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MSE Distinguished Lecture Series: “Kirigami-Inspired Metamaterials – from Morphable Structures to Soft Robots” by Prof. Katia Bertoldi

January 24 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Speaker: Katia Bertoldi

Affiliation: Professor of Applied Mechanics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

Date and time: Friday, January 24, 2020, 1 – 2 PM

Location: Wallberg Building, 200  College St, Room 116

Abstract: In the search for materials with new properties, there have been great advances in recent years aimed at the construction of mechanical systems whose behaviour is governed by structure, rather than composition. Through careful design of the material’s architecture, new material properties have been demonstrated, including negative Poisson’s ratio, high stiffness-to-weight ratio and mechanical cloaking. While originally the field focused on achieving unusual (zero or negative) values for familiar mechanical parameters, more recently it has been shown that non-linearities can be exploited to further extend the design space.

In this talk I will focus on kirigami-inspired metamaterials, which are produced by introducing arrays of cuts into thin sheets. First, I will demonstrate that instabilities triggered under uniaxial tension can be exploited to create complex 3D patterns and even to guide the formation of permanent folds. Second, I will show that such non-linear systems can be used to designs smart and flexible skins with anisotropic frictional properties that enables a single soft actuator to propel itself. Finally, I will focus on bistable kirigami metamaterials and show that they provide an ideal environment for the propagation non-linear waves. Short Bio: Katia Bertoldi is the William and Ami Kuan Danoff Professor of Applied Mechanics at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). She earned master’s degrees from Trento University (Italy) in 2002 and from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) in 2003, majoring in Structural Engineering Mechanics. Upon earning a Ph.D. in Mechanics of Materials and Structures from Trento University in 2006, Katia joined the group of Mary Boyce at MIT as a postdoc. In 2008 she moved to the University of Twente (The Netherlands), where she was an Assistant Professor in the faculty of Engineering Technology.

In January 2010 Katia joined Harvard’s SEAS and established a group studying the mechanics of materials and structures. She is the recipient of the NSF Career Award 2011 and the ASME’s 2014 Howard Hughes Young Investigator Award.Katia’s research contributes to the design of materials with a carefully designed meso-structure that leads to novel effective behavior at the macroscale. She investigates both mechanical and acoustic properties of such structured materials, with a particular focus on harnessing instabilities and strong geometric non-linearities to generate new modes of functionality. Since the properties of the designed architected materials are primarily governed by the geometry of the structure (as opposed to constitutive ingredients at the material level), the principles she discovers are universal and can be applied to systems over a wide range of length scales.Katia’s work spans the Adaptive Material Technologies and Bioinspired Soft Robotics focus areas at the Wyss Institute.