CLMI – Dr. Timothy Truster

Computational Laboratory for the Mechanics of Interfaces



09/06/2016: Two graduate student openings, starting Fall 2017 – FILLED

Two possible positions for PhD students may open starting in Fall semester 2017 at the Computational Laboratory for the Mechanics of Interfaces. The research topics focus on (1) Modeling of titanium alloys using dislocation density based crystal plasticity finite element method; and (2) Thermo-mechanical modeling of damage in fiber-reinforced composite materials using mixture theory.

Candidates should possess a master’s degree in civil, mechanical, or other related engineering field at the time of enrollment at UTK. A strong background in computational mechanics, materials science of metals, and/or computer programming in MATLAB and FORTRAN is desired. US citizenship or residency is also desired, though not required.

If interested, contact Dr. Truster directly at ttruster@utk.edu. Please include your CV along with a brief description of prior research experiences and how your interests align with the research conducted at CLMI. In your CV, include: GPA, GRE test scores, and publication list.


07/26/2016: NSF Funded Project: Crystallographic Effects on Creep and Fracture in Salt Rock

Drs. Khalid Alshibli and Timothy Truster received funding through the NSF-CMMI Geotechnical Engineering and Materials program for their proposal entitled “3D Experimental and Computational Studies of Crystallographic Effects on Creep and Fracture in Salt Rock.” This research combines nondestructive 3D x-ray diffraction (3DXRD), 3D synchrotron micro-computed tomography (SMT) in-situ experimental measurements, and 3D crystal-plasticity modeling to enhance current understanding of creep and crack formation and growth mechanisms in polycrystalline rock. See additional details on the research page.


06/20/2016: Sunday Aduloju attends Sandia NOMAD Institute

CLMI graduate assistant Sunday Aduloju participated in the project “Designing Brittle Fracture Specimens to Investigate Environmentally Assisted Crack Growth” through the 3rd Nonlinear Mechanics and Dynamics Summer Research Institute (NOMAD) from June 20 to July 29, 2016, at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Sunday worked alongside graduate assistant Wenjia Gu from Cornell University; project mentors were Drs. Scott Grutzik, Dave Reedy, John Emery, and Timothy Truster.

The goal of this project is to design a new specimen for conducting experiments involving environmentally assisted crack growth (EACG). Under inert conditions, a crack in a brittle material will only grow when the stress intensity factor at the crack tip equals the fracture toughness. If water is present, water molecules can interact with material at the crack tip to cause slow crack propagation at lower stresses. EACG is a type of sub-critical crack growth and can cause flaws that would otherwise be stable to grow to a point where they become critical. In the past, EACG has been studied under a variety of conditions but specimens have always required a load to be externally applied. In this project, a new type of test specimen will be designed consisting of a bonded beam with two materials have slightly different coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). The dimensions of the beam and the material selection will be determined through computational fracture mechanics modeling performed using ABAQUS and FRANC3D. Results from the project will be presented in a group poster at the NOMAD Institute and later published through conference proceedings.


04/09/2016: New ABAQUS examples released for DEI Program

A new version of the DEI program has been released which has expanded examples for transferring the interface element modified meshes into the finite element program ABAQUS. Read more about the features of the software, related publications, and download the source code from the software page.


03/20/2016: Dr. Truster receives AFRL Summer Faculty Fellowship

Dr. Timothy Truster was awarded a fellowship for the Summer Faculty Fellowship Program at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio. He will be conducting research in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at the Wright-Patterson AFB during the summer on the topic of “Crystal Plasticity Modeling of Microtextured Regions in Ti-6242 Alloy”.


10/25/2015: Graduate assistantship for crystal plasticity modeling – FILLED

We have an open PhD position starting in either the Spring or Fall semester 2016 at the Computational Laboratory for the Mechanics of Interfaces. The research topic centers upon the modeling of texture evolution in FCC and BCC metals using dislocation density based crystal plasticity. Particular emphasis is placed upon cyclic mechanical loading as well as the thermomechanical coupling between heat generation due to plastic deformations and degradation of material properties due to rising temperature.

Candidates should possess a master’s degree in civil, mechanical, or other related engineering field at the time of enrollment at UTK. A strong background in computational mechanics, materials science of metals, and/or computer programming in MATLAB and FORTRAN is desired. US citizenship or residency is also desired, though not required.

If interested, contact Dr. Truster directly at ttruster@utk.edu. Please include your CV along with a brief description of prior research experiences and how your interests align with the research conducted at CLMI. In your CV, include: GPA, GRE test scores, and publication list.


09/10/2015: Minisymposia at EMI 2016 Conference: Computational Mechanics and Interface Modeling

We are co-hosting two mini-symposia at the EMI 2016 Conference at Vanderbilt University http://www.vanderbilt.edu/emipmc2016/.

Abstracts are sought that are relevant to the following topics:

“Computational Methods and Applications for Solid and Structural Mechanics”

The aim of this minisymposium is to provide a forum for discussing the novel computational methods and applications that pertain to solid and structural mechanics problems. This minisymposium seeks to bring together students, academicians and professionals working on computational solid and structural mechanics. In particular, contributions on the following topics are of significant interest: (a) novel discretization techniques and computational methods for contact, fracture, interface modeling and other important engineering problems; (b) multiscale modeling and methods for heterogeneous materials including composites, concrete, wood, and others; (c) multiscale modeling and methods for structural mechanics problems; (d) computational methods for time dependent structural and material response (collapse, creep, fatigue, etc.); (e) modeling of multiphysics phenomena (e.g., coupling of mechanics with electromagnetic, chemical, or transport effects); (f) solution techniques, error estimation, algorithmic analysis and convergence studies in computational mechanics. This MS is sponsored by the EMI Computational Mechanics Committee.

“Modeling the Mechanics of Material Surfaces and Interfaces”

The intent of this symposium is to bring together researchers investigating the mechanics and physics of interfaces, including free boundaries or surfaces. Interfaces are a critical physical feature of many natural and engineered systems. The computational modeling of such systems is complicated by evolving discontinuities, capturing local spatial and temporal scales that can be orders of magnitude below the system scales, as well as the formation and/or interaction of free surfaces. Problem classes include, but not limited to, contact and friction between deformable bodies, delamination or fracture in materials, localization or boundary layer tracking, fluid-structure interaction, and growth instabilities in biological/material systems. Computational techniques that address stability issues in interface methods and imposition of interface conditions, such as, mortar finite element methods, discontinuous Galerkin methods, extended/generalized finite element methods (XFEM/GFEM), Nitsche methods, mixed interpolation methods, and embedded mesh methods are welcome. Submissions that relate to either the development of such methods or their application to engineering problems are encouraged.

Further information can be found on the conference website http://www.vanderbilt.edu/emipmc2016/EMI.mini-symposia.php. Deadline for abstract submission is October 15, 2015.


07/24/15: Nonlinear Mechanics and Dynamics Summer Research Institute

The 2nd Nonlinear Mechanics and Dynamics Summer Research Institute was held from June 23 to July 31, 2015, at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The institute hosted 25 graduate students and 14 staff and faculty mentors from 11 countries and 17 universities. Students participated in 7 research projects focused on various aspects of interfacial mechanics, jointed structures, and other nonlinear mechanics and dynamics problems. The preliminary results from the institute will be presented at the 2015 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference in Boston on August 5, 2015.

Dr. Timothy Truster served both as a member of the organizing committee and as a faculty mentor for two student research groups. The first research project was a round robin comparison of numerical techniques for structural dynamics with nonlinearities. The students employed harmonic balance and transient simulation methods to predict the behavior of a beam containing a bolted joint. The second research project investigated the propagation of stress waves through jointed connections. The students compared quasi-static and transient numerical models for flexural and torsional loads applied to the same jointed beam. The numerical studies by these groups were complemented by experiments performed by other student teams on actual specimens of the jointed beam. Dr. Truster participated remotely in weekly project meetings to help direct the students. He also traveled to the institute during the weeks of July 13 – 24, 2015 to interact with the students and other international collaborators.

The third annual institute is currently being planned for summer 2016 to continue the studies on the dynamics of bolted structures and other nonlinear mechanics problems.

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