EGS.Lab Elasticity, Geometry and Statistics Laboraty


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EGS.Lab EGSLab EGS LabPedro Miguel Reis
Associate Professor
of Mechanical Engineering and
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology   

Office: #1-330      Lab: #1-334
MA 02139-1713, USA
Phone Office: +1 617-324-3325
Phone Lab: +1  617-715-4780
e-mail: preis@@

Wonders of thin structures Pedro Reis EGS.Lab MITIn the EGS.Lab we are dedicated to the fundamental understanding of the mechanics of thin objects and structures; including rods, plates and shells. The large displacements permissible in such configurations can give rise to non-negligible geometric nonlinearities, even if its material properties remain linear. Of interest is also the coupling of the elasticity of thin objects with other phenomena such as fracture, adhesion, fluid forces at liquid interfaces and flow.

Examples of relevant applications range from thin elements in stretchable electronics and micro-actuators to large civil engineering contexts such as domes, hypar roofs and borewell drilling.

The starting point of the investigations is often through well controlled experiments of desktop-scale model systems for which we take advantage of advanced digital fabrication techniques. The final goal is often the predictive understanding of the large deformations of thin structures. Once a theoretical framework has been developed and the underlying mechanics rationalized, we then aim at implementing it at scale of the original problem (small or large scale) towards practical applications.

A general overview of the questions involving thin structures that interest us can be found in the Journal Club of iMechanica (June 2010)
, in the Research Group profile @ the Engineering Mechanics Institute (September 2011), the Journal Club of iMechanica (October 2013) and MIT Spectrum (Spring 2014).

For more info, pics and videos on what we do, please visit our research pages.


  • [9/18/15] Our geometric model for coiling of rods on rigid substrates is published in J. App. Mech [html, pdf].
  • [9/9/15] The interplay between the mechanics and topology of simple knots is untangled in Phys. Rev. Lett. More information [here].
  • [9/1/15] Changyeob Baek, Rashed Al-Rashed and Elizabeth (Liz) Strong join the EGS.Lab as graduate students. Welcome to the playground!
  • [8/14/15] Jay's paper on the buckling of a thin elastic rod while it is injected into a horizontal cylinder is published in ISJJ [html]. More information [here].
  • [04/03/15] Pedro Reis gives an invited talk at the March Meeting of the APS on 'Extreme Mechanics of Soft Structures' in the session 'Frontiers of Soft Matter'.
  • [12/09/14] Paper on the theory of wrinkling on curved surfaces, in collaboration with the group of Jorn Dunkel, is published in Nature Materials. [html, pdf]
  • [12/04/14] Paper on the pattern morphology of the elastic sewing machine is accepted for the  first issue of new journal Extreme Mechanics Letters (more about EML here and here). [html, pdf].
  • [11/26/14] Paper on wrinkling crystalography on curved surfaces is published in PNAS! [html, pdf].
  • [10/16/14] Congratulations to Noor and Khalid for wining 1st place of the Best Poster Competition at the 5th NEW.Mech (New England Workshop for the Mechanics of Materials and Structures)  at UMass Amherst.
  • [10/03/14] Khalid's paper on the coiling of elastic rods is published in PNAS. [MIT News,  more info Here].
  • [09/16/14] The EGS.Lab hosted 3 Chefs from Mugaritz, one of the top restaurants in the world, who gave a seminar at the MMEC Seminar Series. Read more in the CAST Blog, El Mercurio and El Pais (Back page of 09/19/14)!
  • [06/27/14] Our paper on the buckling of a rod embedded on an elastic matrix is published in Soft Matter [html, pdf].
  • [05/28/14] The magazine SPECTRVM features the work from our lab, in their recent issue that focuses on Basie Research. [Here]
  • [05/28/14] Mark Guttag passes his Ph.D. qualifying exams in Mechanical Engineering.
  • [05/27/14] Paper on Smart Morphable Surfaces for Aerodynamic Drag Reduction to appear in Advanced Materials [html, pdf]. [More info Here].
  • [03/04/14] Khalid Jawed won the GSNP's Best Student Speaker Award at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society in Denver, CO. Undergraduate Noor Khouri (UROP) also presented her work at the conference.
  • [02/13/14] Our paper on the Mechanics of Curly Hair is published in Phys. Rev. Lett. (Editor's Suggestion & Cover Story) [More info Here]
  • [02/07/14] Pedro Reis is promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor (effective July 1st).
  • [02/07/14] Noor Khouri, a UROP in our lab, represents our group at the CEE Research Speed Dating Event, where we also developed a novel online research speed dating app.
  • [30/01/14] Alice Nasto and Khalid Jawed pass the Ph.D. qualifying exams in MechE/MIT.

Smart Morphable Structures Pedro Reis MIT

Physics of Curly Hair Pedro Reis MIT

eggshell shell geometry-induced rigidity egs lab pedro reis MIT

eggshell shell geometry-induced rigidity egs lab pedro reis MIT
Scratching Butter Pedro Reis MIT

How Cats Lap Reis Jung Aristoff Stocker

Graphene Pedro Reis Small EGS.Lab MIT

Nature Materials Pedro Reis EGS.Lab MIT

Thanks to LaCozina for help with graphical design.

Last update: 10th July 2014.