Advances in technology enable material manufacturing in small length scales. The nature of the materials has also changed, with the development of materials whose mechanical, electromagnetic, and thermal properties are strongly coupled. The design and use of these materials necessitate understanding of the multi-physical mechanisms involved.
Our group investigates the mechanics of materials that belong to one or more of the following classes: (i) Active or smart materials, which deform and change their properties, by application of external stimuli; (ii) Soft materials, capable of undergoing large deformations; and (iii) Heterogeneous media, such as composites and polycrystalline materials. Our objectives are to gain a fundamental understanding of the mechanics of these materials, and based on that to promote the engineering of new materials with enhanced properties. Our approach combines theory, numerical simulations and basic experiments.