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Surface Mechanics


Surface Mechanics Group (SMG) investigates mechanics and physics of material surface phenomena at different length scales ranging from the atomic to macroscopic scales. Our research activities cover a wide range of phenomena including tribology (e.g. friction, wear, lubrication), manufacturing (e.g. machining and cutting processes), and interfacial thermal transport. The group conducts state of the art multi-scale numerical simulations and experiments to translate scientific understanding into predictive engineering models.


  • Multi-scale modeling of materials failure
  • Computational tribology (Friction, wear and lubrication)
  • Machining/cutting processes of metals and composites
  • Dislocation and crystal plasticity 
  • Fracture mechanics and damage mechanisms
  • Contact mechanics
  • Finite elements method
  • Molecular dynamics/atomic simulations


Ramin Aghababaei

Head of section of Mechanics and Materials, associate professor

Key Publications

Research project

Machining of metals and composites

Machining, the process of cutting materials into a desired shape and size by controlled material-removal processes, is one of the oldest yet most challenging problem in most industries. The process emerges from a rich variety of phenomena involving mechanics and physics, chemistry and material science at disparate time and length scales. Using advanced computer simulations, we aim to understand, predict and optimize the machining process of metallic and composite materials.

Group Member


Research project

Origins of materials wear

This project investigates the microscopic origins of material loss from contacting surfaces. We developed a new course-grained numerical technique that allows to conduct atomistic simulations that capture the fracture-induced debris formation during the adhesive collision between surface asperities.