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Dr Isaac Chenchiah

Mathematical problems in solid mechanics and materials science

My work lies at the interface between mathematics and solid mechanics, mechanical / aerospace engineering and biology.

​Specific areas of interest in solid mechanics include microstructure formation and evolution, especially in multiphase solids and superalloys; damage; and polycrystals. Together with aerospace engineers I investigate multistable and morphing structures. Biological topics of interest include viral mechanics, plant mechanics and tissue growth.

Viral mechanics has also inspired my research with engineering collaborators on morphing structures. We have demonstrated a prototype that mimics the helical motor behaviour of Bacteriophage T4 (Pirrera et al., 2013) and are currently working to replicate the inversion observed in volvox embryos. We synthesise biological ideas, mathematical insights and computational innovations (Lamacchia et al, 2015).

Research in collaboration with biologists and geographers attempts to understand root-soil interaction and thereby reduce erosion (De Baets et al., 2017, under review). My work on tissue growth (Chenchiah et al., 2014) deploys methods used in lattice systems to deduce information about fibrous continua directly useful to modellers.

For more information see my research webpage.

Research keywords

  • Microstructures
  • phase transitions
  • biological materials
  • molecular mechanics