ME:6191 Graduate Seminar - Katia Bertoldi, PhD

Mar 4, 2021

03:30 PM - 04:20 PM

Online venue, Email ME-Dept@uiowa.edu for Zoom meeting link

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242

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Multistable structures - from deployable structures to robots


Multistable structures can reversibly change between multiple stable configurations when a sufficient energetic input is provided. While originally the field focused on understanding what governs the snapping, more recently it has been shown that these systems also provide a powerful platform to design a wide range of smart structures. 

In this talk, Dr. Bertoldi will first show that pressure-deployable origami structures characterized by two stable configurations provide opportunities for a new generation of large-scale inflatable structures that lock in place after deployment and provide a robust enclosure through their rigid faces. Then, she will demonstrate that the propagation of transition waves in a bistable one-dimensional linkage can be exploited as a robust mechanism to realize structures that can be quickly deployed. Finally, while in the first two examples multistability is harnessed to realize deployable architectures, Dr. Bertoldi will demonstrate that bistable building blocks can also be exploited to design crawling and jumping robots. Unlike previously proposed robots that require complex input control of multiple actuators, a simple, slow input signal suffices to make our system move, as all features required for locomotion are embedded into the architecture of the building blocks.


 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. She earned master 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. degree in Mechanics of Materials and Structures from Trento University, in 2006, Katia joined as a PostDoc the group of Mary Boyce at MIT.  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 the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University and established a group studying the mechanics of materials and structures. She is the recipient of the NSF Career Award 2011 and of the ASME's 2014 Hughes Young Investigator Award. She serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Extreme Mechanics Letters. She published over 120 peer-reviewed papers and several patents. For a complete list of publication and research information: https://bertoldi.seas.harvard.edu/  

Dr Bertoldi’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.

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