CLMI – Dr. Timothy Truster

Computational Laboratory for the Mechanics of Interfaces

07/09/2018: Two high school students visit for summer lab program

Two Tennessean high school students are visiting CLMI from July 9 to 12 for the High School Introduction to Engineering Systems for Twelfth Graders (HITES12) program.

The students will gain an appreciation for how computer programming can be useful for conducting computational materials science. They will also be exposed to the topics of composites and microstructural geometry as well as the benefits of computer modeling to help design future materials and perform safety analyses. The students use a finite element program to optimize the arrangement of phases in a polymer composite to be 3D printed, and then they’ll present their findings on July 13 at the Engineering Design Showcase.

05/09/2018: Version 1.3 released for DEIProgram

The latest version of the DEIProgram has been released. This software package for MATLAB and OCTAVE performs insertion of interface elements into finite element meshes.

New features include:

  • Import and export mesh functionality with Gmsh and Code_Aster software
  • Pyramid elements added for 3d models
  • Several additional example files highlighting these capabilities

Previous versions have been downloaded more than 350 times.

Read more about the features of the software, related publications, and download the source code from the software page.

3/14/2018: Dr. Truster receives NSF CAREER Award

Dr. Timothy Truster was selected as a recipient of 2018 NSF CAREER award from the Mechanics of Materials and Structures for the proposal entitled “Predictive Fatigue Behavior of Structural Materials Through Computationally-Informed Textural and Microstructural Influences”. This research aims to discover how grain interactions in polycrystalline structural materials influence the distribution of local stresses that drive fatigue crack nucleation and growth, thereby reducing the uncertainty of why cracks form where they do. See more information at

More information about the project will be posted on the Research page.

10/29/2017: Version 1.2 released for DEIProgram

The latest version of the DEIProgram has been released. This software package for MATLAB and OCTAVE performs insertion of interface elements into finite element meshes.

New features include:

  • Streamlined function calls to node duplication and coupler insertion scripts
  • Extended examples for multi-material models
  • Element type conversion and utility routines

Previous versions have been downloaded more than 300 times.

Read more about the features of the software, related publications, and download the source code from the software page.

10/10/2017: Minisymposium at WCCM2018: Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME)

We are co-hosting the mini-symposium “Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME)” at the 2018 World Congress on Computational Mechanics in New York

Abstracts are sought that are relevant to the following topics:

ICME is an emerging field which promises to link manufacturing and design via advanced process-structure-property models in a seamless, integrated computational environment. It involves integration of information across different length and time scales for all relevant materials phenomena and enables concurrent analysis of manufacturing process and material properties within a holistic framework.
This mini-symposium focuses on such aspects and their integration in multiscale modeling approaches in general.
The topics covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Multiscale modeling: Strategies for representing the inherently multiscale nature of the problem covering different spatial or temporal scales
  • Enrichment and XFEM/GFEM methods
  • Adaptive mesh or sampling grid generation
  • Mesh generation
  • Process-structure models: Part-scale and multiscale simulation of the manufacturing process for predicting surface topology and microstructure including defects
  • Multi-scale material characterization
  • Structure based property prediction
  • Modeling of advanced manufacturing or joining processes
  • Modeling of novel material systems
  • Metal forming and materials processing simulation and design
  • Process-part optimization for design of structural parts/components
  • Verification, validation, and uncertainty quantification
  • Probabilistic methods in multiscale modeling

Further information can be found on the conference website. Deadline for abstract submission is December 31, 2017.

10/01/2017: Minisymposia at EMI 2018 Conference: Computational Methods and Applications for Solid and Structural Mechanics

We are co-hosting the mini-symposium “Computational Methods and Applications for Solid and Structural Mechanics” at the EMI 2018 Conference at MIT

Abstracts are sought that are relevant to the following topics:

The aim of this MS is to provide a forum for discussing the novel computational methods and applications that pertain to solid and structural mechanics problems. This MS 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 for modeling cracks and discontinuities (e.g., XFEM/GFEM, meshless methods, discrete elements, cohesive elements, peridynamics and others), (b) reliable computational damage mechanics formulations (e.g., nonlocal methods, gradient methods, other regularization techniques); (c) multiscale modeling and methods for heterogeneous materials including composites, concrete, wood, and others; (d) computational methods for modeling inelastic material behavior (creep, fatigue, plasticity, etc.); (e) multiscale modeling and methods for structural mechanics problems; (f) modeling of multiphysics phenomena (e.g., environment induced material degradation, coupling between mechanics and electromagnetic effects, mechanics and transport phenomena, coupling between mechanics and chemistry, and others). This MS is sponsored by the EMI Computational Mechanics Committee.

Further information can be found on the conference website. Deadline for abstract submission is January 31, 2018.

03/12/2017: Dr. Truster receives 2nd AFRL Summer Faculty Fellowship

Dr. Timothy Truster was awarded a second fellowship for the Summer Faculty Fellowship Program at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio. He will be continuing the research in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at the Wright-Patterson AFB from the previous summer on the topic of “Crystal Plasticity Modeling of Microtextured Regions in Ti-6242 Alloy”. This summer will emphasize the interaction of alpha particles within microtextured regions and the interaction of alpha and beta phases at higher processing temperatures.

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 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.

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