Graduate Research AssistantPost-Doctoral Researcher

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Please reach out to the listed PI with inquiries.

Graduate Research Assistant Positions



 GRA Position


PI:  Nathan Spulak (

Start Date:  Spring 2023, Summer 2023, or Fall 2023

General Topic:  Experimental solid mechanics, with an emphasis on characterizing material stress-strain and fracture behavior under extreme conditions.

Description:  Many engineered devices are subjected to extreme loading, and it is critically necessary to understand how materials deform and fracture under these complex conditions. For example, military devices such as armor, projectiles, weapons platforms and explosive ordnance containment structures are subjected to high-speed blasts and shock waves, elevated temperatures, and complicated impact loading. Other examples where extreme loading is present include automotive and aerospace vehicle crashes, manufacturing forming processes, and biomedical implants. In addition novel classes of materials such as fiber-reinforced composites, ceramic matrix composites, and additively manufactured metals must have their behavior experimentally characterized in order to effectively design devices using such materials.

Student Duties: 

  • Perform experiments to characterize the stress-strain and fracture behavior of materials under extreme conditions, such as at elevated temperatures, high strain rates, or complex applied stress states
  • Use experimental techniques such as Digital Image Correlation (DIC) and elastic wave analysis to analyze material behavior
  • Use experimental data to construct material models to be used with Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
  • Utilize FEA to more fully characterize the material response and to design new experimental techniques
  • Develop new experimental techniques to more efficiently characterize the material response, to be used in conjunction with advanced analytical methods such as the Virtual Fields Method (VFM)


Post-doctoral Researcher Openings


 None at this time






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