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RESEARCH GROUP PROFILES

Prof. Zhanping You and the Advanced Pavement Mechanics and Materials Research Group at Michigan Technological University present their research which highlights the problems, and the approach to investigating Advanced Pavement Mechanics and Materials.  Core competencies include: modeling of cohesive and adhesive strength in asphalt mixes; modeling and measurement of asphalt concrete in various loading conditions; and aggregate-aggregate interactions.
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Research Group Profile: Aging Suspension Bridge Cables
Structural Health Monitoring Research Group at Columbia University  -  One of the most crucial elements for the overall safety of suspension bridges is, without doubt, the main cable. After many years of service, in-depth inspections of cable systems in suspension bridges often show that there are many broken wires inside the cables and at the anchorages.
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Research Group Profile: Blast Induced Pervasive Failure
Mechanics of Quasi-Brittle Materials Research Group at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  -  Structural failures resulting from blast loads are highly nonlinear processes involving complex material constitutive behavior, post-peak material softening, localization, new surface generation via dynamic crack propagation, and ubiquitous contact.
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Research Group Profile: Compaction Bands in Sandstone
Geomechanics Research at Northwestern University  -  Evidence from recent laboratory experiments and field observations on porous rocks (and other materials) has indicated that compaction does not necessarily occur homogeneously, but, instead, is localized in narrow planar zones.  These zones are typically nearly perpendicular to the maximum compressive stress.
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Research Group Profile: Computational Durability Mechanics
Prof. Günther Meschke and  the Computational Mechanics Group at Ruhr University Bochum, explore Computational Durability Mechanic.  The durability of civil engineering infrastructure made of porous materials is considerably affected by the accumulation of damage induced by time variant external loading in conjunction with physico-chemical processes (e.g. freeze-thaw action, chemical dissolution processes, chemical expansive reactions, reinforcement corrosion).
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Computational Multiscale Mechanics for Heterogeneous Porous Materials at University of Colorado at Boulder  -  Granular materials remain an unmastered class of materials with regard to modeling their spectrum of mechanical behavior in a physically-based manner across physically-based manner across several orders of magnitude in length-scale. They may transition in an instant from deforming like a solid to flowing like a fluid or gas and vice versa.
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Most of the devices have a unique function and thus have a unique form, but there is a need for reconfigurable devices. Examples include active materials for on-demand drug delivery, photonic crystals with tunable lensing effects and soft robots that can rapidly change their shape and functionality. Can we design a new class of devices whose response can be tuned by an external stimulus with exciting applications in drug delivery, robotics, civil and bio engineering? 
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Durability Mechanics at the University of California Berkeley  -  There is a pressing need to enhance the sustainability of our infrastructure. Concrete structures are deteriorating at a much faster rate than expected resulting in a massive need for repairs and premature replacement and costing billions of dollars annually. Deterioration is caused by mechanical loading conditions and expansive deterioration processes (corrosion, frost action, alkali‐silica reaction, and sulfate attack) which create tensile stresses that eventually lead to crack formation. 
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Research Group Profile: Discontinuities, Contact, Friction
Structures and Geomechanics at Stanford University  -  Material failure and/or damage typically involve some form of discontinuous deformation. A class of problems that has attracted significant attention involves intense inelastic deformation concentrated within a very narrow zone. Shear bands, compaction bands, and mixed-mode bands are examples of discontinuous deformation that do not produce stress-free surfaces, in contrast to opening mode fractures and cracks.
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Research Group Profile: Durability of Building Materials
Science of Building Materials Research Group at Princeton University  -  Deterioration of the infrastructure imposes huge costs on society, directly for repair and replacement, and indirectly by hampering economic activity and  reducing quality of life. Moreover, manufacture of building materials contributes significantly to global warming. Our goal is to understand the fundamental mechanisms by which salt, ice, and other environmental agents cause damage to concrete and stone, so that the processes can be delayed or prevented.
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Professor Lizhi Sun and his research group at the Smart Nanocomposites Lab at UC Irvine present their work on Dynamic Mechanical Analysis of Magnetorheological Composites.  The core competencies are: nanomechanics of composites, multiscale materials modeling, dynamic mechanical analysis of polymers and composites, and development and characterization of smart nanocomposites.  The article also details recent findings, their impact, and selected publications.
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Professor Bernardino Chiaia and the Concrete Engineering & Sustainable Structures Research Group from the Politecnico in Torino, Italy, present their work on Eco-Mechanics of Robust and High-Performance Concrete.  Core competencies include, mechanics of concrete structures, fiber-reinforced concrete, and recycled aggregate concrete.
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Geomechanics and Geophysics at Duke University  -  Failure in many engineering systems including geo-systems occurs at mechanically subcritical states, after both long- and short time exposure to adverse environmental conditions. These conditions include elevated temperature, due to embedded infrastructural elements, such as nuclear waste canisters, high voltage cables, mined hot fluids and gases or energy storage structures; ground water causing dissolution of minerals, changes in the former due to ionic concentration, strength, electric charge, acidity evolution; both evaporation and condensation of pore fluid, to mention the few.
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Cementitious Materials and Structures Group at TU Wien - Civil Engineering infrastructure and the materials making up these structures are typically hierarchically organized, i.e. characteristic heterogeneities manifest themselves at different, frequently size-separated scales of observation. Physico-chemical processes taking place at small scales frequently trigger the apparent behavior at larger scales. This is the motivation for bottom-up multiscale analysis of materials and structures. Reliable multiscale modeling includes strict quantitative testing of the predictive capabilities of the developed material models. To this end, it is essential to combine theoretical with experimental approaches.
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Granular Mechanics Lab at University of Southern California  -  Dense granular materials, such as sand, grains in a silo, and pharmaceutical powders, exhibit a unique class of material behavior: they behave as solids under static loading; but upon the initiation of initiation of instability, they flow like liquids. Accurate modeling of such materials remains a pressing challenge to both engineers and scientists studying natural or industrial flow phenomena such as landslides, segregation in industrial processing, and clogging in silo flow, to name a few.
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Poromechanics at Eindhoven University of Technology  -  Numerous saturated porous materials exhibit fracture and/or swelling. Ionized group, such as clay platelets, proteins or carboxyl groups attract counter ions and hence water. Examples are clay, clay-stone, shale, intervertebral disc, cartilage, hydro-gels, ion-selective membranes and living cells. The physico-chemical events associated with the swelling are intimately linked to the three-dimensional stress and strain distribution, fluid and ion flow.
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Research Group Profile: Fracture at the Atomic Scale
The Failure Mechanisms and Mechanics Laboratory at Cornell  -  Crack growth is inherently an atomic‐scale process as it entails the breaking of atomic bonds to create new surface area. However, bond breaking at the tip of a crack constitutes only a small portion of the energy dissipation associated with crack growth in a typical structural metal as the majority of energy dissipation is linked to continuum plasticity. Nonetheless, bond breaking at a crack tip often plays a governing role in the fracture process.
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Prof. Euclides Mesquita and the Computational Mechanics Group at the University of Campinas, Brazil explore how soil-structure interaction problems play a key role in the response in many structures and machinery, including nanotechnology facilities. Seismic activities in the southern part of Brazil are of minor importance and the issue of dynamic soil-structure interaction analysis is concentrated in the response of the systems being impinged by waves created due to traffic conditions or due to existing neighboring industrial facilities.
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Research Group Profile: From Nanostructure to Infrastructure
Nano Infrastructure Research Group At University of Mississippi  -  During the last two decades, tremendous progress has been made in nanoscience. New classes of nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, nanofibers, nanowires, and quantum dots are being assembled atom by atom, with various high tech applications in mind—electronics, biomedicine, energy, environment, etc. However, these materials are still very expensive, and can only be produced in relatively small quantities.
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Research Group Profile: Geomechanics of Porous Materials
Laboratory of Complex Fluids/Geomechanics Group at Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour  -  Mass transfer in tight porous materials is an issue which encompasses many engineering challenges: oil and gas production, confinement of nuclear and industrial waste, serviceability of pressure vessels, water treatment, geo-sequestration of CO2,… One of the key challenges is the assessment of the tightness of storage facilities or the enhancement of the production capacities of non conventional reservoirs omnipresent on Earth.
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Professor Pedro M. Reis and his research group at MIT - Elasticity, Geometry and Statistics Laboratory explore Geometric Nonlinearities in Thin Elastic Structures.  The paradigm of studying the mechanics of thin structures (rods, plates or shells) is a field with a long history that is being revived and is rapidly burgeoning in new contexts.
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Research Group Profile: Hierarchical Biomaterials Mechanics
Engineering Mechanics Research Group at TU Vienna  -  Biomimetics deals with the application of nature‐made “design solutions” to the realm of engineering. In this context, mimicking biological materials with fine‐tuned mechanical properties has been on the agenda of engineering research and development for many years. The premise of biomimetics is that it is possible to reduce diversity and complexity of biological materials to a number of ‘universal’ functioning principles. This requires foremost a deep understanding of the hierarchical structure of biological materials.
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Research Group Profile: Hygro-Thermal Spalling of Concrete
Concrete Mechanics Research at UC Boulder  -  Concrete materials may be characterized as cementitious composites made of coarse and fine particle aggregates embedded in hydrated cement paste. It is this binder which distinguishes concrete from porous materials with a solid skeleton which is partially saturated with pore water and air. Hence, hygro-thermal loadings in form of temperature and moisture changes are mainly governed by the solid skeleton of particle inclusions and the hydrated cement paste with pores which are filled with partially interconnected pore fluids. 
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Professor Jerome P. Lynch and the Structural Dynamics Research at the University of Michigan, explore Intelligent Sensing for Structural Health Monitoring.  Civil infrastructure systems have been successful in supporting the economic prosperity of our nation.   However, several serious issues must be urgently addressed to ensure our infrastructure can continue to support societal prosperity and ensure public safety.
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Profs. Zhao Qin and Markus J. Buehler at MIT and their research team at the Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics (LAMM) present their work in the biomechanics area.  Problems include, multi-scale modeling and simulation of biological and bioinspired materials and structures, and collagenous materials and tissues: structure, deformation and failure.
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Research Group Profile: Localized Inelastic Strain Modeling
Department of Mechanics, Faculty of Civil Engineering Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic  -  The development of nonlinear fracture process zones precedes the failure of quasibrittle materials (concrete, rock, tough ceramics, bones, ice etc.). These zones can be macroscopically described as regions (typically bands) of highly localized strains. The size and evolution of such localized bands depend on the material’s microstructure, in particular on the size and spacing of major heterogeneities.
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Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering Group at Georgia Tech  -  Pile foundations are by and large used for structures, piers and platforms on loose or soft soils, prone to liquefaction and lateral spreading during strong seismic events. The most widely employed approach for dynamic soil‐structure interaction analyses of piles in liquefiable soils is the Beam on Nonlinear Winkler Foundation (BNWF), according to which, the stiffness of pile springs (p‐y elements) derived for stiff, nonliquefiable soils is uniformly scaled via empirical factors that account for the reduction of soil resistance to seismic loading due to the development of excess pore water pressures.
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Mechanics of Materials at Northwestern University Advanced technologies have many important applications to infrastructures, such as stretchable electronics for reliability assessment, flexible and transparent silicon solar cells for energy efficiency.  Mechanics plays a critical role in the development of the scientific and engineering foundations for these advanced technologies. One example is high performance electronics and optoelectronic systems that are reversibly stretchable/compressible.
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Professor Rouzbeh Shahsavari, and the Multiscale Materials Modeling research group at Rice University present their research on the Mechanics of Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Materials.  The core competencies are, integrated Ab-initio, MD and continuum approach, identification of deformation-based mechanisms in hybrid materials, decoding interfacial bonding and adhesion processes, and development of advanced analytical solutions.
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Microstructure and Rheology at ETH Zurich  -  Gels and glassy materials, from rubbers to cement, are ubiquitous in engineering applications because they can combine efficient flow and transport with cohesion, strength and flexibility. The “smart” mechanics of these systems originates from the disordered,  heterogeneous microscopic structure. The interplay of aggregation, arrested kinetics and cooperative dynamics are all a hallmark of amorphous solidification, where stress transmission is far from trivial.
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Computational Mechanics at Columbia University  -  Traditional finite elements are limited in the modeling of weak discontinuities (e.g. multiphase materials) or strong discontinuities (e.g. cracks) as the mesh generated has to conform to the internal boundaries of these discontinuities. Moreover, when these cracks propagate in the domain, or when one solves repeated problems involving discontinuities (e.g. as part of a Monte Carlo process), then re-meshing the domain becomes non trivial, especially in 3D.
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Professor Huiming Yin and the Sustainable Engineering and Materials Laboratory at Columbia University, explore Modern Structural Materials and Designs.  Core competencies include: micromechanics-based modeling and material designs, manufacturing innovations for composite materials and structures, multi-physical characterization and modeling of advanced materials, and modern structural materials and designs.
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Advanced Materials Research Group at North Dakota State University, Fargo  -  Natural and synthetic nanomaterials both exhibit unique and extraordinary properties that could be of tremendous interest for applications in engineering, medicine etc. The relationship between molecular interactions, microstructure and macroscale properties and thus the understanding of mechanisms leading to the properties are key to effective use and design of such materials. Our research group has made major strides in exploring and unearthing key mechanisms responsible for the extraordinary properties exhibited by nanomaterials such as nacre (the inner layer of seashells) and polymer clay nanocomposites (PCNs).
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Computational Geomechanics @Caltech present their research on the Multiscale Modeling of Granular Matter for Earth and Space.  The core competencies are, continuum mechanics, finite element modeling, computational particle mechanics, multiscale modeling, combined high-fidelity experimentation and advanced modeling.
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Research Group Profile: Nanomechanics of Concrete
Mechanics of Materials and Structures Research Group at M.I.T.  -  More concrete is produced than any other synthetic material on Earth. The current worldwide cement production stands at 2.3 billion tons, enough to produce more than 20 billion tons or one cubic meter of concrete per capita per year. There is no other material that can replace concrete in the foreseeable future to meet our societies’ legitimate needs for housing, shelter, infrastructure, and so on. But concrete faces an uncertain future, due to a non-negligible ecological footprint that amounts to 5-10% of the worldwide CO2 production.
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Mechanics of Materials and Structures Research Group at University of Minnesota  -  Collagen, a molecule consisting of three braided protein helices, is the primary building block of a many biological tissues including bone, tendon, cartilage and skin. Staggered arrays of collagen molecules form fibrils which arrange into higher ordered structures like fibers and fascicles. Because collagen fibrils play a crucial role in determining the response of these tissues to mechanical and chemical forces, significant research has and continues to be directed toward development of theoretical and multi-scale/multi-physics computational models of their stiffness, strength and toughness.
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Research Group Profile: Nonlocal Modeling of Materials
Computational Solid Mechanics Group Louisiana State University  -  One of the key challenges in improving existing or developing new engineering materials with fine tailored mechanical performances is to link microstructure with macroscopic material behavior. While mean-field theories based on classical continuum approaches appropriately capture this link for elastic behavior, the development of a macroscopic model embedded with a micromechanics-based theory of inelasticity that could be used as an engineering theory for both the analysis and computer-aided design of materials, is still a challenging endeavour.
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Research Group Profile: Piezoaeroelastic Energy Harvesting
Professor Muhammad R. Hajj and the Fluid and Structural Dynamics Group – ESM Department, at Virginia Tech present their research on Piezoaeroelastic Energy Harvesting.  The core competencies are: aeroelastic systems, modern methods of  nonlinear dynamics, experimental measurements, numerical simulations of fluid structure interactions - different levels of fidelity.
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Research Group Profile: PoroMechanics and Surface Energy
Poromechanics Research Group at Université Paris-Est  -  At low temperatures benzene contracts when it solidifies, whereas water expands when freezing. But, at the same low temperatures, a sealed sample of benzene-saturated cement paste expands, whereas a water-saturated sample containing air voids contracts. A cement paste contains pores of various dimensions and, at small scales, the intermolecular forces play a major role in the pore deformation.
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Dr. Chloé Arson and the Damage Poro-Mechanics group at GeorgiaTech (DeeP MeLT), present their research on Poromechanics of Damage and Healing: A Philosophy of the Mesoscale.  The core competencies are - Constitutive Modeling: damage and healing in rock, influence of microstructure on macroscopic properties, thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical couplings in porous media; Numerical Modeling: MATLAB, Finite Elements, Discrete Elements; and Energy Geotechnics: nuclear waste disposals, compressed air storage, carbon dioxide sequestration, geothermal systems, hydraulic fracturing.  
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Research Group Profile: PoroMechanics of MicroPorous Solids
Dr. Matthieu Vandamme's Poromechanics Group at Laboratoire Navier - A wide range of materials (soils, concrete, wood,...) related to civil or petroleum engineering applications are porous. For all those porous materials, their behavior can be significantly modified by the presence of various fluids (air, water, oil,...) in their pore network. The study of the mechanical behavior of such systems is well tackled within the framework of poromechanics, pioneered by Biot and extended by Coussy and others.
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Research Group Profile: Poromechanics Research
PoroMechanics Institute at the University of Oklahoma  -  The PoroMechanics Institute (PMI), established in 1996, serves as a multidisciplinary research unit with focus on the understanding and application of the mechanics of fluid‐saturated porous media in general and the investigation of rock mechanics as applied to the oil and gas industry problems in particular.
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Professor Steven F. Wojtkiewicz, University of Minnesota, and Professor Erik A. Johnson, University of Southern California, present their research on Rapid Identification, Control, and Uncertainty Analysis of Structural Models. The problems of interest span a wide spectrum, ranging from civil structures (buildings & bridges) to aerospace structures (missiles & re-entry vehicles). Computational models arising from these diverse arenas share the common traits that they are large in size, often consisting of 103 to 108 degrees-of-freedom, and possess uncertainties and nonlinearities.
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Geomechanics Research at Ecole Centrale of Nantes, France. Granular media cover a large variety of materials, marked by differences in grain size (from a few micrometers in clays to a few meters in rockfills), grain shape, roundness and strength, as well as by differing grain evolution capabilities under external actions (cementation, breakage, chemical evolution, swelling, etc.).
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Dr. Asad Esmaeily and the SMaRTI research group at Kansas State University, present their research on issues related to the security, maintenance, and renovation of the transportation infrastructure.  The core competencies are: Bridge Maintenance and Renovation BMR (Monitoring/Damage Detection, Retrofit/Repair and Replacement, Renovation of transportation infrastructure), and Security Of the Transportation Infrastructure SOTI (Site and Remote Monitoring, Security Oriented Research on Material, Bridge Systems).
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Professor Simon Laflamme, Ph.D., and the Mesosystem Reliability Research Group at Iowa State University present their findings on "Sensing Skin for Condition Assessment".  The core competencies are: sensor development for structural health monitoring, nanocomposites and multifunctional materials, feature extraction from dense arrays of sensors, data fusion for condition assessment, and reliability of mesosystems.
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Louisiana State University, USA.  Bridges are an essential part of transportation infrastructures. Due to the progressive deteriorations and accumulated fatigue damages of structures under dynamic loads such as vehicles and wind, it is essential to ensure the structure safety in both routine service and extreme loading environments. For long-span bridges in extreme wind, no traffic load is typically considered, assuming that bridges will be closed to traffic at high wind speeds.
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Stability of Micro- and Macro- structures University of South Brittany, France: LIMATB - ECoMatH Buckling may be the key factor in the morphogenesis of natural and biological entities (Darcy Thomson, 1959); and it is certainly a structural limit state that determines the design of many engineering structures.
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Computational Solid Mechanics at Johns Hopkins University  -  As part of research programs for NSF and Army Research Labs, Professor Graham-Brady’s group has been studying the effect of randomly occurring flaws on the strain-rate dependent strength of brittle materials, such as those used in ceramic armor or in cementitious materials. Because the these materials exhibit a high degree of scatter, a probabilistic framework is very useful in this context. The solution calls for a micromechanics-based study of dynamic crack growth from individual flaws, coupled to a larger macro-scale model of the over-all constitutive properties.
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Professor Andrew W. Smyth and the Dynamics for Civil Engineering Group at Columbia University, present their research on Structural Health Monitoring and Rocking Dynamics Modeling.  The core competencies are: nonlinear dynamics, linear and nonlinear system identification, vibration monitoring and experimentation on large civil structures, and random vibration and estimation theory.
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Professor Eleni Chatzi, and the Structural Mechanics Group at the Institute of Structural Engineering, ETH Zurich, present their research on Structural Identification and Modeling based on Uncertain/Limited Information.  The core competencies include, methodologies on heterogeneous data fusion for improvement of estimation accuracy, implementation of health monitoring strategies on large scale structures, and computational tools for non-stationary analysis.
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Professor Roman Stocker and the Environmental Microfluidics Research Group at MIT present their work on The Fluid Mechanics of Plankton in the Coastal Ocean.  Thin layers of phytoplankton that form in the top 50 meters of the ocean are analogous to watering holes in a savanna — localized areas of concentrated resources that draw a wide range of organisms and thus play a disproportionate role in the ecological landscape.
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Research Group Profile: Turning Weakness to Strength
Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics at MIT  -  Proteins—universally composed of long chains of only ≈20 unique amino acids that fold into complex molecular structures—are the main building blocks of life and realize a diversity of functional properties such as structural support, locomotion, energy and material transport, many of them simultaneously, to yield multifunctional and mutable materials. Despite this apparent functional complexity, the structural design of biological materials is often simple and has developed under extreme evolutionary pressures to facilitate a species’ survival in adverse environments.
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Computational and Stochastic Mechanics at USC  -  Recent innovations in science and technology have provided the impetus for a new paradigm in scientific discovery. Thus, while new sensing technologies allow us to probe nature with unprecedented accuracy, new computing resources allow us to account for great complexities in physical behavior. These newfound capabilities have heightened society’s expectations from the scientific process, requiring it to provide foresight and thus mitigate risks associated with ever-increasing complexity. 
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Waves & Inverse Problems group at University of Minnesota - Non-invasive sensing of inner heterogeneities in solids and tissues by way of mechanical waves is a long-standing problem in engineering mechanics owing to its roles in seismology, non-destructive testing, and medical diagnosis.