Pedro Ponte CastaƱeda
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Engineering and Applied Sciences/Mechanical Engineering

Research Interests:

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Nanomechanics

Research Overview: Professor Ponte's research is in the areas of nonlinear composite materials, microstructure evolution and localization in manufacturing processes, low-symmetry polycrystals, and thermoplastic elastomers. In the area of nonlinear composite materials, Pedro addresses nonlinear constitutive and kinematical effects as observed in low-temperature plasticity and high-temperature creep of metal-matrix composites, as well as in the large-deformation behavior of black-filled and porous elastomers. In microstructure evolution and localization in manufacturing processes, his lab is concerned with the theoretical development of constitutive models for porous materials, accounting for the evolution of the microstructure, which will be useful in assessing the effect of porosity on localization. He is developing constitutive models for low-symmetry polycrystals, and on the numerical implementation of these models in constitutive subroutines. In his examination of thermoplastic elastomers, Professor Ponte's lab is developing structure-property relations for styrenic thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). These are multiphase polymeric materials which consist of a phase (e.g., polybutadiene) giving rise to the rubbery nature of the materials, and a crystalline or glassy phase (e.g., polystyrene) yielding increased stiffness and enhanced large-deformation properties. TPEs exhibit structure a two different length scales and there is growing experimental evidence that this dual structure greatly affects the overall response of macroscopic samples. He is also developing constitutive models for magneto-elastic materials capable of undergoing large strains and investigating possible applications as active materials.

Selected Publications can be found here

Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, Harvard University, 1986.
M.S. Engineering Sciences, Harvard University, 1983.
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University, 1982.
B.A. Mathematics, Lehigh University, 1982

Honors and Awards:  Heilmeier Award for Excellence in Faculty Research, 2007 - ASME Achievement Award for Young Investigators in Applied Mechanics, 2000.