Engineering, Materials Science
In our lab, we combine methods of theoretical, computational and experimental solid mechanics with the ultimate goal to accurately describe, to thoroughly understand, and to reliably predict the performance of materials, and – ultimately – to create novel engineered materials with exceptional properties.We take advantage of instabilities to achieve a beneficial material response. Our focus is on crystalline materials, including metals, ceramics, and composites (i.e., combinations thereof). Computational research in our group comprises the development and application of new modeling techniques that bridge the scales in crystalline solids. A major focus is on atomistic techniques of molecular dynamics (MD) and, in particular, of coarse-grained atomistics. At much larger scales, we employ methods of continuum mechanics to describe the response of solids with microstructures as well as of structural materials. In our experimental labs we fabricate ceramics and metal-ceramic composites, and we characterize their thermo-electro- mechanically-coupled performance. We are particularly interested in controlling the stiffness and damping of materials by inducing small-scale instabilities e.g. by temperature changes or by the application of electric fields.