What is Tribomechadynamics? In short, it’s a new field that has emerged from the confluence of structural dynamics, contact mechanics, and tribology. Central to these three fields is the study of interfaces; the difference comes in the length scale considered and the tools used to study an interface. Given a structure, such as an aeroturbine, the goal of Tribomechadynamics is to predict the response of the structure during the design stage (including the full nonlinear response), to predict the performance degradation over time, and to use models to optimize the design of the interfacial components (in terms of weight, properties, wear rates, etc.). Thus, the research in the Tribomechadynamics Lab spans length scales from nano to macro. For more information, visit here.


Research. The Tribomechadynamics Lab is home to both graduate and undergraduate research as well as the Nonlinear Dynamics of Coupled Structures and Interfaces (ND-CSI) Summer Research Program.

The Tribomechadynamic Lab’s research broadly encompasses the fields of:

  • Interfacial Mechanicas
  • Contact Mechanics
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Nonlinear Mechanics
  • Tribology
  • Numerical Methods
  • Vibration
  • Uncertainty Quantification
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Applied Mathematics for Mechanical Engineering

The central question of the Tribomechadynamic Lab’s research is how can we design and predict the response of an assembled structure that contains strong nonlinearities. This research is strongly motivated by the aerospace, defense, and automotive industries. To this end, the focus of the Tribomechadynamic Lab’s recent research has been constitutive modeling for impact dynamics, joint mechanics, the application of additive manufacturing for designing system level assemblies, and the application of a branch of complex number theory (termed hyper dual numbers) to developing parameterized models.


Looking for the other Prof. Brake at Rice University? Prof. Elizabeth Brake, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Philosophy, can be found here instead.