Computational Mechanics Research and Education in the University of Utah’s Department of Mechanical Engineering is developing mathematical models to represent physical phenomena and applying modern computing methods to analyze these phenomena. Core strengths include fluids, solids, multiscale materials, and acoustics and vibrations.

Faculty and Labs

Marc Calaf
Lab – Wind Energy & Turbulence

The Wind Energy and Turbulence laboratory was designed to improve the current understanding of wind energy harvesting. To achieve this goal we dedicate much of our efforts to develop new knowledge on the turbulent atmospheric boundary layer. Our focus resides on using high resolution numerical simulations which we ultimately complement with the analysis of experimental data.

Learn more

Brittany Coats
Lab: Utah Head Trauma Lab

Explores the microscopic and macroscopic structure of the head and eye at different stages of development. We use principals of engineering to characterize the biomechanical response of these structures to injury and disease. This helps us understand the initiation of injury and disease, but also allow us to design and implement accurate and complex computer models that can accelerate the development of age-appropriate injury prevention, diagnosis and treatment strategies for traumatic brain and ocular injury.

Learn more

Henry Fu
Lab: Fluids and Biomechanics

Studies complex biomaterials and low-Reynolds number hydrodynamics, including the solid and fluid mechanics of swimming microorganisms and microengineered systems. Specific research projects involve swimming hydrodynamics in Newtonian and non-Newtonian biological fluids and gels, microrheology in gels, swimming hydrodynamics in shear flows, the behavior of chiral particles in shear flows, with application to chiral separation, microrobotic swimming, with application to drug delivery and microtransport and assembly, and flagella-based materials for bioenabled sensing and actuation.

Learn more

James Guilkey

Research interests include Computational Solid Mechanics and Fluid Structure Interaction, Mechanical Response of Multi-Cellular Constructs, and Multi-Scale Simulation.

Learn more

Jacob Hochhalter
Lab – Materials Prognosis from Integrated Modeling & Experiment (M’)

Researches emergent structural and material prognosis issues that involve the multiscale and stochastic nature of plasticity and fatigue cracking in structural materials. The research objective of the group is to leverage the ever-increasing capabilities in experimental observation and data analysis tools to provide new capabilities for prognosing reliability of advanced engineered structures and materials.

Learn more

Pania Newell
Lab – Integrated Multi-Physics Laboratory

Investigating multi-physics, multi-scale phenomena through integrating theoretical, experimental, computational analysis combined with data sciences.

Learn more

Robert G. Parker
Lab – Dynamics & Vibrations

Pursues research that merges academic investigations suitable for publication in leading journals with practical applications. While our primary goal is to pursue research valuable for the broad vibration research community, we select projects that are drawn from engineering applications. We pursue these goals while giving PhD and MS students in the lab academically exciting projects for them to develop their independent research skills and prepare for their future careers.

Learn More

Ashley Spear
Lab – Multiscale Mechanics & Materials

Conducts cutting-edge research at the nexus of materials and structures. We couple materials characterization with high-performance computing and data-driven analysis (including machine learning) to address a wide range of research topics that are especially pertinent to the defense, aerospace, and manufacturing communities.

Learn more

Wenda Tan
Lab – Laser-Based Manufacturing

Works to invent new techniques and improve existing techniques of laser-based manufacturing, striving to improve the accuracy, efficiency, and product properties of the manufacturing processes. Uses experiment and computer simulation techniques to understand the underlying physics of laser-based manufacturing processes, and we use such understanding to optimize the processes and maximize the potential of the techniques.

Learn more

Pai Wang
Lab – Utah Waves & Architected Materials

The group expertise lies at the multi-disciplinary intersection joining mechanics of materials, computational methods, acoustics and vibrations. Our studies focus on the design of artificially structured materials for wave manipulation. These functional composites are commonly referred to as phononic crystals and acoustic metamaterials  – systems with unconventional dynamic properties emerging from their micro-structures instead of their constituent materials. A central theme in this field is the emergence of acoustic/phononic band gaps – a range of frequency in which the propagation of elastic wave is suppressed.

Learn more