Mechanics, Materials and Structures
The Program in Mechanics, Materials, and Structures (MMS) integrates cutting-edge research in structural engineering and design with new sensors for structural health monitoring, advanced computational methods, materials science and engineering, and risk assessment. The Program builds on diverse strengths of its faculty members to provide an outstanding educational experience. Within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the MMS program is paired with the Program in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources (EEWR) to provide the two main tracks that departmental graduate students can pursue.
Current areas of research related to structures include analysis and design of structures in seismically active areas; vulnerability of buildings to progressive collapse; response of structures to extreme loads including impact loading, blast loading, and fires; efficient design of buildings including form-finding designs; and active projects at the intersection of structures and art, in a field called Structural Art. A recent example of the structural art activities is the museum exhibit focused on the buildings of Felix Candela; the exhibit is titled “Felix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist”.
Within the area of materials are projects focused on bulk mechanical and transport properties of porous materials; anomalous behavior of liquids in nanoporous materials; mechanisms responsible for deterioration of concrete and other building materials, particularly by crystallization of salt and ice; and the structure and properties of gels.
Computational materials research includes numerical simulation of crack growth and propagation in layered and polycrystalline structures and topology optimization of materials microstructure. Students can participate in the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), which provides special courses, experimental facilities, and interdisciplinary interactions necessary for research in modern materials science and engineering.