Shaofan Li
Professor of Applied and Computational Mechanics
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
(510) 642-5362

Research Expertise and Interest

structural mechanics, computational mechanics and computational physics, finite element methods and meshfree particle methods, atomistic simulation and multiscale simulations, nonlinear continuum mechanics, soft matter mechanics, wave propagations, Modeling and simulation of material failures, Nano-mechanics, bio-mechanics and bio-physics, Cellular mechanics, micromechanics & composite materials


Professor Li's current research interets are computational nano-mechanics and multiscale simulations, computational statistical physics, soft matter physics and mechanics of colloidal, biomechanics, in particluar, cell mechanics. In specific, Professor Li and his research group have been working on:

  1. Atomistic and multiscale simulations of non-equilibrium systems with strong thermal-mechanical couplings, such as thermal-activation of dislocations, thermal-mechanical shock wave propagations at small scales, phase transition in finite size crystals, and thermal-mechanical energy conversion.
  2. Computational nanoscale contact mechanics and multiscale modelings of soft matters; Soft matter mechanics and cell mechanics. In specific, Professor Li's group has been developing novel soft matter cell models to simulate contact, adhesion, spreading, and motility of cells.
  3. Multiscale modeling and simulations of fracture such as simulations of crack growth at small scales. In specific, Professor Li's group has been developing novel computational algorithms to simulate high-speed impact, penetration, and subsequent fragmentations, explosion of reactive materials and related structural responses.
  4. Using first-principle methods and molecular dynamics to study waste water separation & cleaning and aerosol nucleations.
  5. Developing particle methods to simulate geomaterial failures under high strain rate impacts and blast loads.

Some examples are:

  • Simulation of nanoscale heat transfer and thermal-mechanical couplings.
  • Study phase transition in finite size crystalline solids.
  • Study cell motility and mechanotransduction.
  • Study soil fragmentation due to buried explosives.
  • Design nano-machine for waste water separation.
  • Develop quasicrystal model to study crystal defect motion.

Moreover, Professor Li's group is also interested in using meshfree particle methods and generalized finite element methods to simulate (I) Fluid-structure interaction problems, which includes offshore structures and marine strctures, and (II) Material and infrastructure failures, such as shear band formations, ductile fracture, and fatigue crack propagations in metals, concrete structures, and geo-materials.

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