Our research focuses on the multiple length scales of mechanics, heat transfer, and thermodynamics in material failure. Strength and fatigue of materials is governed by micro- and nanoscale behavior. Material failure occurs in a number of ways and through many different time and length scales. We use computational and experimental work to understand and control failure of materials. Our work has explored atomic level interactions with atomic force microscopy and density functional theory up to continuum fracture mechanics of highly defected brittle materials.
Mechanical engineers need modern methods for modern engineering problem solving. My teaching aims to provide engineering experience in problem solving both analytical and numerical. Each problem is framed with fundamental physical laws such as Newton’s laws and conservation of energy. I aim to strengthen students’ problem-solving skills by teaching numerical methods with project-based and active learning. Numerical methods have had an increase in attention due to machine learning and smart technologies. Applications range from smart thermostats (Nest) to self-driving cars (Tesla). This next generation of engineers need to solve problems with a wide array of computational and analytical tools for engineering applications.
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