Pedro Reis receives Early Career Award from National Science Foundation

January 14, 2014

By Denise Brehm
Civil & Environmental Engineering

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced recently that Pedro Reis will receive a 2014 Early Career Award from the NSF’s Structural Mechanics and Materials program for his project, “Smart Morphable Surfaces for Aerodynamic Drag Control.” The Early Career Award is the NSF’s most prestigious award for young researchers. 

Reis is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Work in his research lab — the Elasticity, Geometry and Statistics Laboratory — focuses on understanding the mechanics of thin objects and structures, such as rods, plates and shells, with a particular interest on devising new ways of turning mechanical failure into functionality.

Some of Reis’ research deals with explaining the physics behind the mechanical behavior of everyday phenomena that also have significant engineering relevance. For example, he has studied the triangular tears that form when peeling adhesive tape from a roll, which is a process that also applies to graphene nanoribbons. More recently he has looked at the physics of morphable and reversibl