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People of ICL

Professor Tomasz Wierzbicki

Prof Wierz

Professor Tomasz Wierzbicki received his MS degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Warsaw Technical University. He earned his PhD degree in 1965 from the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research under the supervision of Professor Piotr Perzena of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Soon after that, he went for a one year postdoctoral study at Stanford University and collaborated with Professor E. H. Lee. In 1981, he was promoted to a full professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences and in the same year, he left for the United States, which has become his home. In 1983, he was appointed as a full professor at MIT, where he is currently directing the Impact and Crashworthiness Lab. He is the author of over 150 papers published in major international journals. In 1986, he received the Alexander von Humboldt senior US scientist award. Professor Wierzbicki spent over three years working in the BMW R&D Department in Munich. He directed a number of large industry-orientated programs at MIT with the support of over 50 major automotive, aluminum and shipbuilding companies. Profesor Wierzbicki’s research and consulting interests are in the area of dynamic plasticity, structural failure, crashworthiness, ultralight material, and more recently ductile fracture.

Professor Elham Sahraei


Professor Elham Sahraei holds dual appointments in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT as a Research Scientist and in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at George Mason University as an Assistant Professor. She is the co-director of the MIT Battery Consortium and a co-investigator of the Ford-MIT Alliance projects and a DOE project with National Renewable Energy Lab on safety of Li-Ion batteries. Her current area of focus is computational modeling of Li-ion batteries in mechanical abuse conditions. She earned her PhD degree in Transportation Safety from the National Crash Analysis Center of The George Washington University. She received her MSc and BSc degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology and Isfahan University of Technology, respectively. Her expertise includes full-scale vehicle crash analysis, occupant protection research, and analysis of roadside safety structures. She is the inventor of “Collision Safety Structure”, a structure for controlled buckling of driver seats that reduces perils of frontal crashes. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards such as SAE Myers award, STAPP student award, and WTS scholarship award.

Dr. Marcelo Paredes


Dr. Marcelo Paredes is currently working on offshore applications of MMC methodology to predict ductile crack growth in pipelines and risers subject to different loading conditions. The aim of his research is to find a bridge between this novel approach developed at MIT with the traditional fracture mechanics methodology which is widely accepted by the oil and gas industry. Before coming to MIT, he spent four years in Brazil pursuing his PhD degree at University of Sao Paulo along with Prof. Claudio Ruggieri’s team. His expertise area includes computational and experimental fracture mechanics, mechanical behavior of load-bearing materials and reliability analysis aimed at assessments of structural integrity.

Professor Dirk Mohr

Prof Mohr

Professor Dirk Mohr holds a tenured position as CNRS Research Associate Professor (Chargé de Recherche) at the Laboratoire de Mecaniques des Solides (LMS) and Associate Professor (Professeur Chargé de Cours) at the Department of Mechanics at Ecole Polytechnique. He is also a Research Affiliate at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Dr. Mohr studied civil engineering with emphasis on computational and structural mechanics at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC) in Paris with a fellowship from the German National Academic Foundation. Dr. Mohr continued his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he received a Master's and Ph.D. degree in Applied Mechanics in 2000 and 2003. From 2003 to 2006, he split his time as a postdoctoral associate between MIT and Ecole Polytechnique in France. Dr. Mohr has spent a total of about one year at the R&D departments of DaimlerChrysler in Stuttgart and BMW in Munich. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed journal papers in applied mechanics and has received the Hetenyi 2009 best paper award from the Society of Experimental Mechanics. He is currently Associate Editor of the International Journal of Impact Engineering.

Dr. Maysam Gorji


Dr. Maysam Gorji received his PhD from Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH in 2015. His research interests focus on theoretical and experimental aspects of forming technologies in real and virtual environments subject to information and complexity constraints. Virtual modeling, optimization and computational aspects of manufacturing operations as well as theoretical fracture prediction are some of his recent activities. Dr. Maysam Gorji collaborated with Novelis, Daimler, DYNAmore, AutoForm and GOM under the supervision of Prof. Pavel Hora and Prof. Frédéric Barlat regarding the instability and fracture of recently developed aluminum alloy composites, a Fusion material. He holds a dual-appointment as a postdoctoral associate in the Impact and Crashworthiness Lab at MIT (supervised by Prof. Tomasz Wierzbicki) and ETH's Chair of Computational Modeling of Materials in Manufacturing (supervised by Prof. Dirk Mohr). Current project in collaboration with ExxonMobil's Corporate Strategic Research Center is concerned with the analysis of the large deformation and fracture of graded materials at the micron level.

Dr. Yong Xia


Dr. Yong Xia is a Visiting Scholar at the Impact and Crashworthiness Lab (ICL) in MIT. He is also an Associate Professor at the Automobile Crash Lab (ACL) of Tsinghua University in China. Dr. Xia Studied Polymer Physics for a B.S. degree and Solid Mechanics for a Ph.D. degree in University of Science and Technology of China. The research activities of Dr. Xia mainly focus on: (1) Characterizing large deformation and failure of lightweight materials, (2) Studying failure behaviors of adhesive-bonded joints and developing FE model of the joints for vehicle crash CAE, and (3) Analyzing pedestrian-vehicle impacts and designing pedestrian protection countermeasures. So far he has published over 30 journal papers and has 6 patents. He is involved in both fracture and battery projects at ICL.


Keunhwan Pack


Keunhwan Pack is a third year graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He did his undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in South Korea, and received his Master’s degree there in 2012, studying the effect of intermediate strain rates on the fracture loci of DP780 steel sheets using a servo-hydraulic high speed material testing machine. He and his team proposed a new ductile fracture criterion inspired by the microscopic mechanism to predict the fracture forming limit diagrams of sheet metals.

Xiaowei Zhang


Xiaowei Zhang is a third year graduate student in Mechanical Engineering program. He received his master’s degree from Tsinghua University. He research was mainly on vehicle crashworthiness and occupant safety in Tsinghua University. He studied the effect of thermal cycling on durability of adhesively bonded joints. His master thesis was about concept and prototype design of a seat mechanism for reducing whiplash injury in rear impact.

Rami Abi Akl


Rami Abi Akl received his Diplôme d’Ingénieur in 2013 from Ecole Polytechnique after completing a joint Master’s thesis at Solid Mechanics Laboratory (LMS, Ecole Polytechnique) and Impact and Crashworthiness Laboratory (ICL, MIT). Rami’s thesis consisted in the characterization of shear ductile fracture of Al2024 aluminum alloy, through comparison of five different specimen geometries for determining the strain to fracture under shear loading. The study included as well a comparison of four different loading conditions for combined tension-shear tests for achieving a wide range of stress triaxilaity. Rami has joined ICL back in September 2014 to pursue his Ph.D. thesis in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. During his first year as a Graduate Student in MIT, Rami performed the experimental characterization of the ductile fracture response of pre-strained paint baked 6xxx aluminum sheets. During summer 2015, Rami conducted a three-month project with Scuderia Ferrari in Maranello, Italy, on the topic of turbocharger burst containment.

Colin Bonatti


Colin Bonatti is a second year graduate student. He was a visiting student at MIT in the spring of 2013. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique, where he completed engineering studies focusing on energy sciences and mechanics. His work during his internship at MIT aims at developing multi-layer and multi-scale modeling of the jelly roll of lithium-ion batteries. His current work deals with numerical simulation and calibration at electrode-separator level.

LT Brandy Dixon


LT Brandy Dixon is a second year graduate student in the US Navy’s 2N program at MIT. She graduated from Carolina State University in 2005 with a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering. LT Dixon has over 13 years of experience in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, Engineering Duty Officer, and as a Nuclear Electrician’s Mate. She will graduate in 2015 with Master’s degrees in Mechanical and Naval Engineering.

Thomas Tancogne-Dejean


Thomas Tancogne-Dejean is a first year graduate student. He is a visiting student at the MIT for a five months internship. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique, where he completed studies focusing on mechanics. His work during his internship at Ecole Polytechnique and MIT aims at developing both plasticity and fracture model of additive layer manufacturing Ti alloy and study octet-truss lattice materials made through selective laser melting and the application of existing plasticity models to model the multi-axial plastic deformation response of this type of materials.


Professor Yuanli Bai

Prof Bai

Professor Yuanli Bai is currently an Assistant Professor in University of Central Florida. He defended his Ph. D. at MIT in February 2008. He came to MIT after graduating with a Masters degree in Vehicle Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing. His research at Tsinghua was about vehicle safety, especially with respect to automotive airbag modeling. His research at MIT has concentrated on the development of a novel plasticity and fracture models with extensive experimental validation. After leaving MIT he has maintained a close collaboration with ICL and published a number of important papers.

Dr. Meng Luo


Dr. Meng Luo defended his PhD thesis in July 2012. He is currently working for Shell. He did his undergraduate in Shanghai Jiaotong University, and he came to MIT after graduating from Tsinghua University with a master’s degree in automotive engineering. He studied vehicle crashworthiness and occupant protection with application to the strength and safety of the car seat, which formed the subject of his master’s thesis. Meng’s most recent research has been in both experimental calibration and numerical implementation of ductile fracture for sheet metal forming applications. Meng’s PhD thesis is on the anisotropic plasticity, fracture and crack propagation in metal sheets.

Dr. Matthieu Dunand


Matthieu Dunand defended his PhD thesis in May 2013. He received his Diplôme d’Ingénieur in 2008 from École Polytechnique, where he studied dynamic testing of materials using Split Hopkinson Bars. He carried out his Diploma Thesis at MIT, focusing on plasticity of AHSS steels and extruded aluminum sheets. Matthieu received his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in January 2010, with a thesis focusing on the accuracy evaluation of various fracture experiments. For his PhD, he was investigating the strain rate effect on ductile fracture.

Professor Allison Beese

Dr. Beese

Dr. Allison Beese is an Assistant Professor at Pennsylvania State University. Prior to her current position, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University. She graduated from MIT in Spring 2011. Her PhD topic was “Experimental Investigation and Constitutive Modeling of the Large Deformation Behavior of Anisotropic Steel Sheets Undergoing Strain-Induced Phase Transformation”. She received her master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in June 2008, with a thesis on the quantification of phase transformation in stainless steel sheets. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University in May 2005, with a major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Engineering Mechanics.

Dr. Jongmin Shim

Dr. Jongmin Shim is an Assistant Professor at the University of Buffalo. He graduated from MIT in November 2009 with a Ph.D. degree in engineering mechanics. His Ph.D. thesis was entitled “Finite Strain Behavior of Polyurea for a Wide Range of Strain Rates.” During his stay at MIT, he performed several types of dynamic tests on virgin polyurea, proposed a finite rate-sensitive constitutive model, and validated the proposed model with various loading condition tests. As a part of his thesis work, he also visited École Polytechnic in Paris, France, to perform the classical and hydraulic split Hopkinson pressure bar tests. Prior to coming to ICL, he developed a constitutive model of ultra-high performance concrete to capture its thermo-chemo-mechanical coupling effect, and worked on structural dynamics with an application to structural health monitoring.

Dr. Xiaoqing Teng

Dr. Xiaoqing Teng received his Ph.D in December, 2004. His Ph.D. thesis entitled “High Velocity Impact Fracture” focused on analytical and numerical methods for predicting ductile fracture in various problems involved in high velocity impact. Prior to coming to MIT, Dr. Teng received his Masters degree in Naval Architecture from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He was an instructor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University for three years, teaching structural mechanics and conducting research on strength analysis of complex engineering structures. He is currently working on the development and implementation of computer software to predict fracture of metals and other materials. Recently, he contributed to the area of statistical approach to fracture of cast aluminum alloys. He is an author or co-author of about fifteen original papers published in leading peer-reviewed journals. After defending his Ph.D thesis, Dr. Teng was appointed as a post doc research associate at ICL. Currently, he is working for an oil and gas company in Houston, Texas, still maintaining close contacts with ICL.

Dr. Li Zheng

Dr. Li Zheng is now working as a senior engineer at GE GRC. She defended her Ph.D. dissertation at MIT in June, 2005. Dr. Zheng's thesis is entitled “Fracture of Welded Aluminum Thin-Walled Structures.” Before coming to MIT, she obtained her Masters degree at Wuhan University of Technology in China, where she primarily studied structural dynamics with a concentration on vibration prediction in high-speed vehicles. Additionally, she has earned professional experience on crashworthiness analysis and design through internships at General Motor Technical Center and Toyota R&D group.

Dr. Kirki Kofiani

Dr. Kirki Kofiani is currently a research engineer at Shell Oil R&D in Netherland. She defended her PhD in 2013 and contributed to a new Joint Industrial Project established between MIT and Shell Oil in the area of structural integrity steel pipes for Oil & Gas (O&G) installations. In 2009, she completed her Masters Degree in Ocean Engineering from MIT. Her thesis was entitled “A New Numerical Method for the Problem of Nonlinear Long-Short Wave Interactions”. Kirki received her Bachelors Degree from NTUA in 2006, majoring in Applied Mathematics. Her thesis was titled “Calculus on Functionals and Variational Formulation with Application to Mechanics”. Her current research interests include structural integrity and optimal design of large-scale metal structures at the offshore environment, global seabourne transportation assessment from the investor’s perspective and financial analysis of offshore O&G exploration and production assets.

Kai Wang


Dr. Kai Wang defended his PhD in 2015. He came to MIT after graduating with a Master’s degree in Automotive Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing. His research in Tsinghua University concentrated on the material testing of plastic and metal sheets. His PhD thesis is concerned with modeling, experimental and computational study of the effect of edge on fracture. During the past years he was a summer intern at VW R&D in Germany, Voestalpine in Austria and GE Global Research Center in US.

Stéphane Marcadet


Dr. Stéphane Marcadet completed his PhD studies at the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2015. He received his Diplôme d’ingénieur in 2010 from Ecole Polytechnique. He carried out his Diploma Thesis at MIT as a visiting student, working on the ductile fracture of AHSS steels. His research now focuses on the effect of reverse loading on the ductile fracture of AHSS steels. He also contributed to the development of a new damage accumulation rule for complex loading path and multiaxial loading.

Mr. Liang Xue

Mr. Liang Xue graduated from MIT on 2007 and subsequently worked as a post-doc with Professor Ted Belytschko in Northwestern university. Before joining MIT he graduated from the prestigious Shanghai Jiao Tong University. His studies there concentrated on automotive engineering. His professional experience includes production engineering with respect to automotive safety for Volkswagen. After coming to MIT, he worked closely with Professor Wierzbicki on the reconstruction of the aircraft penetration into the World Trade Center. The title of his proposed thesis is “Theory and Application in Ductile Fracture Modeling.” Currently he is associated with the O&G industry.

Dr. Carey Walters

Dr. Carey Walters has completed his Ph. D. Thesis in August 2009 and he is currently working at TNO in the Netherlands. He came to MIT after four years in the industry. His professional experience includes simulation of the crash of helicopters for Sikorsky Aircraft. Since he has been at MIT, he has represented the ICL as a visiting engineer to Ferrari. His most recent research has been in the development of new techniques for the characterization of plasticity for full-thickness sheet metal as well as static and dynamic fracture characterization of an Advanced High Strength Steel.

CDR Andy Gish


CDR Andy Gish is currently an Assistant Professor in US Navy Academy in Annapolis. His PhD work was on modeling the implosion process of cylinders. He completed the Naval Engineering and Construction program at MIT in 2004, earning the degrees of Naval Engineer and Master of Science in Ocean Systems Management. He has served eighteen years in the Navy as a submarine officer and engineering duty officer, specializing in submarine maintenance, design, and underwater systems. CDR Gish returned to MIT in 2010 to pursue a PhD. His research is in the area of underwater implosion mechanics and the subsequent effect on adjacent structures

LCDR Joseph Meier


LCDR Joseph Meier, USN was a member of the MIT Impact and Crashworthiness Lab, and a career Naval Officer pursuing Master’s degrees in Mechanical and Naval Engineering in 2012-2013. His master thesis at MIT was concerned with static and dynamic tests of components and entire li-ion battery cells. In steptember 2012 he visited the research facility of the Ernst Mach Fraunhofer Insitube in Germany to perform experiments on fully charged batteries. After graduation, he reported for duty to the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, Groton, CT.

LT Kyle Miller


LT Kyle Miller is a third year graduate student and a member of the MIT Impact and Crashworthiness Lab. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2008 with a B.S. in Systems Engineering. After serving 3 years onboard a US Naval destroyer as the Gunnery and Force Protection Officer, he reported for graduate school at MIT in 2011. LT Miller will graduate in 2014 with Master’s degrees in both Mechanical and Naval Engineering. His current research deals with improving the safety of Lithium Ion battery components.

LT Evangelos Koutsolelos


LT Evangelos Koutsolelos graduated with a Masters degree from the Naval Engineers and Mechanical Engineering programs. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering from the Hellenic Naval Academy in 2001. Afterwards he served in the Hellenic Navy in a frigate for one year and later in an auxiliary ship for six months with several duties (Engines Officer, Damage Control Officer and Auxiliary Systems Officer). From 2003 to 2009 he served in submarines. His research at ICL was focused on analysis and simulation of cutting high strength tubes by a shear ram.

LT Christopher MacLean

LT Christopher MacLean graduated with a Masters degree from the Naval Engineers and Mechanical Engineering programs. He graduated from Tulane University in 2007 earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Business. After his commissioning he reported to USS Stephen W Groves (FFG 29) in Mayport, Florida. He served as the ships’ Electrical Officer, Main Propulsion Officer and Educational Services Officer. His awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon. Chris’ research at ICL was focused on characterization of plasticity and fracture properties of DH36 Navy Steel.

LT Rich Hill

LT Rich Hill graduated with a Masters degree from the Naval Engineers and Mechanical Engineering programs. His Thesis title was “Development of Representative Volume Element of Lithium-ion Batteries for Thermo-Mechanical Integrity”. He received a BS from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy. Afterwards he served three years on a ballistic missile submarine followed by a two year tour as the division officer of the Officer - Chemistry, Materials, and Radiological Fundamentals course at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command. Rich’s research at ICL was focused on improving the safety of Lithium Ion batteries used by the U.S. Navy.

CDR John Campbell

CDR John Campbell graduated with a Masters degree in the Naval Engineers and Mechanical Engineering programs. He received a BS from the Department of Chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy. Afterwards he served three years onboard a ballistic missile submarine followed by a two year tour at Strategic Systems Programs where he earned a MS in Engineering Management from Catholic University of America. He completed a second sea tour of two years onboard a fast attack submarine and two years on an aircraft carrier followed by a tour at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard where he was an assistant project superintendent for repair and overhaul of submarines.