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Monday, Dec. 12, 2011
11 a.m., ECSS 3.503

(Osborne Conference Room)







 me seminar

“Multiscale Computational Models for Estimating the Mechanical Properties of Nano-Composites and Bio-Materials”
Dr. Vinu Unnikrishnan, Advanced Computational Mechanics Laboratory
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University

Understanding the structure-property relationships occurring at different length and time scales are necessary for estimating the mechanical properties of complex nano- and bio- materials. The high mechanical strength of carbon nano-structures helps in creating composites capable of withstanding tremendous mechanical stresses. These enhanced mechanical properties are extremely critical for designing novel applications ranging from high-strength nano-composites in military systems to self-healing smart materials. In the first part of this talk, multiscale computational models for the thermo-mechanical analysis of nano-materials would be presented. The properties of these advanced materials can be obtained through various experimental investigations; however, a thorough understanding of the interactions of these materials with other surrounding materials can be obtained only with advanced computational models. The atomistic properties of the nano-structures and its interphases are determined using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and multi-physical, multi-scale homogenization models are then used for the hierarchical transfer of material properties from the atomistic to macroscales.

In the second part of this talk, biomechanical models to analyze the effect of micro-structural constituents on the behavior of biological cells, soft tissues and bio-polymers would be discussed. These novel mathematical computational formulations are developed for understanding and providing directives for enhancing the efficiency of tools currently used for clinical diagnosis and also for providing patient-specific models to improve the outcome of medical intervention scenarios.

Dr. Vinu Unnikrishnan is a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2007. His doctoral research, carried out under the supervision of Professor J. N. Reddy, was on the multiscale computational modeling of multi-functional materials like bio-polymers and nano-composites for civil, electronics, space/military and bio-engineering applications. He is currently focused on developing nonlinear homogenization methods using continuum mechanics principles for complex composite systems.