MIE Distinguished Seminar Series with Professor Yonggang Huang: “A Dynamically Reprogrammable Surface with Self-Evolving Shape Morphing”

Friday, March 1, 2024

Mechanical Engineering Building, MC102
5 King's College Road

Interested members of the U of T community who would like to attend the seminars can email Kendra Hunter at hunter@mie.utoronto.ca

Professor Yonggang Huang Professor Yonggang Huang Headshot
Northwestern University (McCormick School of Engineering)

A dynamically reprogrammable surface with self-evolving shape morphing




Dynamic shape-morphing soft materials systems are ubiquitous in living organisms; they are also of rapidly increasing relevance to emerging technologies in soft machines, flexible electronics and smart medicines.  Soft matter equipped with responsive components can switch between designed shapes or structures, but cannot support the types of dynamic morphing capabilities needed to reproduce natural, continuous processes of interest for many applications.  Challenges lie in the development of schemes to reprogram target shapes after fabrication, especially when complexities associated with the operating physics and disturbances from the environment can stop the use of deterministic theoretical models to guide inverse design and control strategies.  Here we present a mechanical metasurface constructed from a matrix of filamentary metal traces, driven by reprogrammable, distributed Lorentz forces that follow from the passage of electrical currents in the presence of a static magnetic field.  The resulting system demonstrates complex, dynamic morphing capabilities with response times within 0.1 second.  Implementing an in situ stereo-imaging feedback strategy with a digitally controlled actuation scheme guided by an optimization algorithm yields surfaces that can follow a self-evolving inverse design to morph into a wide range of three-dimensional target shapes with high precision, including an ability to morph against extrinsic or intrinsic perturbations.  These concepts support a data-driven approach to the design of dynamic soft matter, with many unique characteristics.

Yonggang Huang is the Achenbach Professor of Mechanical Engineering (50%), Civil and Environmental Engineering (50%), and Materials Science and Engineering (0%) at Northwestern University.  He is interested in mechanics of stretchable electronics, and mechanically guided deterministic 3D assembly.  He has published 2 books and >700 journal papers and book chapters, including 14 in Science and 7 in Nature.  He is a Highly Cited Researcher in Engineering (2009), in Materials Science (since 2014), and in Physics (2018).  He received the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Leader Award for 2023 by Research.com, ranked #4 in USA and #6 worldwide in the 2023 Edition of Ranking of Best Scientists in the field of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 2023.  He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Society (London), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Academy of Engineering, and 3 European academies.  He has received the Guggenheim Fellowship (2008), and other awards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Society of Engineering Sciences; American Society of Civil Engineers; and International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.  He has received awards for undergraduate teaching and advising from all universities he has taught.  He has been the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Mechanics Reviews since 2022, and its impact factor has increased from >7 in 2021 to 14.3 in 2023.

MIE’s Distinguished Seminar Series features top international researchers and leading experts across major areas of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering. The speakers present about their latest research and offer their perspectives on the current state of their field. The seminars are part of the program requirements for MIE Master of Applied Science and PhD students. The Distinguished Seminar Series is coordinated for 2023-2024 by Associate Professor Eric Diller.

View all upcoming MIE Distinguished Seminars.


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