Applied mechanics, solid mechanics, and materials science are integrated into a multi-disciplinary research and education program. One goal is to respond to challenges in manufacturing with the development and analysis of advanced materials. The research employs classical methods as well as state-of-the-art experimental and computational approaches, including virtual reality.
Applied mechanics is a fundamental program that provides a platform for emerging technology by offering basic knowledge of continuum mechanics. Students are provided with an opportunity to obtain a strong mathematical background accompanied by advanced numerical methods such as finite-element formulations. Solid mechanics provides fundamental knowledge of kinematics, dynamics, and constitutive models for the response of materials.
Materials science builds on the fundamental properties of materials, focusing on relations between microstructure, properties, and processing. The results allow tailoring of the microstructure for optimal performance.
Basic lines of research in applied mechanics, solid mechanics, and materials science includes:
- Interfacial properties, durability, aging, and failure of composites, including reliability and life prediction.
- Granular materials, rocks, and centimentious materials.
- Computational methods for materials processing.
- Advanced analytical methods in the theory of elasticity.
- Synthesis, processing, and characterization of advanced ceramics, metals, and composites.
- Shock synthesis and compaction.
- Residual stresses in materials, including biological materials.
Macro- and micro-scopic testing, characterization and modeling of advanced engineering materials are conducted at the Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials (CEAM). The Center provides advanced research facilities to study high strain-rate deformation. Representative equipment includes gas guns, Hopkinson bars, high powered lasers, X-ray diffraction and optical equipment, and mechanical testing facilities.
A full complement of material processing and characterization facilities exist in various laboratories of the materials science faculty members.