Mohammad H. Malakooti, PhD.

University of Michigan




1043 ERF


Fiber reinforced polymer composites are becoming ubiquitous in modern structures due to their high specific strength, stiffness, and toughness. Moreover, their multiphase nature provides the ability to tailor the properties of the bulk material for an individual application or combine multiple material behaviors into a single component. However, most of the structural composites have not reached their highest performance in practical applications due to the presence of a weak bonding at the fiber-matrix interface. This talk will present a recently developed approach for design and fabrication of hybrid composites with tunable structural properties and embedded functionality. The proposed approach is based on creating a hierarchical nanostructured interface through the conformal growth of nanowires on the surface of the reinforcing fibers. The results have shown that this unique interface forms a functionally graded interface and enhances load transfer across this critical region leading to increased strength and toughness of the composite. Simultaneously, the piezoelectric properties of the nanowire interface enable a variety of nonstructural functions such as energy harvesting, strain sensing, and actuation within the bulk composite. This presentation will detail efforts to understand the mechanism responsible for the increased strength and the embedded energy harvesting such that the findings can be used to design alternative multifunctional materials with unprecedented properties. Lastly, the plausible routes for design, fabrication, and characterization of the next generation of functional materials and devices will be addressed.

Dr. Mohammad H. Malakooti is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Michigan, where he is studying additive manufacturing of functional materials. He received his Ph.D. (2015) and M.Sc. (2013) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida. Prior to his graduate studies at the University of Florida, he obtained a M.Sc. (2010) in Aerospace Engineering and a B.Sc. (2008) in Mechanical Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology. Dr. Malakooti’s multidisciplinary research interests exist at the intersection of Solid Mechanics, Nanotechnology, Materials Science, and Manufacturing. Since 2012, his contributions in these areas have led to 50 publications consisting of 23 peer-reviewed articles published in high impact journals. In addition, he has received several professional honors and awards including ASME’s 2016 Best Paper Award in Energy Harvesting. He is a regular reviewer for more than 12 international journals including Composites Science and Technology, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, Applied Physics Letters, etc. Dr. Malakooti is passionately committed to developing and conducting innovative research in the area of functional materials and structures in order to generate breakthrough technologies in energy, manufacturing, and healthcare.

Host: Dr. Carmen Lilley

Launch Event