Ryan Hurley to Join HEMI Faculty in Summer 2017

Jun 23, 2015 | No Comments | By Jessica Ader

We are pleased to welcome Ryan Hurley who will join WSE in summer 2017 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and also as a member of HEMI. From 2015 to 2017, Ryan will hold an interim appointment as Assistant Research Professor in Mechanical Engineering. During that time, Ryan will also join the Computational Geosciences Group with one of HEMI’s collaborative institutions, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, as a postdoctoral researcher. There, he will be developing new computational models of geomaterials under dynamic loading conditions.

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Ryan is currently completing his PhD in Applied Mechanics at The California Institute of Technology. He is interested in combining insights from multiple scales to better understand and predict the dynamic behavior of granular materials. In his research, he has made important theoretical, experimental, and computational contributions. In particular, he has developed and applied new experimental methods to study force transmission and the emergence of force chains at the microscale in granular materials. Ryan has used insights regarding the way these microscale force chains control macroscale strength to develop a theoretical framework for understanding how dynamic friction originates from collective grain-scale processes. He is using related rate-dependent friction laws in new mesh-free models of field-scale granular flows to predict the dynamics of processes ranging from landslides to rapid gas-driven erosion. Ryan’s work has earned him several awards, including the 2014 Young Stress Analyst Award from the British Society for Strain Measurement.

Figure 1 – Images representative of Ryan’s research topics at Caltech.  (a) Experimental measurement of force chains during dynamic impact of a 2D granular material. The structure and evolution of force chains dictates the stopping time and dynamics of the intruder. (b) Macroscale dynamic friction in confined granular flows demonstrates characteristic shear-rate-dependence, as found here from numerical simulations and compared with other experimental results. (c) Field-scale mesh-free models of granular flows and gas-driven erosion make use of rate-dependent friction laws.

Figure 1 – Images representative of Ryan’s research topics at Caltech. (a) Experimental measurement of force chains during dynamic impact of a 2D granular material. The structure and evolution of force chains dictates the stopping time and dynamics of the intruder. (b) Macroscale dynamic friction in confined granular flows demonstrates characteristic shear-rate-dependence, as found here from numerical simulations and compared with other experimental results. (c) Field-scale mesh-free models of granular flows and gas-driven erosion make use of rate-dependent friction laws.

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