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 the 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 visco-elastic 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.
Our latest work is focused on introducing a new paradigm in self-healing concrete using enzymes.
Professional Highlights & Honors
WPI civil engineering professor Nima Rahbar was interviewed for the CBS Boston segment on how excessive rainfall is creating more pothole problems.
The reporter writes “it looks a little like magic” when referring to Professor Nima Rahbar’s research into self-healing concrete. However the Fast Company article takes a much deeper look at the problem of degrading concrete and the solution the WPI team is developing.