The Demkowicz group works at the intersection of fundamental materials physics and computational design of structural materials. Rapid advances in structural material performance are required in energy, infrastructure, and transportation, but have been slow due to lack of a physics-based design capability suited to the unique challenges of structural materials. Our group has developed a research strategy built on “reduced order mesoscale models,” or ROMMs, which enable multiscale simulations, tailored experiments, and physics-based design of structural materials.
The central aim of ROMMs is to capture the essential physics of complex, collective material phenomena in a simplified model that uses far fewer degrees of freedom than a fully atomistic view. For example, dislocation mechanics may be considered a ROMM for crystal plasticity. However, to tackle materials design for previously intractable applications, the Demkowicz group goes beyond crystal defects to understand and encapsulate in ROMMs the more complex behavior of heterophase interfaces, general grain boundaries, and amorphous solids.