Aerospace Materials


In the continuous pursuit of higher performance and lower weight, the search for advanced materials with high specific properties has always been a critical component of aerospace engineering. To optimize performance, aerospace systems usually involve a wide range of materials, from ceramic thermal barrier coatings in jet engines to carbon-fiber reinforced composites in wings and fuselages, from high-temperature TiAl metals to high strength Titanium used in landing gears. A growing area of research in aerospace materials focuses on developing multifunctional materials, i.e., materials that serve not only structural functions, but also other functions such as electro-magnetics, active cooling,


The research being conducted at Illinois in aerospace materials is very diverse. Several projects focus on characterizing experimentally and computationally the constitutive and failure properties of a wide range of materials at various length and time scales, and under a wide variety of loading conditions, from fatigue to impact. Other research projects focus on the development of novel manufacturing techniques, and on the design, manufacture and assessment of biomimetic, multifunctional materials.

Who are the faculty members in this area?

  • Ioannis Chasiotis- Experimental mechanics of MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS), thin films, and inhomogeneous/anisotropic materials at the nanoscale, deformation and damage mechanics of polymer nanocomposites
  • Huck Beng Chew- Fracture mechanics, nano- and micro-mechanics of materials, and multi-scale modeling of complex materials
  • Philippe Geubelle- Computational solid mechanics, computational aeroelasticity, fracture mechanics, novel material design, composite materials, multiscale modeling
  • Harry H. Hilton- Solid mechanics, viscoelasticity, composites, structures, dynamics, numerical analysis, computer-aided engineering, aeroelasticity, structural control
  • Kai James- Multidisciplinary design optimization, topology optimization, aeroelasticity, computational solid mechanics, nonlinear mechanics, additive manufacturing, multiscale modeling of materials
  • John Lambros- Static and dynamic fracture mechanics, high temperature fatigue
  • Scott R. White- Manufacturing of composites, composite materials, biomimetic multi-functional materials, self-healing materials, smart materials.