Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Upcoming MEE Seminars

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology
Seminar Series
Fall 2018

DATE: THURS September 13


Mechanics of Instabilities in the Brain and Other Soft Materials
Maria Holland, Ph.D.
University of Notre Dame



The brain is our most complex yet least understood organ, and many questions remain as to its development and the intricate relation between form and function.  The characteristic wrinkling of the human brain is the result of both biological and mechanical processes during development, and the field of solid mechanics offers a new and important perspective on these questions. The stability properties of layered materials have previously been studied because of applications such as composite materials and wearable electronics.  Layered biological tissues such as the brain share many similarities to these well-studied systems, but differ because both layers are extremely soft.  The focus of this talk will be on the unique features of instabilities in soft layered materials, covering theoretical, computational, physical, and imaging approaches, and their implications for the developing brain in both health and disease.

About the Speaker

Maria Holland is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN.  She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in the Department of Mechanical Engineering with Prof. Ellen Kuhl, and her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tulsa, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.  Her research is in computational biomechanics, using solid mechanics and computational tools to address important questions about complex soft materials, including the brain.  Through collaborations with clinicians and experimentalists, she aims to understand the development of the human brain and how it relates to the brain’s form and function.  Additionally, she works to extend the functionality of traditional engineering methods to encompass soft, growing materials.