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Looking for a PhD student

A Ph.D. position has recently become available in my research group (, to explore thermo-mechanical
behavior of shape memory polymers for biomedical applications.  A
strong candidate with a M.S. or B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering,
Materials Science, or a related discipline is required.  A good
academic record, a clear interest in experimental sciences, and an
enthusiasm to conduct outstanding research are the only prerequisites.

Description for ABAQUS Assignment

For my semester project, I will investigate equilibrium geometries of ripples in an elastic sheet. In order to do so, I will need to learn how to study out of plane bending of a thin membrane with ABAQUS. The project can be divided into the following stages:

1. Set up the membrane geometry model in ABAQUS

2. Apply relevant boundary conditions and tractions

3. Set up the job

4. Run the job, and post-process

Solids Textbooks

      The texts from Timoshenko and Landau and Lifschitz are classics. I think learning the physical approach of L&L is particularly valuable. The following sections are available in L&L:

 1. Fundamental Equations

 2. Equilibrium of Rods and Plates

3. Elastic Waves

4. Thermal Conduction and Viscosity in Solids

Look for insightful physical explanations, and expect to read with a pen and paper at your side, to understand exactly the brilliance behind each statement made.

Final Project

This is my final project.

ES 240 Problem Set #8, Problem #20 - Green's function of biharmonic operator is not positive definite

Professor Vlassak mentioned that last year every single person did a finite element project.  He said he wanted to see more theory projects, so I decided to take him up on that.

I was browsing around one day and happened upon an article that explained that while the Green's function of the laplacian was positive definite, the biharmonic operator's Green's function is not.  Physically, this has significance. 

ES 240 Problem Set #8, Problem #20 - Project Description

I work in the Microrobotics lab here at Harvard, where we focus on the construction of biomimetic insect-sized microrobots. Traditional machining techniques are insufficient to create parts on this small scale, so we utlize laser-machined composite materials (such as carbon fiber), which are relatively rigid, and thin polymer films, which are relatively flexible. These materials can be sandwiched together in sheets to create compliant flexure joints, analagous to macro-scale revolute joints.

ES 240 student fall 2007

My undergraduate and master major is engineer mechanics. I have took several courses about this field, like theory of elasticity and mechanics of materials. But my major during master degree is plant bio-mechanics, especially the role of water surface tension and water transport. So I deeply feel that I need to learn solid mechanics again. That is why I choose this course.

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