Mission Statement

Structures are all around us at multiple length scales, ranging from the magnificent Eiffel Tower to a biomedical robot that can deliver drugs inside your body. Advanced structural design is a pressing necessity as we entered a new era of increased demands on products with versatility like the Swiss Army knife that can handle multiple tasks. This implies that the future of structural design is to discover new classes of geometric forms whose properties can be tailored for improved performance and multi-functional features. In fact, the community of applied mechanics is experiencing a paradigm shift over the last decade in terms of rekindling the popularity of the study of mechanical instabilities such as buckling. The growing body of research explores buckling-induced large deformations as positive phenomena. Researchers from various disciplines have formed an active branch (coined “extreme mechanics”) and harnessed the buckling of slender elements to design new classes of structures, systems, and materials with unprecedented properties and functions.

The Versatile Structures Lab at Ohio State is thus motivated to push the boundaries of the emerging extreme mechanics movement by exploiting geometric forms and their mechanical performance with the aim of developing innovative materials, devices and systems at various length scales. In our review paper, we highlighted recent advances in buckling-induced smart applications and identified research gaps in this exciting research direction. Thus, our lab is dedicated to define a future frontier of structural engineering by demonstrating how this discipline can go beyond the traditional task of designing large-scale structures and move into a holistic interdisciplinary platform.

Core Expertise

  • Apply the interdisciplinary approach to develop sustainable and resilient structural solutions in a variety of length scales
  • Design modular structural elements and systems using mechanical instabilities to achieve multi-functional features beyond their traditional roles of carrying loads
  • Characterize mechanical behavior of structural materials and elements through prototyping, analyses, experiments, and simulations

Research Interests

Core Interests:

  • Materials and structures with tailorable feature
  • Adaptive and resilient structural elements against extreme events
  • Morphing and reconfigurable structural systems using origami and kirigami
  • Innovative structural design using topology optimization and machine learning
  • Biomimetics and bio-inspired structural design
  • Additive manufacturing and 3D printing in the large-scale structural application
  • Art and history of architectural and structural design
  • Self-sensing, self-healing and self-repairing materials against structural degradation
  • Bridge design and construction (e.g. high-speed rail)

Broader Interests:

  • Stretchable, wearable or implantable electronics
  • Multifunctional soft robots
  • Self-assembly of materials and devices
  • Active and responsive materials

Active Research Projects

  • Tunable failure in non-periodic architected materials
  • Adaptive structures using local material fuses
  • Enhanced structural resiliency using multistable panel
  • Smart actuation with kirigami design
  • Smart damping mechanism using interactive buckling