4-H Career Explorations

The MMD lab hosted a University U workshop as part of the annual 4-H Career Explorations program on Cornell’s campus. Six groups of rising 8th and 9th graders from around NY State rotated through our 80 minute session “Breaking Bonds and Changing Colors: A Mechanical Engineering Take on Chemistry”. Students acted out different types of bonds and conducted their own tensile tests. Although not depicted here, everyone in the lab rotated through running the sessions. Thanks to Alexa Maille and the rest of the 4-H team for a very helpful training workshop and making all the organizational aspects run seamlessly.

Group Outing and Undergrad Welcome

The MMD lab survived its first ever group Cayuga Lake trip. And we even found some other kayakers to take our picture!

Also, welcome to our summer undergraduates Maegan Cremar, Kenneth Fang, and Julia Owens.

kayak trip

Naigeng participates in student paper competition

Graduate student Naigeng Chen was accepted into the the Society for Experimental Mechanics student paper competition earlier this spring and competed this past week at the annual conference in Indianapolis. He presented the approach he has developed over the past two years for determining bond strength in non-wovens.


Simulated Compression of Single Chain Polymer Nanoparticles (SCPN)

Graduate student Suwon Bae has published his work on the thermo-mechanical properties of single chain polymer nanoparticles in Soft Matter. This work is in collaboration with Or Galant of the Diesendruck group at the Technion who spent the summer as a visiting student in our lab. This first ever study on the mechanical properties of SCPN showed through molecular dynamics simulations that many of the design rules for bulk polymers apply to SCPN as well.

SCPN graphical abstract


Prof Silberstein won the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her proposed research project “Building a Mechanistic Understanding of Mechanochemically Adaptive Polymers.” This 5 year grant will enable the MMD lab to significantly advance the mechanics framework for mechanochemically enabled function in both rubbery and glassy materials. This work will lead to materials that adapt productively to the onset of mechanical damage rather than degrade.

Welcome to new(ish) group members

Welcome to postdoctoral associate Yuval Vidavsky, PhD candidate Duhan Zhang, and MS candidate Zelin Linghu. Yuval joins us from Stratasys and has a PhD in Chemistry from Ben Gurion University.  Duhan has an MS in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell and has already passed her Mechanical Engineering doctoral qualifying exam. Zelin comes to us from Tsinghua University where he has recently completed his BS in Automotive Engineering.

PBS Nova -Treasures of the Earth

Our morphing metal work from last spring was highlighted in a recent PBS Nova Documentary:  “Treasured of the Earth: Metals“. Check out Professors Shepherd and Silberstein and graduate student Ilse Van Meerbeek in the future of metals segment. Available on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAboGHdIykA.