Research Expertise and Interest

Composites, additive manufacturing, fracture mechanics, topology optimization, machine learning, finite element analysis, and bioinspired materials

Research Description

The Gu Research Group aims to create bio-inspired composite designs while exploring, and concurrently, exploiting the possible hierarchy, topology, and material heterogeneity that can be introduced into microarchitectures to enhance mechanical properties, such as stiffness, fracture, and fatigue. Studying the microarchitectures of natural materials such as nacre and conch shell sheds light on the millennia-long optimization product of evolution.

By fabricating bio-inspired designs using additive manufacturing and performing experiments to link form to function, it is possible to generate engineered structures with tunable material properties. As an example, lightweight and tough composites can be realized through a study in nature to create next generation protective gear and high-impact resistance composites. These concepts lay the foundation for our approach to design rationally toughened, strong, and lightweight materials for various applications. Thus, the main thrusts of our research are (1) bioinspired design, (2) constrained property optimization, and (3) machine learning driven design. Opening the design space of functional objects that can be printed will drive and revolutionize the face of additive manufacturing. 

In the News

Bakar Fellows Program Names Seven New Spark Award Recipients

From artificial ligaments and a novel approach to cancer treatment to “soft” batteries and a way to give voice to silent speech, new innovations from UC Berkeley faculty are getting a big vote of support from the Bakar Fellows program. Seven faculty members have been selected to receive the 2022 Bakar Fellows Spark Award, which is designed to accelerate faculty-led research and produce tangible, positive societal impact through commercialization.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
April 25, 2019
Sarah Saunders
Assistant mechanical engineering professor Grace X. Gu is among six women scholars awarded this year's batch of WiSTEM2D Scholars Awards, in a program designed to increase the representation and leadership of women in STEM fields. Professor Gu was recognized for her development of a smarter, more efficient 3D printer that can self-correct while printing. For more about Professor Gu, see this brief profile at Berkeley News.
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