Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar
Morphing Materials and Multifunctional Structures: From Mechanics to Applications
Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar Series
Title: Morphing Materials and Multifunctional Structures: From Mechanics to Applications
Abstract: Morphing three-dimensional (3D) structures that can actively change their geometries and thereby their functionalities upon external stimuli (like mechanical forces, magnetic fields, hydration, and temperature) are promising for a diverse range of applications, including deployable solar panels, biomedical devices, soft robotics, and many others. Existing reconfiguration mechanisms include the use of persistent external stimuli and harnessing structural instabilities. In this talk, I will discuss exploiting structural buckling to create flexible, reconfigurable 3D structures and electronics from thin-film materials, including active polymers and their heterogeneous combination with metals and electronics. Both the fundamental buckling mechanics and a wide range of assembled 3D functional thin structures, including shape-programmable 3D structures, will be presented. In addition, I will discuss our recent efforts in the reconfiguration of multistable 3D ferromagnetic structures guided by systematic energy landscape surveys as well as morphing structures composed of active polymers including liquid crystal elastomers and shape memory polymers. The multifunctional, reconfigurable structures provide important insights for the development of adaptive devices and functional systems that can be applied in various fields.
Bio: Dr. Xueju "Sophie" Wang is currently an Assistant Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and the Institute of Materials Science at the University of Connecticut (UConn). She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2016 and earned her bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering at the Dalian University of Technology in 2011. She was a postdoctoral scholar at Northwestern University from 2016 to 2018. Her research interests include mechanics, active materials, and functional structures for applications ranging from morphing devices to flexible electronics. She is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, ASME ORR Early Career Award, ASME Haythornthwaite Foundation Research Initiation Award, and the Gary L. Cloud Scholarship Award (from the Society for Experimental Mechanics).
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