Carnegie Mellon University

Mechanics, Materials, and Computing (MMC)

The Mechanics, Materials, and Computing (MMC) group conducts research focused on the scientific understanding and practical application of the emergent complex behavior of materials, on composite materials, and structural health monitoring. MMC researchers analyze the deformation, flow, and failure of both natural and engineered materials. They also study the performance and response of materials and structural systems.  Using advanced modeling, large-scale computer simulation techniques, and field measurements, current research includes:

  • Mechanics of crystalline, granular and amorphous materials 
  • Dislocation mechanics
  • Phase transformations
  • Atomistic simulation
  • Electromechanics of ‘smart’ materials
  • Rheology of complex fluids
  • Mechanics of soft matter
  • Structural health monitoring

  • Engineering seismology and earthquake engineering

Research also aims to gain a better understanding of complex physical phenomena that would be difficult, if not impossible, to study by other means. Using mechanics, mathematics, and scientific computing as a foundation, the MMC group addresses the numerical simulation of solid, mechanical, and thermal phenomena with applications in the analysis and optimum design of engineering systems.

MMC Research Faculty

Examples of MMC research projects:

Machine Learning Approach to Materials Characterization: Transforming Data to Knowledge

The goal of this project is to apply data-driven statistical strategies to interrogate experimental observations and computational realizations of material texture and its mechanical properties. In particular, we aim to uncover hidden relations between critical features in the polycrystalline texture and the development of high strain regions under load for designing reliable polycrystalline material. For this purpose, we will develop data-driven statistical strategies to interrogate experimental observations and computational realizations of polycrystalline texture and full-field strain maps.

From Discrete Dislocation Dynamics to Crystal Plasticity – a Spatio-Temporal Coarse-Graining Approach

The objective of this work is to develop a novel computational tool for accurate multi-scale simulations of plasticity and dislocation microstructure evolution in crystalline materials. The challenge addressed will be the computation of plastic strength and associated microstructure of a material at the meso and macroscale directly from the underlying motion of crystal defects. This application is a paradigmatic complex system, with immense practical relevance.

Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative: Behavior of New Materials

Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant from the Department of Defense to develop new methods to use quantum mechanics to provide fundamental insight into the behavior of new materials. This MURI program brings together interdisciplinary teams of researchers to problem-solve high-priority topics involving a cross-cutting approach. This project has applications that go well beyond aircraft composites. For instance, lightweight sensors, actuators, and other sophisticated electronics on aircraft use cutting-edge new materials whose properties can only be predicted using quantum mechanics.


Structural Health Monitoring of Windmills

This project leverages improved probabilistic modeling methods to ensure the integrity of windmills for electricity generation, in order to promote decreased dependence on fossil fuels and sustainability.

  • Structural Systems
  • Probabilistic Modeling
  • Sustainability