headshot of Ryan Hurley

Ryan Hurley

Research Area 1 – Focus Area 2 Coordinator

Internal (URA) Collaborators

Ryan Hurley is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, a fellow of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering. He received his PhD from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2015, where he studied the behavior of granular materials using computational modeling and small-scale experiments. Hurley performed his postdoctoral research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) from 2015 – 2017, where he first developed computational methods for wave propagation through rocks for which he received a 2017 Department of Energy Secretary’s Appreciation Award for contributions to the Source Physics Experiment. During his time at LLNL, Hurley also independently led a Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project to study the mechanical compaction of granular materials using X-ray imaging and diffraction.
Hurley joined the Whiting School of Engineering faculty in 2018. His research group develops and uses novel experiments and numerical models to study the mechanical behavior and failure mechanisms of granular materials, rocks, concrete, and ceramics. His group is a frequent user of synchrotron X-ray facilities around the world, at which they seek to see and understand deformation mechanisms in materials at the smallest length and time scales. Their work has been featured in journals such as The Journal of the Physics and Mechanics of Solids and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Hurley is an active member of professional societies including the Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI), where he is a member of the Computational Mechanics and Granular Materials committees, the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), where he is a corresponding TC105 member, the Society of Engineering Science (SES), and the American Physical Society (APS). He serves as co-editor of the open-source journal Open Geomechanics, and has served as a reviewer for numerous journals such as The Journal of Geophysical Research and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and funding agencies such as the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO), and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Beginning in 2020, Hurley serves as the co-chair of the Mach Conference held annually in Annapolis, Maryland.

Hurley received a Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) award in 2018 from the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO), and a 2020 CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Ph.D. Applied Mechanics 2015, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
M.S. Applied Mechanics 2012, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
B.S. Civil Engineering 2011, University of Maryland College Park
2015 – 2017: Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Geosciences, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
2012 – 2015: Research Assistant, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
Dynamic behavior of materials
Experimental mechanics
FRACTURE mechanics
GRANULAR materials
Geologic materials
Mechanics of materials

Focus Areas