Origami and Topology: Two Powerful Ingredients for Designing Mechanical Metamaterials

20 August 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Ainsworth Bulding J17, Level 4, Room 405A

Jinkyu Yang
Assistant Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

–  All Welcome  –



Mechanical metamaterials are emerging as an enabling technology for manipulating mechanical energy flow at will. In these metamaterials, their unique mechanical properties are derived from structural architectures, rather than their base materials. The natural question is how we design these architectures in a clever way to realize novel mechanical properties unprecedented in nature. In this presentation, I will talk about two powerful ingredients for designing mechanical metamaterials: origami and topology. First, I will show how origami design principle can be exploited to construct metamaterials that mitigate structural impact in an efficient way. Specifically, I will demonstrate a counter-intuitive mechanism of converting external “compressive” impact to “tensile” waves by using origami-based metamaterials. Second, I will talk about how the mathematical concept of topology can be applied to the design of mechanical waveguides. Inspired by the recent advent of topological insulators, I will show these topological waveguides can generate a defect-immune robust propagation of stress waves. Throughout the talk, I will place the experimental results in the context of engineering applications with concrete examples. 


Jinkyu Yang is an Assistant Professor in Aeronautics & Astronautics at the University of Washington (UW). Formerly, he was an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering as well as an interim Program Director of Aerospace Program at the University of South Carolina (2011-2013). He held a postdoctoral researcher position at Caltech (2009-2011) and a senior engineer position at Samsung Electronics (2006-2009). He received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in 2005. His research has been directed towards developing novel engineered materials and structures, e.g., metamaterials, phononic crystals, and nonconventional composites, for aerospace, mechanical, and biomedical applications under the sponsorship of U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Agency, and Boeing. He has received the NSF CAREER, University of South Carolina’s Rising Star, and Samsung Think Tank Team Awards.  


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