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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Rensselaer Professor Catalin Picu Named Fellow of ASME

May 31, 2011

Rensselaer Professor Catalin Picu Named Fellow of ASME

Nanomechanics Expert Cited for Research on Multiscale Aspects of Deformation and Fracture

Nanomechanics and multiscale modeling expert Catalin Picu, professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

“We congratulate Dr. Picu on being elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. This is the highest recognition that can be bestowed by his peers,” said David Rosowsky, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer. “Catalin is a stellar academic, a talented engineer, and his research into the mechanics of micro- and nanomaterials is at the forefront of modern electronics manufacturing. We are honored to count him among the School of Engineering’s growing list of society fellows.”

The ASME cited Picu for his significant contributions to the field of mechanics of materials: “His work on multiscale aspects of deformation and fracture has been published in over 100 journal articles and book chapters. He made advances in the understanding of the nature of rate sensitivity in metals and polymers and of stress production in polymeric materials.”

Picu joined Rensselaer as a faculty member in 1998. He was named associate professor in 2003 and full professor in 2009. Prior to Rensselaer, he served as a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University, and a research assistant in the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. From 1990 to 1992, he was a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest in Romania.

Picu is a faculty member of both the Multiscale Science and Engineering Center (MSEC) and Scientific Computation Research Center (SCOREC) at Rensselaer.

A prolific researcher, Picu is co-author of two books, Strength of Materials for Mechanical Engineers and Precision Mechanics Technologies for the Electronic Industry, along with 11 book chapters, and more than 115 journal articles and conference proceedings. At Rensselaer, he has advised 13 graduated doctoral students.

Picu’s research interests are related to the mechanical behavior of materials. He leads the computational nanomechanics lab at Rensselaer, and his group is focused on linking the molecular structure, properties, and small-scale physics of a material with the material’s behavior at the macroscale. The work is a combination of computer modeling, advanced simulation, and experimentation. His investigations include studying the viscoelasticity and stress production in polymers; modeling polymer nanocomposites; and dynamic strain aging in aluminum alloys.

Along with publishing studies, Picu is a frequent editor. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal for Multiscale Computational Engineering, was guest editor of the journal’s special issue on “Computational Issues in Nanotechnology,” and was co-editor of the Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Constitutive Laws for Engineering Materials. Picu is a member of the ASME Elasticity Committee, and a member of the scientific advisory board of the first and second International Conference on Diffusion in Solids and Liquids in Aveiro, Portugal.

Picu received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest in Romania, and in 1995 earned his doctoral degree in applied mechanics from Dartmouth College.

For more information on Picu’s research at Rensselaer, visit:

Contact: Michael Mullaney
Phone: (518) 276-6161
E-mail: mullam@rpi.edu

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.