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William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fellow and Wyss Visiting Fellow
École Polytechnique (France)
Engineering Sciences
Biomimetics and Quantitative Biology: Conceptual Interpretation and Mathematical Modeling of the Adaptive Design Strategies in Biological Materials, Structures, and Mechanisms

Lev Truskinovsky studies various failure mechanisms in complex materials, including fracture, plasticity, and fatigue. He has done pioneering work in the field of active materials undergoing phase transitions. His main interest is in the mathematical structure of the corresponding theories; for instance, in the interplay between non-convexity and non-locality. Most recently, he has been interested in cooperative phenomena leading to criticality in marginally stable systems. The concept of criticality links the behavior of complex materials with fluid turbulence, earthquake activity, and stock market fluctuations and adds a strong interdisciplinary focus to his research.

At the Institute, Truskinovsky will work on the optimality principles behind mechanical activity of biological systems. The highly nonequilibrial behavior that typifies both the structure and the dynamics of biological systems has defied a traditional description. The level of control that organisms exercise over the mechanical properties of structural components is unparalleled in modern engineering. Learning from the unexpected biological designs promises to generate a paradigm shift in materials science and technology.

Truskinovsky works as a Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique research director at the Laboratoire de Mécanique des Solides and teaches at École Polytechnique. He earned his degrees from Moscow University, did his postgraduate work at Harvard University, and later was a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota. He is the editor in chief of Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics and the president of the International Society for the Interaction of Mathematics and Mechanics.

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.
Photo by Tony Rinaldo