Solid Mechanics, Materials and Manufacturing

Solid Mechanics, Materials and Manufacturing develops novel computational and experimental solutions for problems in the mechanical behavior of advanced materials. Research in the division spans length scales and includes investigations of microstructural effects on mechanical behavior, nanomechanics, granular mechanics and continuum mechanics. Material behavior models span length scales from the nano- and microscale to the meso- and macroscale. Much of the research is computational in nature, using advanced methods such as molecular dynamics and finite element, boundary element and discrete element methods. Strong ties exist between this group and the campus communities of applied mathematics, chemical engineering, materials science, metallurgy and physics.

Faculty in Solid Mechanics, Materials and Manufacturing

Mohsen Asle Zaeem

Research Group: Computational Materials and Mechanics Lab

  • Development of algorithms and models for nano/micro computational materials and mechanics (electronic structure calculations, atomistic simulations, and phase-field modeling)
  • Rapid solidification of materials
  • Data-enabled and computational-intensive frameworks to determine processing-structure-property relations in materials (metallic alloys, functional ceramics, and 2D materials)
  • Solid state phase transformation (diffusional and martensitic)
  • Materials design through ICME

John Berger

Department Head

  • Electrochemical stresses in lithium-ion batteries and transport membranes
  • Homogenization methods for heterogeneous materials
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Green’s functions and boundary element methods
  • Mechanics of anisotropic materials

Craig Brice

Research Group: The Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies (ADAPT)

  • Additive manufacturing (AM) in a range of materials from metals to ceramics to polymers
  • Process feedback control of AM systems
  • Qualification and certification of AM processes and parts
  • Alloy design and property development
  • AM education and workforce development
  • Director: Advanced Manufacturing interdisciplinary graduate program

Cristian Ciobanu

Research Group: Ciobanu Lab

  • Atomic scale studies of catalysis: structures, defect interactions and surface reactions
  • 2D materials and nanostructures
  • Piezoelectric materials
  • Soft-magnetic materials
  • Structure and electronic properties of alloy nanowires
  • Growth of alloy nanoparticles with controlled electronic properties
  • Development of genetic algorithms for materials design

Owen Hildreth

Research Group: Hildreth Lab

  • Nanometer- to centimeter-scale additive manufacturing 
  • Mass transport, reaction kinetics and interface design in reactive inks for photovoltaics, printed electronics and printed MEMS
  • Microstructure evolution, dilution and corrosion of metals fabricated using powder bed fusion and directed energy deposition technologies to simplify post-processing of additively manufactured metals

Leslie Lamberson

Research Group: XSTRM Lab

  • Mechanics of materials under extreme conditions
  • Impact physics
  • Dynamic fracture
  • Full-field metrology techniques

Aaron Stebner

Research Group: The Beam Team

  • Mechanics: understanding process-structure-property relationships at all length scales
  • Composites: improving the recyclability and energy footprint of composites manufacturing
  • Additive manufacturing: shifting manufacturing paradigms with data informatics and machine learning
  • Materials: engineering better materials for diverse applications

Brian Thomas

Research Group: Continuous Casting Center

  • Metals processing and defect formation
  • Computational modeling of the continuous casting of steel

Garritt Tucker

Research Group: Computational Materials Science and Design

  • Grain boundary structure-property predictions
  • Discovery and design of nanostructured materials
  • Deformation mechanisms in materials
  • Modeling multifunctionality in emerging materials
  • Microstructural damage initiation and structural health

Ruichong “Ray” Zhang


  • Damage diagnosis and structural integrity evaluation of pipelines and infrastructural systems
  • Concrete containment for fluidized-bed thermal energy storage system with economic analysis
  • Modeling of time-dependent dislocation source and wave propagation in layered media
  • Time-frequency data analysis for structural health monitoring and damage detection
  • System identification and vibration control of long-span, large-scale structures