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Knowles Lecture

James K. Knowles Lectures and Caltech Solid Mechanics Symposium

Friday, May 31, 2024, 9:00am - 4:30pm
135 Gates•Thomas, Jim & Sandy Hall Auditorium

The 14th annual James K. Knowles Lectures and Caltech Solid Mechanics Symposium will be held on Friday, May 31, 2024, in the Jim & Sandy Hall Auditorium in Gates•Thomas. The James K. Knowles Lecture will be followed by the Solid Mechanics Symposium with presentations by current Caltech graduate students and postdocs.

The Lectures and Symposium are in memory of James K. Knowles, William J. Keenan, Jr. Professor of Applied Mechanics, Emeritus, who passed away on November 1, 2009. He is well known for his research contributions to the theory of nonlinear elasticity and the mathematical theories of materials and structures. Dr. Knowles inspired and influenced generations of students and scholars and authored over one hundred journal publications, as well as a textbook for graduate students entitled Linear Vector Spaces and Cartesian Tensors (Oxford University Press).

The Lectures and Symposium will be held annually and are made possible by the Division of Engineering and Applied Science and the support of family, friends and colleagues through donations to the James K. Knowles Memorial Fund.

James K. Knowles Lecture

Zhigang Suo

Zhigang Suo, Allen E. and Marilyn M. Puckett Professor of Mechanics and Materials, Harvard University

Topology and chemistry determine mechanical properties of polymers

The aspiration to develop polymers for sustainability, as well as functions, instigates advances in polymer science. This seminar draws upon recent experience in my group. We discover that a tanglemer, a polymer network in which entanglements greatly outnumber crosslinks, simultaneously achieves high modulus and high fatigue threshold. As a second example, a composite of multiple species of polymers separate into phases, but the coarsening of the phases can be arrested, leading to stable nanocomposites. These examples illustrate how topology and chemistry determine mechanical properties of polymers.

Zhigang Suo is Allen E. and Marilyn M. Puckett Professor of Mechanics and Materials at Harvard University. He earned a bachelor's degree from Xi'an Jiaotong University in 1985, and a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 1989. Suo joined the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1989, Princeton University in 1997, and Harvard University in 2003. His research centers on the mechanical behavior of materials.

Event Program

Time Speaker/Title
9:00–10:00am Zhigang Suo, Keynote Speaker
Topology and chemistry determine mechanical properties of polymers
10:00–10:30am Refreshments - 235 Gates-Thomas
10:30–10:55am Sathvik Sanagala
Artificial sunflowers: photomechanically actuated self-orienting structures
10:55-11:20am Jacinto Ulloa
Data-driven computing for complex material behavior
11:20–11:45am Riccardo Augello
Folding and deployment simulation of ultra-thin composite deployables structures via refined one-dimensional beam finite elements
12:00–1:30pm Lunch - 235 Gates-Thomas
1:30–1:55pm Maryam Alghannam
Dependence of fault rupture nucleation on fluid pressurization rate
1:55–2:20pm Grigorios (Greg) Lavrentiadis
A physics-guided non-ergodic ground motion model for the Groningen, Netherlands region
2:20–2:45pm Yaozhong Shi
Broadband ground‐motion synthesis via generative adversarial neural operators: development and validation
2:45–3:15pm Coffee - 235 Gates-Thomas
3:15–3:40pm Alex Ogren
Visual surface wave tomography: inferring subsurface material properties from monocular video
3:40–4:05pm Wenxin Zhang
Mechanical behavior of additively manufactured metals at nanoscale: from pillars to architectures
4:05–4:30pm Wenjie Zhou
Exploring the design space of polycatenated architected materials