Nicholas Boechler

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Associate Professor

Research Focus
Dynamically responsive and microstructured materials, wave propagation, nonlinear dynamics, self-assembly, granular media, metamaterials, shock and impact physics, laser ultrasonics, topology optimization, high strain rate mechanics, and soft material dynamics.

Research Summary

Throughout history, discoveries of materials with new properties have enabled significant technological leaps. Within this context, using a combined experimental, computational, and analytical approach, Boechler strives to uncover new understanding that enables the design of materials with extraordinary properties. Currently, he is focused on materials wherein new mechanical properties are achieved by manipulating the propagation of stress waves via designed microstructure and strong nonlinearities, and has particular interest in the dynamics of self-assembled systems. Other topics of recent interest include the dynamics of soft materials prone to instability, photo-elastically tunable materials, and mechanochemically responsive polymers. Fundamental advances in these areas have the potential to result in ultra-light, highly adaptive, and resilient material systems that can be manufactured rapidly and in large quantities, with applications to areas including sound and vibration management, impact protection, signal processing, national security, and civil infrastructure.

Nicholas Boechler
Lab Website


Boechler earned his Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007, his Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2008, and his Ph.D. in Aeronautics, also from the California Institute of Technology, in 2011. He is the recipient of Young Investigator Program awards from the Army Research Office and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.