po-Chun Hsu

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Smart multifunctional textiles, camouflage fabrics, stimuli-responsive polymer, wearable electronics, photon management, radiation heat transfer, solar desalination and water harvesting, electrochemical devices, electrospinning and fiber fabrication

Tomasz Hueckel

Tomasz Hueckel

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Mechanics of materials, theoretical soil mechanics, rock mechanics, theory of plasticity, multi-physics processes in geomechanics, nuclear waste disposal, energy and environmental geomechanics.

Josiah D. Knight

Josiah D. Knight

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, and dynamics

Brian Mann

Brian Mann

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Nonlinear dynamics and vibration utilizing analytical, numerical, and experimental techniques. Fundamental investigations of phenomenon and application areas where dynamical systems theory plays an important role.

Piotr E. Marszalek

Piotr E. Marszalek

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Investigating relationships between structural and mechanical properties of biopolymers (polysaccharides, DNA, proteins), at a single molecule level.

David Mitzi

David Mitzi

Simon Family Distinguished Professor

Research Interests: Making emerging photovoltaic materials more effective, cost-efficient and competitive for the energy market.

David Needham

David Needham

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Combining the fields of materials science with colloid and surface chemistry to focus on biological and other soft wet materials

Michael Rubinstein

Michael Rubinstein

Aleksandar S. Vesic Distinguished Professor

Research Interests: Polymer theory and computer simulations

Guglielmo Scovazzi

Guglielmo Scovazzi

Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Finite element methods, computational fluid and solid mechanics, multiphase porous media flows, computational methods for fluid and solid materials under extreme load conditions, turbulent flow computations, instability phenomena.

Walter Neal Simmons

Walter Neal Simmons

Gendell Family Professor of the Practice

Lawrence N. Virgin

Lawrence N. Virgin

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Study of the behavior of nonlinear dynamical systems, including the investigation of the fundamental nature of nonlinear systems based on a mathematical description of their underlying equations of motion and the application of recent results from nonlinear dynamical systems...

Jennifer L West

Jennifer L West

Fitzpatrick Family University Distinguished Professor of Engineering

Research Interests: Biomaterials, nanotechnology and tissue engineering that involves the synthesis, development, and application of novel biofunctional materials, and the use of biomaterials and engineering approaches to study biological problems.

Thomas P. Witelski

Thomas P. Witelski

Professor in the Department of Mathematics

Research Interests: My primary area of expertise is the solution of nonlinear ordinary and partial differential equations via perturbation methods. Using asymptotics along with a mixture of other applied mathematical techniques in analysis and scientific computing I study a broad range of...

Benjamin Yellen

Benjamin Yellen

Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Development of single cell analysis tools using magnetic circuits, and multiparticle assembly of colloidal crystals

Stefan Zauscher

Stefan Zauscher

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Nano-mechanical and nano-tribological characterization (elasticity, friction, adhesion) of materials including organic thin films; self-assembled monolayers, polymeric gels, and cellulosics; Fabrication of polymeric nanostructures by scanning probe lithography; Colloidal probe...

Pei Zhong

Pei Zhong

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Ultrasound-targeted gene delivery and activation; Synergistic combination of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and immunotherapy for cancer treatment; Innovations in shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) technology; and Mechanics and bioeffects of acoustic cavitation.