Estéfan Garcia

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Prof. Garcia’s primary research interests are in the realm of granular materials and granular systems. Granular and particulate materials represent some of the most commonly manipulated materials in our society. A fundamental understanding of their behavior at the scale of individual grains or particles has wide-ranging benefits in several fields including civil engineering, geology, additive manufacturing, and planetary exploration. Prof. Garcia uses advanced numerical modeling techniques that can simulate large-strain behavior while also capturing directly the fundamental discontinuous nature of granular systems. His simulations rely on high-performance computing to simulate the interactions of millions of grains within a particle assemblage as the entire mass undergoes large-strain deformation due to phenomena such as earthquake surface fault rupture and trapdoor displacement. This approach allows us to model phenomena at the near-surface such as liquefaction or larger-scale phenomena such as tectonic deformations. The focus on individual particles elucidates the influence of depositional history and soil fabric on the deformation behavior of soils. This line of research advances understanding of how ground surface deformations can impact infrastructure and ultimately aims to improve the resiliency of infrastructure against geologic hazards.

X-ray tomography scan of an intact naturally deposited shoal sample with individual grains labelled and colorized.

Vishwas Goel

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Research Description
Multi-scale modeling of electrochemical systems

Katsuyo Thornton, Materials Science and Engineering

Jie Shen

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Dr. Shen is a professor in the department of computer & information science, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA. He is a fellow of ASME & IET, and the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Modelling and Simulation (CiteScore 2018: 1.03), which is an EI-indexed, peer-reviewed research journal published through UK-based Taylor & Francis Group both in print and online. Professor Shen has published over 130 technical papers, 3 books, and organized many international conferences/workshops. His research areas include Modeling and Simulation, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Numerical Analysis and Optimization, Robotics, Data Science, Sensor Technology, Data Fusion, and Computational Materials Science. Dr. Shen is an innovator who is the creator of two software tools: (a) UM GeoModifier and (b) UM MatDiagnoser. He also contributed to the development of the well-known software OptiStruct.

Intelligent Multiscale Computational Diagnosis of Materials Performance and Life

Camille Avestruz

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Dr. Avestruz is a computational cosmologist. She uses simulations to model, predict, and interpret observed large-scale cosmic structures. Her primary focus is to understand the evolution of galaxy clusters. These are the most massive gravitationally collapsed structures in our universe, comprised of hundreds to thousands of galaxies. Other aspects of her work prepare for the next decade of observations, which will produce unprecedented volumes of data. In particular, she is leading software development efforts within the clusters working group of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope to calibrate galaxy cluster masses from simulation data. Dr. Avestruz also incorporates big data methods, including machine learning, to extract gravitational lensing signatures that probe the mass distribution of massive galaxies and galaxy clusters.

[Click on image to see video] Image projection of various components and properties of a simulated galaxy cluster in its last 8 gigayears of formation. The top left panel shows the underlying dark matter content, the top middle image shows the distribution of stars, and the remaining four panels are properties of the gas content: density, temperature, entropy, and metallicity. To model the evolution of galaxy clusters in a cosmological volume, the simulation uses adaptive refinement in space and time in order to span the relevant dynamic range of the system.

Wei Lu

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Wei Lu is Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests lie in the modeling and simulation of the evolution of nano and microstructures. His research group studies the mechanics involved in nano and micro systems, as well as the mechanical properties and performance of advanced materials. These include the joining of dissimilar materials, the fretting wear of structures, and electrochemical mechanical processes in battery systems. They use multi-scale analysis, and machine learning techniques combined with experimental methods to design and optimize new materials.

Trachette Jackson

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Trachette L. Jackson is Full Professor in the Mathematics Department, who specializes in Computational Cancer Research or Mathematical Oncology.   A focus of Dr. Jackson’s research has been achieving a unified understanding of how signaling molecules, cells, and micro-environmental structures coordinate to control blood vessel generation, morphology and functionality during tumor growth.  Her work aims to biochemically and biomechanically characterize the collective motion vascular endothelial cells, one of most important cell types involved in cancer development due to their role in angiogenesis.

With an eye toward addressing critical challenges associated with targeted molecular therapeutics, for example determining which drugs are the best candidates for clinical trials, Dr. Jackson also develops multiscale mathematical models that are designed to optimize the use of targeted drug treatment strategies.  These mathematical models connect the molecular events associated with tumor growth and angiogenesis with the temporal changes in tumor cell and endothelial cell proliferation, migration and survival, and link these dynamics to tumor growth, vascular composition, and therapeutic outcome.


Yue Fan

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Yue Fan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The primary research interest in his group is to provide a substantive knowledge on the mechanics and micro-structural evolution in complex materials systems under extreme environments via predictive modeling. In particular, they focus on describing highly disordered systems (such as glasses, grain boundaries, etc) from the perspective of potential energy landscape (PEL), and correlating materials properties with their underlying PEL structures. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the development of new science-based high performance materials with novel functions and unprecedented strength, durability, and resistance to traditional degradation and failure.

Evgueni Filipov

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Evgueni Filipov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research interests lie in the field of deployable and reconfigurable structural systems. Folding and adaptable structures based on the principles of origami can have practical applications ranging in scale and discipline from biomedical robotics to deployable architecture.

His research is focused on developing computational tools that can simulate mechanical and multi-physical phenomena of deployable structures. The analytical models incorporate folding kinematics along with local and global phenomenological behaviors. Prof. Filipov uses finite element and  constitutive modeling to better understand how geometry affects elastic deformations and other physical properties of the deployable and adaptable structures. He is interested in optimization of such systems and large scale parametric studies to explore the design space and potential applications of the systems.

Elastic deformations of a deployable origami tubes (Filipov et al. PNAS 2015)

Elastic deformations of a deployable origami tubes (Filipov et al. PNAS 2015)

Richard Rood

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Ricky Rood is a Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. His current research and teaching focus is on climate change and its repercussions in society. His research history includes numerical modeling of trace constituents and atmospheric dynamics. He was director of NASA’s Center for Computational Science at Goddard Space Flight Center. He is currently consulting with NOAA on the Next Generation Global Prediction System.

Professor Rood is an active member of the climate science community, working on strategic approaches to the climate-change problem solving. He writes blogs for and and he is a main contributor of The Climate Workspace project,, a site that supports an online community of people working to address climate change questions and problems.


Ming Xu

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Ming Xu is an Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability, and in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The focus of his research is to understand the interaction between industrial systems and the biophysical environment. His goal is to provide an understanding of driving forces of environmental pressures and to help find an alternative pathway to reduce these pressures. Prof. Xu inherently interdisciplinary research combines data science, complex systems modeling and industrial ecology.