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Our Research


The Mechanics and Analytics Lab (MAL) is headed by Prof. Hesam Askari in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rochester. At MAL, we seek to address fundamental questions on the theory, mechanics and rheology of heterogeneous materials, complex mediaand soft matter. Our research goal is to develop essential analytical and experimental methods to construct frameworks for understanding the behavior of complex materials and facilitate novel applications arising from their properties. These properties could arise from intrinsic sources, such as optimization of swimming in sand, or based on induced properties obtained by a microstructural design approach.

We mainly focus on theoretical development and implementation of accurate constitutive models validated by experiments. Our research in general includes the following main tracks of studies:

  • Mechanics of granular media and soft materials
  • Integrated Computational Mechanics of crystalline materials
  • Data analytics in mechanical systems
Learn More about what we do

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Featured Story

Summer Experiences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Perspectives on professional experience at a national lab

In the summers of 2018 and 2019, I had the unique privilege to work as an intern at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Established in the midst of the 1940s for the Manhattan Project, ORNL has stood as an icon at the forefront of STEM research. My office was located in the same building as the fastest supercomputer in the world while just a few blocks a way stood the defunct graphite reactor – the first nuclear reactor designed to operate continuously and the first to produce electricity. To be in an environment with such an intersection of cutting edge technology and impactful history is truly inspirational. I hope every engineer will have an opportunity to experience such stimulation.

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Current openings

Ph.D. Research Assistant

We are currently looking to fill one PhD position in the area of mechanics of materials and computational mechanics for Fall 2020 start date. We encourage motivated and hardworking applicants with background and interest in this subject area to apply. Successful applicants will carry out challenging research projects in a highly intellectual and collaborative research environment. The candidate will develop computational methodologies to study strain transfer in 2D materials and how strain triggers phenomena such as phase change, hysteresis and structural damage, ultimately affecting quantum electrical properties. They will gain access to the powerful computing facilities at the Center for Integrated Research Computing at the University of Rochester. Interested applicants should email Prof. Askari with their resume and research statement (half to one page) indicating proposed start date, project(s) they have carried on in the past, future projects sought and future career goals. Questions regarding these positions are welcome. The desired (but not necessarily necessary!) qualifications for this position are as follows:

  • Experience with developing Density Functional Theory (DFT) methodologies for verifying or constructing inter-atomic potentials
  • Experience in application of Molecular Dynamics (MD) method
  • Experience in computational mechanics
  • Having completed a Master's degree
  • Some background in electrical engineering
Undergraduate Researcher

We always welcome motivated and dedicated students to our group. If you are interested in analytical mechanics and/or skilled in programming languages, we would like to hear from you.

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