Natural and engineered material and structures

Many materials and structures of scientific and technological relevance exhibit complex behaviour. Complexity may be caused by a number of factors: poorly understood basic principles, multiphysics coupling of different effects (mechanical, electrical, thermal, chemical, flow, ...), non-linearity (including material failure and fracture). This applies equally to both natural and engineered materials and structures, at very different length scales. Our goal is to combine theoretical modeling, computer simulations and possibly laboratory experiments to gain understanding on this complex behaviour, and to exploit this insight in the design and manufacture of new materials, metamaterials and structures.

Research lines

Modeling flexolectricity (i.e. the coupling between electric polarization and strain gradients).
Mathematical models and efficient finite element methods for coupled systems of high-order partial differential equations.
Accurate models for electromechanical characterization of nanomaterials.
 • Modeling large-scale plate tectonics.
 • Coupling plate tectonics to heat and fluid transport, petrology and geochemistry.
 • Efficient models for the medium- and high-frequency range in building vibroacoustics.
 • Continuous-discontinuous models of material degradation and fracture.

This program is divided into three research groups as following:

Mechanics of electroactive materials

Computational geosciences Computational acoustics
and damage mechanics

I. Arias (Program Coordinator),
S. Fernandez, A. Abdollahi

S. Zlotnik

A. Rodriguez-Ferran, J. Poblet