Mechanics of solids caters to a longstanding interest of the Department, spanning multiple scales (macro to micro) and multiple domains (fracture, MEMS, biomechanics). Work in this broad area includes analytical, computational, and experimental research projects. Prof. K.R.Y. Simha studies fracture in thin-film coating, dynamic loading on plates and shells for impact-resistant shields, and more recently, fracture in friction-stir welded joints. Prof. R. Narasimhans group has been actively involved in analytical, experimental and computational studies on crack-tip fields and void growth in ductile face-centered cubic (FCC) single crystals. These investigations have established the structure of these fields for different lattice orientations, constraint levels and fracture configurations. He has also been working on the role of several factors such as pressure-sensitive yielding, internal friction, flow softening, Poissons ratio and mode-mixity in the fracture response of bulk metallic glasses (BMGs). Prof. C.S. Jog has made substantial strides on the formulation of the finite element method with the implementation of hybrid elements, wherein displacement and stress are independently interpolated for computational benefits in multiphysics simulations.
In addition to extensive research in fracture and computational mechanics, recently a number of faculty are exploring other aspects of solid mechanics. Prof. Namrata Gundiah is engaged in experimental and computational work in biomechanics of tissue and cells. She has also studied the mechanics of insect boring. Prof. Ramsharan Rangarajan conducts research aimed at probing the role of geometry in slender structures such as beams, ribbons, and shells. Prof. G.K. Ananthasureshs group studies mechanics-based design of compliant mechanisms, growth modeling in plant leaves and inverse problems in elastic mechanics. His group has ongoing work in multiple pathways in bistable arches and shells with innovative designs of devices that exploit this feature.