Dinesh R. Katti, professor of civil engineering, gave an invited plenary keynote lecture, titled Molecular Interactions Impact the Mechanics of Nanomaterials: A Paradigm Shift in Mechanics, at the Engineering Mechanics Institutes international conference June 17-20. The conference was held at the University of Notre Dame.
The Engineering Mechanics Institute represents engineering mechanics worldwide and promotes research and application to address a variety of engineering and societal issues.
In his talk, Katti described A tale of four nanomaterials, and that this is the best of times, with accessibility of high performance computational resources as well as advanced nanoscale instrumentation, enabling the robust incorporation of molecular scale behavior in mechanics.
Katti described the work of his research group at NDSU on four nanomaterials nacre (the inner layer of seashells), bone, polymer-clay nanocomposites and swelling clays. The research highlighted that molecular scale phenomena play vital qualitative and quantitative roles across a range of nanomaterial systems that include materials of biological, synthetic and geologic origin.
Katti described the advent of a new era in engineering mechanics that deals with advanced nanomaterials requiring a paradigm shift in the evolution of engineering mechanics as well as a need for a shift in education of the next generation of engineers.
The plenary lecture was followed by discussion with panelists Zdenek P. Bazant, professor at Northwestern University and member of the National Academy of Science and National Academy of Engineering, and Christian Hellmich, head of engineering mechanics at Technical University, Vienna, Austria.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.