Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Development, testing and analysis of advanced materials for a variety of applications, including defense, space exploration, construction, and biotechnology.
Professor Nemat-Nasser directs UCSD's Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials. He studies how materials respond to thermo-mechanical loads imposed by their environment, and how they may fatigue or fail over time. He is especially interested in the mechanics of ceramics, ceramic composites, high strength alloys and superalloys, rocks and geomaterials, and advanced metallic and polymeric composites. He has a history of developing novel materials with new properties such as ceramic-metal-polymeric composites that are extremely strong but very lightweight. Nemat-Nasser's most recent work looks at ionic-polymer-metal composites, which are molecularly-driven soft actuators and sensors, self-healing polymeric composites, and shape memory alloys that can regain their form after being bent. The new ionic-polymer-metal composites are similar to muscle, in that they move without mechanical components, and therefore have a number of biomedical applications. Nemat-Nasser has also tested the metallic materials that are used to construct space laboratories, ensuring that they can sustain the impacts of meteorites. Nemat-Nasser is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Siavouche "Sia" Nemat-Nasser received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1964. In 1966 he came to UCSD. From 1970-85 he was professor of applied mechanics and applied mathematics at Northwestern University. In 1985 he returned to UCSD. He is currently the director of the Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials. Current research: micromechanical and constitutive modeling of nonlinear response and failure modes; analytic and computational mechanics; and static and dynamic experimental characterization of materials; especially advanced composites, ceramics and ceramic composites; advanced metallic and polymeric composites particularly polyelectrolites and ionic polmer-metal composites, and high-strength alloys, as well as rocks and geomaterials.