Dr. Justin Wilkerson, Texas A&M University

The Perplexing Role of Microstructure in Impact Failure
December 6, 2019


Over the past five decades, there has been an intense effort to understand and control the thermomechanical response of materials in extreme environments. A number of technologies critical to our safety and well-being stand to benefit from such understanding including armor and defense systems, next-generation fission and fusion reactors, spacecraft shielding, vehicular crashworthiness, and advanced manufacturing. Materials in such extreme environments often exhibit complex, somewhat non-intuitive mechanical behavior that is difficult to predict with empirical or phenomenological models. Here we discuss our development of a number of multiscale, mechanism-based models that help unravel this inherent complexity. This seminar will focus primarily on the development of an atomistically-informed crystal plasticity framework for the deformation and failure of shock-compressed single crystals and polycrystals. We further utilize this multiscale modeling framework to provide key insights into the development of reduced-order models, which are helpful in guiding the microstructural design of advanced lightweight armor and shielding materials.


Dr. Justin Wilkerson

Assistant Professor and James J. Cain ’51 Faculty Fellow in the  J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical
Engineering at Texas A&M University. Wilkerson spent one year as a visiting Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellow with the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to that, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He obtained his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M, followed by an M.S.E and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. His academic achievements have been recognized and supported by a number of honors and awards, including the AFOSR Young Investigator (YIP) Award, the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Award, a Haythornwaite Foundation Research Initiation Award, a Top 10 Most Cited Article Award, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, and the 2009 Ammon S. Andes Award presented annually to recognize the nation’s top aerospace engineering graduate. His interests lie at the interface of solid mechanics, material science, and physics. He is particularly interested in the mechanical behavior of materials under the extreme conditions generated in armor and defense applications, nuclear reactors, hypersonic aircraft, and rocket motors, as well as the cores and surfaces of planets and asteroids.