RESEARCH AREAS:
Shock Wave Dynamics High Strain Rate Impacts Fracture Mechanics High-speed Photography
Or, simply put, we hit things really hard and try to understand what happens.

News

9/2021 Congratulations to Heng Liu who succesfully defended his PhD Thesis today. Woohoo! Well done!
10/2020 Congratulations to our group of students lead by Lingzhi 'Jackie' Zheng who got their paper on "Image processing and edge detection techniques to quantify shock wave dynamics experiments" accepted for publication in Experimental Techniques. Well done!
8/2021 Welcome to our new Master's Thesis student Gabe Bjerke.
8/2021 Welcome to our new Master's Thesis student Xander Westra, co-adviced with Dr Lamberson.
6/2021 Welcome to our new Master's Thesis student Max Sevcik.
2/2021 Welcome to our new Master's Thesis student Grace Rabinowitz.
7/2020 Congratulations to our PhD Candidate Rodrigo Chavez, who just got his paper entitled "The Effect of Moisture Intake on the Mode-II Dynamic Fracture Behavior of Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Composites" accepted for publication in Journal of Dynamic Behavior of Materials!
7/2020 Congratulations to our undergraduate/PhD students Janelle, Jane, Jackie, Barry, Jorge, Claire, Xander, Rodrigo, Heng and Ben who all co-authored a paper on blast wave interactions with a city scape these last several months, and now it has been accepted for publication! Yay!
5/2020 Congratulations to our undergraduate students Jane, Jackie and Barry who all are going to graduate school in the fall! Jane is going to University of Washington for a MS Program, Jacki is going to Stanford for a PhD Program and Barry is joining Caltech for their PhD Program. Congratulations!
4/2020 Congratulations to our PhD student Heng Liu who passed his Candidacy Exam today! Well done, Heng!
4/2020 Congratulations to Claire McGuire, one of our undergraduate researchers who just graduated from the UCSD MAE Department! Congratulations Claire!
12/ 2019 Our warmest congratulations to our PhD student Benjamin Katko who was awarded the Sho Funai Prize! Benjamin Katko Sho Funai Prize winter 2020


More news »

Recent publications

R. Chavez, J. Baek, D. Sharp, A. Aderounmu, H. Wei, J.-S. Chen, and V. Eliasson, Mode-II Fracture Response of PMMA Under Dynamic Loading Conditions, In print in Journal of Dynamic Behavior of Materials, 2021

L. Zheng, B. Lawlor, B.J. Katko, C. McGuire, J. Zanteson & V. Eliasson, Image processing and edge detection techniques to quantify shock wave dynamics experiments, Experimental Techniques,45, 483–495, 2021

R. Chavez Morales & V. Eliasson, The Effect of Moisture Intake on the Mode-II Dynamic Fracture Behavior of Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Composites", Journal of Dynamic Behavior of Materials, 7, 21–33, 2021.

J.C. Dela Cueva, L. Zheng, B. Lawlor, K. Nguyen, A. Westra, J. Nunez, J. Zanteson, C. McGuire, R. Chavez Morales, B.J. Katko, H. Liu & V. Eliasson, Blast wave interaction with structures: an application of exploding wire experiments, Online first, Multiscale and Multidisciplinary Modeling, Experiments and Design, DOI: 10.1007/s41939-020-00076-0, 2020.

W. Mellor, E. Lakhani, J. C. Valenzuela, B. Lawlor, J. Zanteson & V. Eliasson, Design of a multiple exploding wire setup to study shock wave dynamics, Experimental Techniques, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40799-019-00354-8, 2019.

A. Ivanov, N. Fassardi, C. Scafidi, T. Shemen & V. Eliasson, Shock wave attenuation using rigid obstacles with large and small scale geometrical features, Multiscale and Multidisciplinary Modeling, Experiments and Design, https://doi.org/10.1007/s41939-019-00053-2, 2019

Q. Wan, R. Deiterding, V. Eliasson, Numerical investigation of shock wave attenuation in channels using water droplets, Multiscale and Multidisciplinary Modeling, Experiments and Design, DOI: 10.1007/s41939-018-00041-y, 2019

N. Apazidis and V. Eliasson Shock Focusing Phenomena, Springer Nature, ISBN 978-3-319-75864-0, 2018.

I.-C. Cheng, J.P. Kelly, E. Novitskaya, V. Eliasson, A.M. Hodge, and O.A. Graeve , Mechanical properties of an Fe-based SAM2x5-630 metallic glass matrix composite with tungsten particle additions, Advanced Engineering Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adem.201800023, 2018.



More publications »

Events & Visits

Dr Eliasson presented the Springer/Nature Young Investigator Lecture at the annual SEM Annual Conference, Virtual, June 14-17, 2021.
We presented four talks at the APS/DFD 2019 in Seattle, Nov 23-26, 2019.
We presented two talks at the IMECE in Salt Lake City, NV, Nov 11-14, 2019.
We presented a talk at the ICCM22 in Melbourne, Australia, August 11-16, 2019.
We presented one talk and one poster at the ISSW32 in Singapore, July 14-19, 2019.
Dr Eliasson presented a talk at Monash University, Australia, July 2, 2019.
Dr Eliasson presented a talk at Colorado School of Mines, CO, June 13, 2019.
We presented three talks at the annual SEM Annual Conference in Rheno, NV, June 3-6, 2019.
Our undergradute student team presented a talk at the annual SoCal Fluids at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, April 20, 2019.
Dr Eliasson presented a talk at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, March 7, 2019.
Dr Eliasson presented a talk at Louisiana State University in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, February 7, 2019.
Dr Eliasson judges the Make-A-Thon competition organized by Engineers Without Borders, Engineers for a Sustainable World, Engineering World Health, and Design for America on Sunday, February 3, 2019.
Dr Eliasson attends the UCSD Envision Professor Panel organized by Society of Women Engineers on Saturday, February 2, 2019.
Dr Eliasson presented a short talk at the UCSD First-GEN Inspires Event on January 31, 2019. Great event!
Dr Eliasson attended the UCSD ASME Mentor Night event on Tuesday, January 4, 2019. Lots of great student questions!
We presented two talks at APS/DFD
Meeting in Atlanta, GA, November 18-20, 2018.
We will present a talk at ASME's International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE)
in Pittsburgh, PA, November 11-14, 2018.
We presented two talks at the annual SEM Annual Conference
in Greenville, SC, June 4-7, 2018.
Dr Eliasson presents a talk at Brown University Solid Mechanics Group with the title Experimental Mechanics: from underwater shock focusing to dynamic fracture, May 7, 2018.
We attended the SoCal Fluids XII Meeting, April 14, at USC in Los Angeles, CA.
We attended the 70th APS/DFD Meeting, November 19-21, in Denver, CO.

Researcher spotlight

Since we cannot meet in person now (Covid-19 pandemic), we have decided to feature our undergraduate and graduate researchers here. This gives you a chance to learn more about us. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, or, connect with us on Instagram.


Research Group

QUESTIONS: [1] If you have a chance to travel around the world, which place would be your first choice? [2] What is your favorite movie? [3] Who is a person that inspires you? [4] If you were a superhero, what super power would you have? [5] What is your favorite car?
Veronica Eliasson

Veronica Eliasson [CV]

Associate Professor

Office: CK 216
Lab: BB145 and BB120
[1] Ascension Island
[2] V for Vendetta
[3] Astrid Lindgren
[4] Super strength
[5] Mustang 1966, V8, 289, C4...!

I often use the Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius — Faster, Higher, Stronger — to describe the overall purpose of my work. I strive to expand the boundaries of my research fields to help create structures, devices, and vehicles that are stronger, lighter, faster and with improved properties. Shock waves are useful tools to generate highly dynamic and extreme conditions to study a range of such fields in fluids and solids. In particular, my research group use shock waves to study fluid-structure interaction under intense loading scenarios. Thus, our research addresses dynamic extremes in the fields of fluid and solid mechanics, including sub-disciplines such as fracture mechanics.


Current Postdoctoral Scholars

Rodrigo Chavez Morales

Rodrigo Chavez Morales

Postdoc, 2021-present
Undergraduate Degree: University of Kansas, Aerospace Engineering
PhD Degree: University of California, San Diego (2020)
[1] Belgium for the Tomorrowland Music Festival
[2] The Star Wars Original Trilogy or Top Gun
[3] Neil Armstrong
[4] The super soldier formula, like Captain America
[5] Lamborghini Reventon

LinkedIn Profile »


Current PhD Students

Heng Liu

Heng Liu

PhD Candidate, 2017-present
Undergraduate Degree: South China University of Technology, Thermal and Power Engineering
Master's Degree: University of Southern California, Mechanical Engineering
Project: Shock Wave Dynamics
[1] Germany
[2] Jurassic Park
[3] Mom
[4] Electricity
[5] Volvo S90

LinkedIn Profile »


Current Master Students

Grace Rabinowitz

Grace Rabinowitz

MS Student, 2021-present
Undergraduate Degree: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Materials Science and Engineering (major), Psychology (minor)
Project: Interaction of Multiple Shock Waves
[1] Japan to go skiing
[2] The Devil Wears Prada
[3] Mickey Mantle - I remember reading The Quality of Courage with by dad when I was young
[4] Teleportation
[5] Audi RS 3 Avant

Max Sevcik

Max Sevcik

MS Student, 2021-present
Undergraduate Degree: Colorado School of Mines, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Project: 3D printing of advanced materials
[1] Iceland
[2] Django Unchained
[3] Eliud Kipchoge (marathon runner)
[4] Flying
[5] Audi R8


Former PhD Students


Undergraduate student researchers

Jackson Crutcher

Jackson Crutcher

Undergraduate student in the Mining Engineering Department
Project: TBD
[1] Bouvet Island
[2] Snowpiercer
[3] Isambard Kingdom Brunel
[4] Astral projection
[5] Bugatti Royale
Derek Focht

Derek Focht

Undergraduate student in the Mechanical Engineering Department
Project: Dynamic response of composites
[1] Singapore
[2] Stand By Me
[3] Claes Oldenburg
[4] Wizard magic
[5] Oldsmobile Alero
Jake Hastings

Jake Hastings

Undergraduate student in the Mechanical Engineering Department
Project: Shocks and ocular trauma
[1] Europe for a road trip
[2] Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
[3] My father: it's hard not to look up to someone with so much courage, integrity, and charisma
[4] The ability to see all possible realities that could arise from any decision I made
[5] Honda Odyssey. It can act as a truck with a closed bed just as well as it could get half a soccer team to and from practice
Michala Lee

Michala Lee

Undergraduate student in the Chemical Engineering Department
Project: Shock Dynamics
[1] If it's a place I've been before it would be London but if it's a new place it would be Venice, Italy
[2] Any Marvel/Disney movie
[3] My mom inspires me for you she is a strong independent women who works in a STEM field surrounded by men
[4] Super speed, invisibility, or teleporation
[5] Ideal car from my favorite TV show is a 1967 black Chevy impala
Maggie McQuaid

Maggie McQuaid

Undergraduate student in the Mechanical Engineering Department
Project: Shocks and ocular trauma
[1] Greece
[2] Monty Python's Life of Brian
[3] My dad
[4] Water bending
[5] Model T
Riley Royall

Riley Royall

Undergraduate student in the Mechanical Engineering Department
Project: Shock dynamics
[1] New Zealand, preferably during the summer
[2] Your Name by Makoto Shinkai
[3] My father: he's always been the person that I've looked up to, ever since I was a kid
[4] Metal-bending powers, like Magneto
[5] Tesla
Kadyn Tucker

Kadyn Tucker

Undergraduate student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Southern Utah University
Project: Shock dynamics
[1] I would probably choose Prague, CZ
[2] Inception
[3] My great grandfather
[4] It would have to be teleportation.
[5] Koenigsegg Agera R
Finnegan Wilson

Finnegan Wilson

Undergraduate student in the Mechanical Engineering Department
Project: 3D-printing of advanced materials
[1] I would travel to Ireland
[2] Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
[3] My dad inspires me
[4] Flight
[5] Reliant Robin

Previous undergradaute student researchers are listed in Dr. Eliasson's CV.

High school student researchers - SUMMER 2017 and 2019

Frida Amelie Garcia Trillo

Frida Amelie Garcia Trillo

Visiting our lab during summer 2019 through the EnLace Program
Project: Dynamic fracture
[1] Skopelos, Greece
[2] Inglorious Bastards / The Hangover
[3] Dr. E
[4] Telekinesis
[5] Volkswagen Kombi
Mariah Perez

Mariah Perez

Visiting our lab during summer 2019 through the EnLace Program
Project: Dynamic fracture
[1] South Korea
[2] Up
[3] My Mom
[4] Shape-shifting
[5] Lightning McQueen
Sara Domínguez

Sara Domínguez

Visiting our lab during summer 2017 through the EnLace Program
Project: Shock wave mitigation
[1] Stockholm
[2] Sing Street
[3] Katherine Johnson
[4] Time Control
[5] Jeep Wangler Sahara
Ingrid Rivera

Ingrid Rivera

Visiting our lab during summer 2017 through the EnLace Program
Project: Shock wave mitigation
[1] Vatican City
[2] Whiplash
[3] Mario Benedetti
[4] Control Time
[5] Corvette Z06

Previous year's visiting high school students are listed in Dr. Eliasson's CV.

Journal Publications

Eliasson Graduate Advisee*, Eliasson Undergraduate Advisee**

Published or In print

  1. R. Chavez*, J. Baek, D. Sharp**, A. Aderounmu**, H. Wei, J.-S. Chen, and V. Eliasson, Mode-II Fracture Response of PMMA Under Dynamic Loading Conditions, In print in Journal of Dynamic Behavior of Materials, 2021
  2. L. Zheng**, B. Lawlor**, B.J. Katko*, C. McGuire**, J. Zanteson** & V. Eliasson, Image processing and edge detection techniques to quantify shock wave dynamics experiments, Experimental Techniques,45, 483–495, 2021
  3. R. Chavez Morales & V. Eliasson, The Effect of Moisture Intake on the Mode-II Dynamic Fracture Behavior of Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Composites, Journal of Dynamic Behavior of Materials, 7, 21–33, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40870-020-00260-w, 2021
  4. J.C. Dela Cueva**, L. Zheng**, B. Lawlor**, K. Nguyen**, A. Westra**, J. Nunez**, J. Zanteson**, C. McGuire**, R. Chavez Morales*, B.J. Katko*, H. Liu* & V. Eliasson, Blast wave interaction with structures: an application of exploding wire experiments, Multiscale and Multidisciplinary Modeling, Experiments and Design, 3, 337–347, DOI: 10.1007/s41939-020-00076-0, 2020
  5. W. Mellor*, E. Lakhani*, J. C. Valenzuela, B. Lawlor**, J. Zanteson** & V. Eliasson, Design of a multiple exploding wire setup to study shock wave dynamics, Experimental Techniques, 44, 241-248, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40799-019-00354-8, 2020
  6. A. Ivanov**, N. Fassardi**, C. Scafidi**, T. Shemen** & V. Eliasson, Shock wave attenuation using rigid obstacles with large and small scale geometrical features, Multiscale and Multidisciplinary Modeling, Experiments and Design, https://doi.org/10.1007/s41939-019-00053-2, 2019
  7. Q. Wan*, R. Deiterding & V. Eliasson, Numerical investigation of shock wave attenuation in channels using water droplets, Multiscale and Multidisciplinary Modeling, Experiments and Design, DOI 10.1007/s41939-018-00041-y, 2019
  8. I.-C. Cheng, J.P. Kelly, E. Novitskaya, V. Eliasson, A.M. Hodge, and O.A. Graeve, Mechanical properties of an Fe-based SAM2x5-630 metallic glass matrix composite with tungsten particle additions, Advanced Engineering Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adem.201800023, 2018
  9. S. Koumlis*, H. Cheng, T.E. Morgan, C.E. Finch & V. Eliasson, Glial Model for Traumatic Brain Injury: network strain field and inflammation induced by repeated mechanical impacts in vitro, 58, 125-135, Experimental Mechanics, DOI 10.1007/s11340-017-0338-3, 2018
  10. Q. Wan*, H. Jeon*, R. Deiterding & V. Eliasson, Numerical and experimental investigation of oblique shock wave reflection off a water wedge, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 826, 732-758, 2017
  11. H. Jeon* and V. Eliasson, Shock wave interactions with liquid sheets, Experiments in Fluids, 58(24), 2017. doi:10.1007/s00348-017-2300-7
  12. T.Q. Phan, J.P. Kelly, M.E. Kassner, V. Eliasson, O.A. Graeve, & A.M. Hodge, Bulk Mechanical Properties Testing of Metallic Marginal Glass Formers, Journal of Metallurgy, Article ID 6508597, 8 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/6508597
  13. O. Delpino Gonzales*, K. Luong**, H. Homma** & V. Eliasson, Experimental investigation of dynamic fracture initiation in PMMA submerged in water, Dynamic Behavior of Materials, 2, 391-398, 2016. DOI: 10.1007/s40870-016-0074-2
  14. S. Qiu*, K. Liu* & V. Eliasson, Parallel implementation of geometrical shock dynamics for two dimensional converging shock waves, Computer Physics Communications, 207 186-192, 2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpc.2016.06.003
  15. G.R. Khanolkar*, M. Raouls, J.P. Kelly, O.A. Graeve, A.M. Hodge & V. Eliasson, Shock Wave Response of Iron-based In Situ Metallic Glass Matrix Composites, Scientific Reports, 6, Article number:22568, Doi:10.1038/srep22568, 2016
  16. O. Delpino Gonzales*, A.J. Nicassio** & V. Eliasson, Evaluation of the effect of water content on the stress optical coefficient in PMMA, Polymer Testing, DOI: 10.1016/j.polymertesting.2016.01.004, 2016
  17. J.P. Kelly, S.M. Fuller, K. Seo, E. Novitskaya, J.C. Farmer, V. Eliasson, A.M. Hodge & O.A. Graeve, Designing In Situ and Ex Situ Bulk Metallic Glass Composites via Spark Plasma Sintering in the Super Cooled Liquid State, Materials and Design, 93, 26-38, 2016
  18. H. Jeon*, J.R. Gross*, S. Estabrook**, S. Koumlis*, Q. Wan*, G.R. Khanolkar*, X. Tao*, D.M. Mensching**, E.J. Lesnick** & V. Eliasson, Shock wave attenuation using foam obstacles — does geometry matter? Aerospace, 2(2), 353-375, 2015
  19. S. Koumlis*, D. Buecker**, G. Moler**, V. Eliasson & P. Sengupta, HAMr: A mechanical impactor for repeated dynamic loading of in vitro neuronal networks, Experimental Mechanics, 55(8), 1441-1449, DOI: 10.1007/s11340-015-0052-y, 2015
  20. C. Wang*, L. Grunenfelder, R. Patwardhan*, S. Qiu* & V. Eliasson, Investigation of shock wave focusing in water in a logarithmic spiral duct, Part 2: Strong coupling, Ocean Engineering, 102, 185-196, DOI:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2015.04.053, 2015
  21. G.R. Khanolkar*, S. Haghighat, A.M. Hodge, K.M. Flores & V. Eliasson, Effect of loading rate on dynamic fracture morphology of a Zr-based bulk metallic glass, Material Transactions, 56 (6), 2015
  22. O. Delpino Gonzales* & V. Eliasson, Influence of water uptake on dynamic fracture behavior of Poly(methyl methacrylate), Experimental Mechanics, 56 (1), 59-68, DOI:10.1007/s11340-015-0030-4, 2016
  23. Q. Wan* and V. Eliasson, Numerical study of shock wave attenuation in two-dimensional ducts using solid obstacles - How to utilize shock focusing techniques to attenuate shock waves, Aerospace 2, 203-221, DOI:10.3390/aerospace2020203, 2015
  24. O. Delpino Gonzales* and V. Eliasson, Effect of water content on dynamic fracture initiation of vinyl ester, Experimental Mechanics, Online first, DOI: 10.1007/s11340-015-0028-y, 2015
  25. S. Qiu* and V. Eliasson, Interaction and coalescence of multiple simultaneous and non-simultaneous blast waves, 26 (3), 287-297, Shock Waves, DOI: 10.1007/s00193-015-0567-2, 2015
  26. M.E. Kassner, K. Smith, and V. Eliasson, Creep in Amorphous Metals, Journal of Materials Research and Technology, 4 (1), 100-107, 2015
  27. C. Wang*, S. Qiu* and V. Eliasson, Investigation of shock wave focusing in water in a logarithmic spiral duct, Part 1: Weak coupling, Ocean Engineering, 102, 174-184, DOI: 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2014.09.012, 2015
  28. C. Wang*, S. Qiu* and V. Eliasson, Quantitative pressure measurement of shock waves in water using a schlieren-based visualization technique Online first, Experimental Techniques, DOI: 10.1111/ext.12068, 2013
  29. K. Balasubramanian* and V. Eliasson, Numerical investigations of the porosity effect on the shock focusing process. Shock Waves, 23 (6), 583-594, 2013
  30. C. Wang* and V. Eliasson, Shock wave focusing in water inside convergent structures, International Journal of Multiphysics, 6, 267-281, 2012
  31. V. Eliasson, M. Mello, A.J. Rosakis & P.E Dimotakis, Experimental investigation of converging shocks in water with various confinement materials. Shock Waves, 20, 395-408, 2010
  32. V. Eliasson, N. Tillmark, A.J. Szeri & N. Apazidis, Light emission during shock wave focusing in air and argon. Physics of Fluids, 19 106106, 2007
  33. V. Eliasson, M. Kjellander & N. Apazidis, Regular versus Mach reflection for converging polygonal shocks. Shock waves, 17, 43-50, 2007
  34. V. Eliasson, N. Apazidis & N. Tillmark, Controlling the form of strong converging shocks by means of disturbances. Shock waves, 17, 29-42, 2007
  35. V. Eliasson, N. Apazidis & N. Tillmark, Shaping converging shock waves by means of obstacles. Journal of Visualization, Vol. 9 No. 3, 240, 2006
  36. V. Eliasson, N. Apazidis, N. Tillmark & Lesser M., Focusing of strong shocks in an annular shock tube. Shock waves, 15 205-217, 2006

Example Research Projects

Project: Dynamic fracture of polymers

2013-present

We are interested in the effects of dynamic fracture of polymeric specimens. The goal is to develop a deeper understanding and predict dynamic crack initiation and propagation of polymers and different types of composites subjected to highly transient loading under extreme conditions.

Some of the samples are conditioned such that they have a considerable amount of water uptake before the impact experiment. Experimental edge on impacts onto samples are performed using projectiles launched from a gas gun. The dynamic response of the impacted samples are obtained using strain gauges with simultaneous ultra high-speed visualization techniques featuring a newly acquired Shimadzu Hypervision HPV-X2 camera that is capable of frame rates up to 10 million frames per second. We use different types of visualization techniques, such as digital image correlation, caustics, and photoelasticity, to probe the response of the samples.

So far, we have studied samples made of PMMA, neat vinyl ester resin, polycarbonate and carbon fiber/vinyl ester. Of particular interest is to obtain fracture toughness values obtained under mode-I, mode-II or mixed mode loading.
Caustic imaging of a crack propagating in PMMA
This image shows 9 subsequent high-speed photographs visualizing crack propagation in a PMMA sample conditioned at 11% relative humidity. The location of the crack tip is inside the caustic and the technique used to obtain this image is called caustic imaging.

PROJECT: Shock wave attenuation

2012-present,

The research undertaken in this project is aimed at forming an experimental and numerical foundation to investigate shock wave attenuation. We are interested in effects of shock attenuation due to obstacles placed in the path of the shock wave. Particularly, we are interested in how large vs small geometrical features of the obstacles influence the degree of attenuation. Furthermore, we are interested in learning more about shock mitigation using liquids, and in particular, passive techniques where liquids are placed in the path of the shock wave. In particular, we are looking into

  1. Specific geometric shapes of liquid sheets to understand the optimal degree of attenuation that can be obtained.
  2. We ask ourselves what the role of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids and their mass, as well as thermal and inertial properties are on shock attenuation.
Direct measures of shock wave amplitude, peak pressure, total impulse in addition to quantitative and qualitative ultra high-speed shock wave schlieren photography is being used throughout this project.

Shock wave interaction with obstacles placed in a logarithmic spiral pattern
This image shows a series of high-speed schlieren photographs. A planar shock wave, propagating from left to right, impacts onto square obstacles placed along the outline of a logarithmic spiral.


Shock wave impact onto liquid surface
This image shows a series of high-speed photographs taken with a Phantom V711 camera. The incident shock propagates from the upper left corner and impacts onto a water wedge. The incident shock Mach number is 1.52 and the water wedge angle is 47 degrees. A regular reflection occurs.

PROJECT: High rate loading of brain cells

2013-2017,

Over the last 70 years many causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to impact have been proposed. These include acceleration-deceleration of the head, intracranial pressure changes, stress waves, relative motion of the brain with respect to the skull, and cavitation. However, these causes utterly fail to describe quantitatively the main cause of injury, which is excessive tissue deformation. In our opinion, it is apparent that there still exists a debate on the main causes of TBI, and injury thresholds still has to be quantitatively understood.

Our long-term research goal is to establish a correlation between quantifiable mechanical parameters, such as deformation, strain and strain rate response, and underlying biological mechanisms responsible for tissue damage and impairment observed after impact events, and thereby improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TBI.

  1. We have developed an experimental setup, HAMr, in which brain cells have been impacted under highly controlled settings. Then, both mechanical and biological response have been recorded.
  2. We have also developed a pendulum impactor setup in which more realistic skull geometries can be studied carefully during and after a dynamic impact.
In this project we also use ultra high-speed imaging techniques to capture the dynamic response of the sample.
Dynamic impact of brain cells
This image shows GFAP immunofluorescence of mixed glial cultures. Representative immunostaining for astrocytic GFAP in controls (CTL) and impacted cultures. GFAP in green, DAPI in blue. Bar charts show quantification of relative GFAP intensity by integrated density and area coverage. GFAP area was reduced from 12% in controls to 7% in impacted cultures (*, p less than 0.05). n=3, 3 replicates. Scale bar is 100 micro meter.

Teaching

  • Spring 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

    SE-270: Fracture Mechanics of Materials and Structures, 4 units
    In this course we will cover: introduction to fracture mechanics; energy balance in cracked bodies; general solutions to the biharmonic equations; displacement fields; Westergaard's method, stress intensity factors and strain energy release rate; mixed-mode fracture; William's asymptotic analysis; Irwin's and Dugdale models; J-integral, and dynamic crack growth.
    All course materials are posted on TritonEd and Piazza.
  • Winter 2017, 2018 (2 sections), 2019, Summer 2018, Summer 2019, Winter 2020 (2 sections)

    SE-101B/MAE-130B: Dynamics, 4 units
    In this course we will cover the following topics: Kinematics and kinetics of particles in 2-D and 3-D motion. Newton’s equations of motion. Energy and momentum methods. Impulsive motion and impact. Systems of particles. Kinematics and kinetics of rigid bodies in 2D. Introduction to 3D dynamics of rigid bodies.
    All course materials are posted on TritonEd and Piazza.
    Office hours Winter 2020: Tuesday 1:00-3:45pm, Thursday 2:00am-4:00pm in SME 145 (where the ping pong table is!).
  • Fall 2017, 2018

    UCSD SE-253A, Mechanics of Composites A: 4 units.
    Graduate-level introductory course on mechanics of composites and anisotropic materials. Overview of composite materials and processes; 3-D properties and stress-strain relationships; micromechanics; classical laminated plate theory; basic failure criteria; thermal/moisture/CTE.
    All course materials are posted on TritonEd and Piazza.
    UCSD SE-253A
    In 2017, we even made some composites!

Previous courses

  • USC AME 309, Dynamics of Fluids: 4 units. Fluids statics; conservation of mass, momentum, and energy in integral and differential form; applications. Laminar and turbulent pipe flow; compressible flow; potential flow over bodies. Used a new course book, and introduced a hands on project with water bottle rockets containing both simulations and experiments. Taught fall 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
  • Fall 2012  —  73 Students
    Fall 2013  —  92 Students
    Fall 2014  —  86 Students
    Fall 2015  —  90 Students
  • USC AME 511, Compressible Gas Dynamics: 3 units. Thermodynamics, kinetic theory, compressible flow equations, shock and expansion waves, similarity, shock-expansion techniques and linearized flow applied to bodies, characteristics, theory of boundary layers. Introduced a Lab Tour to Caltech to see experimental facilities. Taught spring 2010-2016
  • Spring 2010  —  57 Students
    Spring 2011  —  53 Students
    Spring 2012  —  57 Students
    Spring 2013  —  51 Students
    Spring 2014  —  65 Students
    Spring 2015  —  48 Students
    Spring 2016  —  43 Students
  • USC AME 525, Engineering Analysis: 3 units. Typical engineering problems discussed on a physical basis. Linear algebra, vector analysis, functions of complex variables, infinite series, residues. Taught fall 2010, and fall 2011
  • Fall 2010  —  100 Students
    Fall 2011  —  109 Students
  • USC AME 441, Senior Projects Laboratory. Individual engineering projects designed and constructed to model and test a physical principle or system. Contributed several research projects and supervised 2 – 4 groups each fall. Participated fall 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015

Outreach Activity

Dr Eliasson, while at USC and UCSD actively participated in a variety of outreach projects, both on an off campuses.

Are you interested in connecting with us through our outreach efforts? Please contact Dr Veronica Eliasson to discuss ideas!

Collaboration with USC VAST (2015 & 2016)

USC Viterbi Adopt-a-School, Adopt-a-Teacher program (VAST) offers STEM programs that target K-12 Schools, K-12 Students, K-12 Teachers, and USC Students. The USC AME Department was featured by VAST in the fall of 2014 and our research group offered 15 lab tours during a single day. Then, as part of the AME Spotlight Event, Prof. Eliasson and PhD student Stelios Koumlis visited I have a Dream LA's 5th graders at 99 St Elementary School and talked about "Shock Wave Adventures" and super heroes. In June 2015, we again visited I have a Dream LA's 5th graders at 99 St Elementary School and launched soda bottle water rockets. How fun!
Dr. Eliasson's research group outreach activities
USC AME PhD students, Master's and Undergraduate students, and two USC Viterbi SHINE High School students launch rockets with 5th graders participaing in a summer program by "I have a Dream LA". Duct tape and carboard boxes can be used for many things!

Summer of 2015 - 8 weeks of SHINE: this is a competitive and unique eight-week opportunity for high school students to participate in hands-on engineering laboratory research focused on real-world problems. Dennis Lin and Alan Ton spent the summer with us and worked on several different experiments. They also used our Phantom V711 camera to record some movies of water balloon impacts, and other things - see below and our YouTube channel.
Dr. Eliasson's research group outreach activities
Figures (a) and (b) show a water-filled balloon being dropped on top of another water-filled balloon. (c) and (d) show a water-filled balloon thrown into a vertical wall, and (e) and (f) show a water-filled balloon being dropped on a push pin.

Summer of 2016 - 8 weeks of SHINE: Again, we had the opportunity to host two high school students, Tyler Amano-Smerling and Shaun Chen, in our lab. Tyler and Shaun worked together with PhD students on their research projects. Among other things, Shaun filmed the launch a soda bottle water rocket at high frame rates, and Tyler shot an arrow through a water-filled balloon and photographed it with a Phantom V711 camera.

Collaboration with IEA (2012, 2013, & 2014)

We worked with the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA), which is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting talented young people in pursuing their full academic and personal potential, during the summers of 2012, 2013 and 2014. We participated by housing one or two high school student Apprentices in our laboratory for four to eight weeks during the summers. Here is a Mentor Spotlight on Dr. Eliasson from 2014. Read a feature article from VAST here Dr. Eliasson's research group outreach activities
Alex and Hari, summer 2014, are working on an experimental setup, HAMr, used to determine how cell cultures behave under dynamic impact.

Participation in USC SURE (2014 & 2016)

The summer of 2014 was the first time we participated in the USC Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). For two months, we had a visiting undergraduate researcher, Michael Werner from Colorado School of Mines, CO, in our group helping us with our research on fracture propagation in polymers conditioned in liquid or humid environments subjected to dynamic impact. Michael then became a PhD student at Georgie Tech. Dr. Eliasson's research group outreach activities
Summer 2014, Michael is working together with our PhD student Orlando to determine how the stress optical coefficient varies in PMMA and vinyl ester sheets as function of absorbed water content.

Other outreach

During the summer of 2016, we hosted two undergaduate students, Fernando Zigunov and Lucas Ravanello Mokwa, from the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program, in our lab. It was a great experience for everyone involved and we are excited to see what Fernando and Lucas decide to do in the future.

In March, 2015, Professor Eliasson gave a Keynote Lecture on "Shock Wave Adventures" during the 2015 Women in STEAM Celebration to the Lower School Students at Mirman School. In the afternoon, the PhD students in our research group launched soda bottle water rockets with the same students.

COSMOS at UCSD (2018 & 2019)

California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) is a four-week residential summer program open to current 8th-12th motivated high school students with demonstrated interest and achievement in math and science. Prof. Eliasson co-taught Cluster 2. This cluster focus was on on Engineering Design and Control of Kinetic Sculptures, and students were working on different projects that all involve a mix of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Control. Dr. Eliasson's research group outreach activities
Lab tours to see some really big experiments, and building mechanical clocks!

The students learn how to use hands on tools (such as drill press, band saw, laser cutting machine, 3D printers etc.). They also learn how to use modern micro-processor controllers to measure and analyze timing and mechanical behavior of their kinetic sculptures while throughout the program they are integrating engineering design and control principles.

ENLACE (2017 & 2019)

ENLACE is a bi-national summer research program at UC San Diego, founded by Prof. Olivia Graeve in the MAE Department. ENLACE aims to encourage the participation of high school students, university students, and researchers/teachers, in research in the sciences and engineering, while promoting cross-border friendships between Mexico and the United States [reference: ENLACE website]. Dr. Eliasson's research group outreach activities
We had great students joining our lab during summers 2017 and 2019. Here, Frida and Maria are filmed when running an experiment for a spotlight by the university.

The students learned how to run experiments and analyze data. They also presented their work each week in the weekly group meetings to get practice before the final ENLACE presentation. We had a lot of fun!

Mailing address

Veronica Eliasson, PhD
Mechanical Engineering Department
1610 Illinois St
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401, USA

Phone number

+1 303-384-2509 (office)

Email

eliasson@mines.edu

Come visit us

Lab: BB 145    
Office: CoorsTek 216
Instagram

Our YouTube Channel

Research Group Photos