Chiara Daraio

Chiara Daraio

G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute

Degrees and Appointments

B.S.; M.S., University of Ancona (Italy), 2001; M.S., University of California (San Diego), 2003; Ph.D., 2006. Assistant Professor, Caltech, 2006-10; Professor, 2011-21; Jones Professor, 2021-; HMRI Investigator, 2021-.


Research Group Matters
Carolina Oseguera
362 Gates-Thomas Laboratory

Research Group Website »

Research Overview

Professor Daraio focuses on materials science, condensed matter physics, and solid mechanics. Her lab is primarily interested in:

1. Developing a physical understanding of how stress propagates in nonlinear, ordered and disordered solid media at length scales ranging from nanometers to meters.

2. Studing the fundamental connections between structure and function in different physical domains (temperature sensitivity, electrical conductivity, etc.).

3. Exploiting this understanding for the creation of new materials and devices for engineering applications ranging from optomechanics to shock absorption.

To achieve these goals, her research takes advantage of nonlinearities in local material interactions (e.g., Hertzian contact interactions between particles or nonlinear interactions between nanostructures) to create novel systems and new materials with unprecedented global properties. These materials are composite systems in which typically basis elements that interact are arranged in well-defined geometries, such that the aggregate system as a whole exhibits properties that are not usually found in natural systems and can be exploited in engineering applications. Our work is primarily experimental, but it is informed by numerical and analytical studies, which serve as a guide in metamaterial construction and validation of their properties.

List of Research Areas

materials science, condensed matter physics, solid mechanics

EAS News about Chiara Daraio

  • Material Inspired by Chain Mail Transforms from Flexible to Rigid on Command »
  • Self-folding “Rollbot” paves the way for fully untethered soft robots »
  • Professor Daraio Gives Elsevier Distinguished Lecture in Mechanics »

  • Read more news about Chiara Daraio »