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Research Interests

Dr. Brake's research broadly encompasses the fields of:

  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Nonlinear Mechanics
  • Contact/Interface Mechanics/Tribology
  • Numerical Methods
  • Vibration
  • Uncertainty Quantification
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Applied Mathematics for Mechanical Engineering

The central question of Dr. Brake’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 Dr. Brake’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. Presently, there are multiple positions available in Dr. Brake’s Mechadynamics Laboratory, including (but not limited to) interfacial mechanics, application of complex number theory to mechanical engineering, and additive manufacturing.

Brief Bio

Dr. Brake started at Rice University in 2016 after working at Sandia National Laboratories for nine years. Prior to Sandia, Dr. Brake completed his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007. Dr. Brake has been elected to several leadership positions within the ASME, including as the secretary of the ASME Research Committee on the Mechanics of Jointed Structures, he has been a visiting academic at the University of Oxford, he has taught multiple classes at the University of New Mexico as an adjunct professor, and he has co-organized multiple international workshops and conferences. He recently received the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his work in fluid-structure interaction, founded and directed the Nonlinear Mechanics and Dynamics (NOMAD) Institute, and completed his first book – “The Mechanics of Jointed Structures,” to be published by Springer in 2017.

Brake, Matthew
EMAIL: brake@rice.edu
PHONE: 713-348-6142
OFFICE: 226 mEB