The main theme of my research is the investigation of materials under conditions far from equilibrium. Such conditions give rise to a wealth of complex phenomena, and insights gained can be used to design new classes of smart materials.  A focus of our work is granular materials, which are large aggregates of particles in far-from-equilibrium configurations, that exhibit properties intermediate between those of ordinary solids and liquids. Our group’s projects explore how controlling this behavior provides a path to stress-adaptive materials for high-efficiency energy absorption, to soft robotic systems that can change shape or compliance, and to new forms of architectural structures that are fully recyclable. On the nanoscale, our research investigates the self-assembly of particles into ultrathin membranes that function as nano-sieves with tunable pore size.

Awards and Achievements

  • Sewell Avery Distinguished Service Professor of Physics
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences