Tarek Zohdi

Tarek Zohdi

Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Dept of Mechanical Engineering
(510) 642-9172
(510) 642-6163
Research Expertise and Interest
finite element methods, computational methods for advanced manufacturing, micro-structural/macro-property inverse problems involving optimization and design of new materials, modeling and simulation of high-strength fabric, modeling and simulation of particulate/granular flows, modeling and simulation of multiphase/composite electromagnetic media, modeling and simulation of the dynamics of swarms
Research Description

Tarek I. Zohdi received his Ph.D. in 1997 in Computational and Applied Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany from 1997 to 1998 and then a lecturer (C2-Oberingenieur) at the Gottfried Leibniz University of Hannover in Germany from 1998 to 2001, where he received his Habilitation in General Mechanics. Approximately one out of every twenty Ph.D holders in Germany is allowed to proceed with a Habilitation. It is the highest academic degree in Germany and is usually required to obtain the rank of full Professor there and in other parts of Europe. In July 2001, he became an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2004 and to Full Professor in July 2009. In July 2012, he was appointed Chair of the Designated Emphasis Program in Computational and Data Science and Engineering (DE-CSE) at UC Berkeley. Previously, he has served as Chair of the Engineering Science Program at UC Berkeley (2008-2012) and Vice-Chair for Instruction in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (2009-2012). He is currently a Chancellors Professor of Mechanical Engineering and holder of the W. C. Hall Family Endowed Chair in Engineering. He also holds a Staff Scientist position at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and an Adjunct Scientist position at the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

His main research interests are in computational approaches for micromechanical material design, particulate flow and the mechanics of high-strength fabric, with emphasis on modeling and simulation of advanced manufacturing processes and nonconvex multiscale-multiphysics inverse problems, in particular addressing the important issue of how large numbers of micro-constituents interact to produce macroscale aggregate behavior. He has published over 150 archival refereed journal papers and seven books: (a) Introduction to computational micromechanics (T. Zohdi and P. Wriggers, Springer-Verlag), (b) An introduction to modeling and simulation of particulate flows (T. Zohdi, SIAM), (c) Electromagnetic properties of multiphase dielectrics: a primer on modeling, theory and computation (T. Zohdi, Springer- Verlag), (d) Dynamics of charged particulate systems: modeling, theory and computation (T. Zohdi, Springer-Verlag) (e) A finite element primer for beginners-the basics (T. Zohdi, Springer-Verlag), (f) Modeling and simulation of functionalized materials for additive manufacturing and 3D printing: continuous and discrete media (T. Zohdi, Springer-Verlag) and (g) A finite element primer for beginners-extended version including sample tests and projects (T. Zohdi, Springer-Verlag), as well as  six handbook/book chapters and five encyclopedia chapters.

In 2000, he received the Zienkiewicz Prize and Medal, which are awarded once every two years, to one post-graduate researcher under the age of 35, by The Institution of Civil Engineers in London, to commemorate the work of Professor O. C. Zienkiewicz, for research which contributes most to the field of numerical methods in engineering. In 2002, he received the Best Paper of the Year 2001 Award in London, at the Lord's Cricket Grounds, for a paper published in Engineering Computations, pertaining to modeling and simulation of the propagation of failure in particulate aggregates of material. In 2003, he received the Junior Achievement Award of the American Academy of Mechanics. The award is given once a year, to one post-graduate researcher, to recognize outstanding research during the first decade of a professional career. In 2008, he was elected Fellow of the International Association for Computational Mechanics (IACM) and in 2009 he was elected Fellow of the United Stated Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM). The USACM is the primary computational mechanics organization in the United States and the International Association for Computational Mechanics is the primary international organization in this field. In 2011, he was selected as "Alumnus of the Year" by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he did his undergraduate studies. He serves on the editorial advisory boards of ten international journals. Also, he is an editor of the leading journal Computational Mechanics and co-founder and editor-in-chief of a new journal, Computational Particle Mechanics. He is also an editor of a book series on Computational Mechanics, published by John-Wiley.

In the past, he has organized or co-organized three international state-of-the-art CISM workshops (International Centre For Mechanical Sciences in 2002, 2005 and 2010) located in the Palazzo del Torso in the center of Udine, Italy, which is funded by UNESCO, the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), the International Union for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM) and the European Mechanics Society (EUROMECH) and in 2007, he was co-chair of the Ninth United States National Congress for Computational Mechanics, which is the largest conference in the field in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. He actively continues to organize conferences;   recently over 25 conferences and workshops. He was elected President of the USACM in 2012, and served from 2012 to 2014. In 2009, he was elected to a six year term as a representative of the USACM on the General Council of the IACM, which is the governing committee of the primary international organization in his field of research. In 2014, he was appointed by the United States National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council as a member of the United States National Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (USNC/TAM) representing the United States Association for Computational Mechanics for a four year term. Overall, he has given more than 175 plenary, keynote and contributed lectures at conferences, universities and other research institutions. Recently, he was awarded the 2017 University of California, Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award. The Distinguished Teaching Award is a campus-wide recognition for faculty that have established a sustained and varied record of teaching excellence. This is the highest award for teaching in the University. 

In addition to his academic credentials, Tarek I. Zohdi has been active in two main industrial areas:

  • Modeling and simulation of high-strength fabric: Zohdi has pioneered the computational analysis of high-strength ballistic fabric shielding. Initially, this work was funded by the FAA and Boeing as part of a 10 year (2001-2011) multi-million dollar laboratory and simulation effort to develop ballistic fabric shields for the Boeing 787. The analysis of Zohdi was instrumental in the development of 787 Boeing designs. The work was then applied to the development of new ballistic fabric shielding armor (from 2007-present) with the Army Research Labs (ARL) and the Army High Performance Computing Research Center (AHPCRC). In summary, the combined laboratory, modeling and simulation efforts have been instrumental for the development of new types of ballistic fabric shields for the safety and betterment of society.
  • Modeling and simulation of highly heterogeneous materials: Zohdi pioneered the computational analysis of particulate functionalized materials in multiphysical regimes. This work has been continuously funded by a number of industries, most notably for power-generation materials in harsh environments such as thermal barrier turbine blade coating materials (CMCs: Ceramic Matrix Composites) and high-voltage electromagnetic generator (dielectric) materials, such as End Corona Protection systems. This work has been a direct industrial outgrowth of his pioneering book: Introduction to computational micromechanics (T. Zohdi and P. Wriggers, Springer-Verlag).

Also, recently, he was appointed the Director of the Northern  California Regional Manufacturing Demonstration Center; see Whitehouse announcement

  1. http://engineering.berkeley.edu/2016/06/california-new-headquarters-smart-manufacturing-institute 
  2. http://www.me.berkeley.edu/about/news/president-obama-announces-winner-new-smart-manufacturing-innovation-institute-competition

which is part of a 140,000,000 dollar consortium of universities and companies geared towards smart clean manufacturing. He was also recently appointed the Director of the Northern California  Regional Robotics and Manufacturing Center; see announcement

  1. http://www.me.berkeley.edu/about/news/dod-announces-award-new-advanced-robotics-manufacturing-arm-innovation-hub
  2. http://engineering.berkeley.edu/2017/01/berkeley-regional-center-new-robotics-manufacturing-consortium

which is part of a 253,000,000 dollar consortium of universities and companies geared towards robotic manufacturing.

In the News

August 1, 2013

College launches new energy engineering major

The College of Engineering has launched a new major—driven largely by undergraduate interest—that focuses in a comprehensive way on the generation, transmission and storage of energy, with additional courses on energy policy.