Matthew Grasinger (email | web ) is currently a postdoc at the Air Force Research Laboratory; and he received his Ph.D. in Computational Mechanics from Carnegie Mellon University. At Carnegie Mellon, he worked on the multiscale modeling and design of dielectric elastomers; and since then has worked on 1) the theory and design for the flexoelectricity of elastomers and 2) the mathematics and mechanics of origami. Broadly speaking, he is interested in how altering properties at smaller length and time scales varies the bulk behavior of a system. This is especially relevant to the design of materials, as the design-length-scale, e.g. molecules, cells, creases in an origami, is generally much smaller than the scale of design objective. Through multiscale design, he aims to develop materials whose constituent parts "cooperate" in new and interesting ways to achieve functional behavior, such as energy conversion, shape-morphing, etc., and to push the limits of what material properties are achievable.

Talk details: Architected Elastomer Networks for Optimal Electromechanical Response
We explore how various structural properties of an elastomer network (e.g. density of cross-links, fraction of loose-end monomers, orientation density of chains, etc.) 1) affect its bulk elastic and dielectric properties, and 2) can be designed to optimize its performance as an actuator. This is followed by a brief discussion of how this process may be generalized for designing other soft multifunctional materials and for designing specialized, application-specific, or shape-morphing electroactive materials.