Soft structures: tuning functionalities through deformation
Speaker: Katia Bertoldi, Harvard University
Series: MAE Departmental Seminars
Location: Bowen Hall Room 222
Date/Time: Friday, November 30, 2012, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Soft materials have traditionally been exploited to design and fabricate passive devices - such as tires, shock absorbers and vibration dampers. Here, we show that the use of soft materials in new structural layouts give the opportunity to create a new class of materials with responsive behavior. Although instabilities have traditionally been viewed as an inconvenience, they can be exploited to create materials with novel and switchable functionalities. Possible and exciting applications include materials with negative Poissons ratio, reversible encapsulation systems and systems capable of spontaneously switching between achiral and chiral configurations.
Katia Bertoldi is an Assistant Professor of Applied Mechanics at Harvard University. See earned master degrees from Trento University (Italy) in 2002 and from Chalmers University (Goteborg-Sweden) in 2003, majoring in Civil Engineering. Upon earning a Ph.D. degree in Mechanics of Materials and Structures from Trento University, in 2006, Bertoldi joined the Mechanics Engineering Department at MIT for a PostDoc under the supervision of Mary Boyce. In 2008 she joined the faculty of University of Twente (the Netherlands) and in 2010 she moved to Harvard University. Her group focuses on the mechanics of soft, active and foldable structures.