Conferences - Seminars
By Prof. William Curtin, Director of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering Bio: After gaining a BS and an MS in Physics at Brown University, then a PhD in theoretical physics at Cornell University, he left the academic world for industry, working in the Applied Physics Group of BP (British Petroleum). There he addressed hydrogen storage in amorphous metal alloys and the mechanics of fiber-reinforced composites, to guide development of materials with enhanced performance.
After seven years at BP, he came back to the academic world, but with less focus on physics. He settled down at Virginia Tech and for five years held a position as professor attached to two engineering departments: materials science and engineering mechanics. He joined the solid mechanics group at Brown in 1998. 'Brown had an international reputation in solid mechanics. It was the best place for the type of research I wanted to conduct', explains the professor. At that point, he had the necessary skills to study the behaviour of materials at all levels. 'I had studied phenomena at the atomic and quantum levels during my PhD and at BP, I had modeled composites on the continuum scale. When I arrived at Brown, I was able to leverage these competences and work on multi-scale modeling.' Prof. Curtin joined the EPFL as Director of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in 2012.
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