University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

Kaushik Bhattacharya
March 21, 2019
Kaushik Bhattacharya, Howell N. Tyson, Sr. Professor of Mechanics and Professor of Materials Science; Vice Provost, California Institute of Technology
Material is the Machine

Materials contain features at various length-scales ranging from nanometers to millimeters collectively called the microstructure of the material.  In active materials like shape-memory alloys, ferroelectrics and liquid crystal elastomers, the microstructure can change dynamically in response to stimuli including heat, electromagnetic fields, light and stress.  This stimulus-responsive microstructural change gives rise to unusual properties, and these can be exploited in a number of applications that convert one form of energy to another.  This talk describes some broad principles with examples chosen from liquid crystal elastomers.  It also explores the possibility of going beyond either by directly exploiting individual microstructural features as machine elements or combining microstructural changes with structural instabilities in slender structures.

Kaushik Bhattacharya is Howell N. Tyson, Sr., Professor of Mechanics and Professor of Materials Science as well as the Vice-Provost for Research at the California Institute of Technology.   His research concerns the mechanical behavior of solids, and specifically uses theory to guide the development of new materials.  He received his B.Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India in 1986, his Ph.D from the University of Minnesota in 1991 and his post-doctoral training at the Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences during 1991-1993.  He joined Caltech in 1993.  He has held a number of visiting positions across the world, and delivered numerous plenary, keynote and named lectures.  He has has received the Warner T. Koiter Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (2015), Young Investigator Prize from the Society of Engineering Science (2004), the Special Achievements Award in Applied Mechanics from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2004) and the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award (1994).  He has served as the fifth editor of the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids (2004-2015).  He has over 50 doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars, many of whom hold leadership positions in academics, industry and national laboratories.

Time: 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Location: Classroom and Business Building (CBB), Room 110

About Elizabeth D. Rockwell

Elizabeth D. Rockwell

A fourth generation Houstonian, Mrs. Rockwell was an Executive Director, Private Client Division of CIBC Oppenheimer Corp. She was widely recognized as an expert in retirement, estate, investment, and tax planning. She was an early proponent of the Keogh and IRA plans, for which she has been nationally recognized.

In 1991, she qualified to be a member of the Million Dollar Round Table as well as the Texas Leaders Round Table. Since 1990 she had authored a monthly column for the Houston Chronicle.

Mrs. Rockwell served as President of the UH College of Business Administration Foundation Board, as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, and was an Executive Professor for the college. She also served as a member of the advisory board of the Health Law and Policy Institute and as a Trustee of the University of Houston System’s Foundation, as well as a member of the UH System’s Planned Giving Council.

Mrs. Rockwell served on the Board of Governors for the Houston Forum, and as a Board member of the American Red Cross, the Greater Houston Women’s Foundation, the University of Houston Alumni Organization, and the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. She was a member of the River Oaks Business Women’s Exchange Club, the National Tax Sheltered Annuity Association, the Texas Association of College Teachers, and the Houston Association of Life Underwriters.

Among her numerous honors, she has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Houston, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Houston Alumni Organization and from the UH College of Business Administration. Throughout the years she has been recognized for her many achievements by the Education Foundation of Harris County, the Houston Community College System’s Television Station Advisory Council, and the Houston Mayor’s READ Commission.

The Houston Alumni Center is home to the Elizabeth D. Rockwell President’s Suite. In September 1997, the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Career Services Center was opened in the UH College of Business Administration. She endowed the Chair for the Dean of the M.D. Anderson Library.

Mrs. Rockwell was listed in the Who’s Who in the South and Southwest; Who’s Who in finance and Industry; Who’s Who of American Women; and Who’s Who in the World.