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Mechanical Metamaterials and Soft Matter

In the Mechanical Metamaterials and Soft Matter group (MMSM), we are interested in a broad range of topics in theoretical mechanics and soft condensed matter physics. Our group contributes to a growing field of smart materials, where novel structural properties are designed for diverse functionalities. For instance, complex elastic structures with predictable, adaptable, and desirable mechanical performance. From ancient art-forms, such as Origami and Kirigami, to contemporary 3D printed auxetic structures, MMSM focuses on analytical mathematical modeling and table-top experimentation to allow us to go beyond the ordinary properties of matter, towards engineered geometrical selection allowing the control of extraordinary bulk properties.

Mechanical Metamaterials. Careful tailoring of micro-architectures in thin elastic sheets and frameworks results in macroscopic structures that often reveal new effective non-linear and anisotropic responses to external stimuli. These intrinsically geometric effects are transmitted across length scales from the geometric microstructure to the bulk.

Soft Matter. Soft structures may significantly change their geometry and undergo large deformations in response to a variety of external stimuli such as applied strain or stress, swelling, temperature, and light. We derive mathematical models to predict the shape of these materials so as to affect and control their response in the geometrically non-linear regime. When excessive deformation is applied, hence we also study how soft structures may become unstable along their equilibrium path and their post-buckling behavior.

RESEARCH INTERESTS 

Applied mathematics

Differential geometry applied to mechanics

Dimensionally reduced models in elasticity (beams, rods, plates, and shells)

Stability theory

Soft condensed matter physics

Mechanical metamaterials (Auxetic structures, origami, kirigami, etc)

Biomechanics

Fluid-structure interactions

Faculty

Marcelo Azevedo Dias

Associate professor