Vitali F. Nesterenko

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Professor Emeritus

Research Focus
High pressure/temperature processing of materials for a variety of applications, including electronics (e.g. superconductors and thin films) and defense. Highly nonlinear metamaterials for mitigation of high amplitude dynamic loading caused by impact/contact explosion.

Research Summary

Professor Nesterenko's research interests include micromechanics of powder deformation under dynamic and quasi-static high-pressure loading; shear instability in heterogeneous materials; shear induced chemical reactions in condensed materials; wave propagation in highly nonlinear granular and heterogeneous materials; shock mitigation; mechanics of densification and sintering of advanced ceramics and alloys. His group has successfully processed and tested a new high-gradient heterogeneous material based on titanium alloy for ballistic applications and W-fiber reinforced Al energetic materials with highly ordered mesostructured necessary for controlled fragmentation and subsequent reaction. He and his co-authors developed a processing method for bulk magnesium diboride with best critical current suitable for size scaling and complex shapes. He is the author of the book "High-Rate Deformation of Heterogeneous Materials", Springer, NY, 2013.

Vitali F. Nesterenko
Lab Website


Vitali F. Nesterenko received his Ph.D. in 1975 and Doctor in Physics and Mathematics in 1989 from Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Novosibirsk. He held positions of Head of Research Department in Special Design Office of High-Rate Hydrodynamics (RAS, Novosibirsk, 1978-1989), Head of Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Lavrentyev Institute of Hydrodynamics (RAS) (1989-1995) and Chair of the department Physics of Continua in Novosibirsk State University (1990-1994). He joined UCSD in 1994 as visiting Research Scientist and in 1996 as faculty. He served as a Director of Materials Science and Engineering graduate program (1999-2003) and Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering ((Acting Chair: 7/98 –12/98; Chair: 7/14  -6/17). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society with citation “For pioneering contribution to strongly nonlinear wave propagation in granular materials, through the discovery of a new solitary wave and to shock (localized shear) mesomechanics in porous and heterogeneous media”.