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Dynamic Behavior of Soft Materials and Biological Tissues Short Course (JHU)

December 11, 2014 @ 8:00 am - December 12, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

Dynamic Behavior of Soft Materials and Biological Tissues

Instructor: Dr. Wayne Chen, Professor of Aeronautics, Astronautics, and Materials Engineering at Purdue University

Location: Johns Hopkins University, Homewood Campus, Baltimore, MD

About the course:

This course presents an overview of the experimental methods to obtain the dynamic mechanical responses of soft materials and biological tissues. The main tool, Kolsky bar, also known as split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB), will be discussed in details in terms of its design, operation, and modifications. Examples are given illustrating the applications of this method in the dynamic characterization of polymers, foams, soft geo-materials, composites, fibers, and biological tissues. The main topics of the course are listed below.

  • Kolsky Bar Fundamentals: The mechanics of one-dimensional elastic waves; principle of Kolsky bar; Kolsky bar history and its modern versions.
  • Operations of Kolsky Bar: Design, instrumentation, and typical operation of a Kolsky bar; Challenges in Kolsky bar characterization of soft materials; remedies to obtain valid experimental results.
  • Pulse Shaping: The necessity of control over loading pulse profiles; the methods for pulse shaping; quantitative analysis of pulse shaping.
  • Dynamic Compression Experiments: Design of compression experiments to characterize soft materials; typical experiments on soft materials and results; new challenges when the specimen is extra soft.
  • Dynamic Tension Experiments: Tension Kolsky bar design for soft specimens, specimen gripping methods, typical tensile experimental results, dynamic behavior of fibers.
  • Experiments under Multiaxial Loading: Dynamic tri-axial experimental set-ups and their operations; proportional and non-proportional loading; high-rate experiments on pressure-sensitive materials.
  • Environmental Temperature Control: Computer-controlled dynamic experiments on specimens at low and high temperatures.
  • Integration of Synchrotron X-ray with Kolsky Bar: Real-time damage visualization methods to assess damage process in opaque specimens loaded by a Kolsky bar.


This course is information rich for graduate students, researchers and engineers who intended to conduct or evaluate experimental studies on dynamic response of soft materials and biological tissues. The course is also useful for modelers who are interested in learning the details of the dynamic experiments for either input or validation information.

About the instructor:

Professor Wayne Chen co-authored the book “Split Hopkinson (Kolsky) Bar: Design, Testing and Applications” published by Springer in 2011. He received his Ph.D. degree (1995) in Aeronautics from California Institute of Technology and is currently a Professor of Aeronautics, Astronautics, and Materials Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. His research interests are in the development of innovative dynamic experimental techniques and the characterization of the dynamic behavior of challenging materials. The precision dynamic experimental methods developed in his laboratory have been transferred to numerous government, university, and industrial laboratories. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Mechanics, and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Impact Engineering, serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Mechanics, and as a member of the United States National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.


Registration: Click here to register for this event. Cost is $500 or student registrants and $950 for professional registrants.

Travel and Accommodations:

For those traveling by air, we recommend flying in to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore.
Shuttle, taxi and rental car options are readily available at BWI for a reasonable price.
For those traveling by train, Baltimore’s Penn Station is a 10 minute drive from campus.
The Inn at the Colonnade is located within walking distance of Homewood Campus.

Cancellation Policy:

HEMI reserves the right to cancel a course up to 2 weeks before the scheduled presentation date. Please contact the HEMI office ([email protected]) to confirm that the course is happening before making non-refundable travel arrangements.

Information for course attendees:

If you are traveling by car, visitor parking is available in the South Garage. If you are using a GPS system for directions, the best address to use in 3101 Wyman Park Drive. We will have parking vouchers available when you arrive.

Malone Hall is the newest building on campus as is noted by number 45 on the Johns Hopkins campus map. Click HERE to view.