Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Information

Kaven Hall, 104
Phone: +1-508-831-6567
Fax: +1-508-831-5808

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Nima Rahbar

My research and teaching activities in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are in the area of the mechanics of materials and structures. At WPI, my favorite aspect of teaching is working one on one with graduate and undergraduate students on research projects. I like to excite students’ curiosity towards discoveries and creative scientific advancements.

In our research group, we focus on the fundamental principles that control the behavior of materials in engineering and biology at multiple scales. I am particularly interested in the bioinspired design of materials and structures. In this field, studying biological materials leads to design of high performance materials and structures. For example, we have created bioinspired dental ceramic crowns that lasts longer than the current dental crowns; we have also studied the fracture properties of bamboo as a sustainable structural material. We also have a few projects focusing on fracture and fatigue of materials and structures such as viscoelastic crack bridging mechanisms in ceramics; We have also been involved with the repair of the Adam statue at the New York Metropolitan Museum by studying the mixed mode fracture of marble/adhesive interfaces. I encourage you to visit my website for more details about my research group at WPI.

Research Interests

  • Bioinspired Design of Materials
  • Contact Mechanics and Adhesion
  • Mechanics of Biological Materials
  • Nanomechanics and Nanostructures
  • Toughening Mechanisms at Mutlipe Scales


  • BS, Sharif University of Technology, 1998
  • MS, Northeastern University, 2003
  • PhD, Princeton University, 2008

Featured Publications

  • Salahshoor Hossein, Rahbar Nima “Multi-Scale Molecular Modeling of Hydrogels: Mechanical and Transport Properties.” Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Volume 37, September 2014, Pages 299-306.
  • Youssefian Sina, Rahbar Nima, “Nano-scale Adhesion in Multilayered Drug Eluting Stent.” Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Volume 18, 2013, Pages 1-11, doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2012.11.00.
  • Salahshoor Hossein, Rahbar Nima “Nano-scale toughness and behavior of graphene/epoxy interfaces.” Journal of Applied Physics, 112, 023510 (2012); doi: 10.1063/1.4737776.
  • Agrawal Animesh, Rahbar N, Calvert P “Strong Fiber Reinforced Hydrogel Composites.” Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 9, Issue 2, 2013, Pages 5313-5318, doi: 10.1016/ j.actbio.2012.10.011.
  • Tine Lanssens, Charlot Tanghe, Nima Rahbar, Pinar Okumus, Steven Van Dessel, Tahar El-Korchi, “Mechanical Behavior of a Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Sandwich Panel with Through-Thickness Fiber Insertions.” Construction & Building Materials, Volume 64, 2014, Pages 473-479, doi: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2014.04.052

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Professional Highlights

  • 2013 Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship, Wright-Patterson Air Force Laboratory
  • 2012 TMS Structural Materials Division Young Leader Professional Development Award
  • 2011 NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award in Structural Materials and Mechanics Division of CMMI
  • 2009 University of Massachusetts Life Science Moment Award
  • Princeton Graduate Fellowship
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