March 25, 2020 Update:
Both these positions have been filled. Thank you to everyone who expressed an interest in this position.

December 3, 2019
Our group ( has two PhD positions open. Please review the details of each position below, and send an email with your CV (and research/design portfolio, if available) to dhruv.bhate[at] with the Subject “PhD Position: Bio-Inspired Design” or “PhD Position: Metallic Cellular Materials,” as appropriate. Both positions are only open to students with a Master’s degree in a relevant field, and are subject to receiving admission into a PhD program at ASU.

Cellular material types in nature: what are the underlying design principles that enable functional performance?

PhD in Bio-Inspired Design of Cellular Materials [Spring or Fall 2020]

This position involves designing, manufacturing and testing cellular materials such as lattices, foams and honeycombs, using nature as an inspiration. Specifically, you will digitize a range of natural cellular materials and translate the resulting data into usable design principles and relationships. These design principles will then form the basis of a design optimization tool, the results of which will be validated using Additive Manufacturing, characterization and functional testing. At a deeper level, we are seeking to understand how structural patterns in cellular materials influence behavior, and how these can be translated into application. This project will involve collaboration with members from industry, academia and NASA. Applicants must have a passion for nature, and an interest in seeking out and studying biological patterns (very important!), and demonstrated skills in FEA and design optimization. Experience with cellular material design, mechanical testing, and materials characterization are plus points.

FEA of a TPMS unit cell under compression: how should this be modeled in the presence of uncertainty of geometry and behavior? (Courtesy Mandar Shinde)

PhD in the Failure Modeling of Metallic Cellular Materials [Fall 2020]

A key challenge in the implementation of cellular materials such as lattices, honeycombs and foams with Additive Manufacturing is in regard to their reliability. This project aims at understanding those aspects of the constitutive behavior in cellular materials that are relevant to failure modeling, and then the development, implementation and validation of the failure model itself. A deeper goal is to establish design methods that can improve reliability of these structures, using the developed model as a design tool. Demonstrated experience with the development and implementation of fracture and/or damage mechanics models in FEA is a minimum requirement for this position. Experience with cellular material design, Metal Additive Manufacturing (in particular Laser Powder Bed Fusion), mechanical testing and materials characterization, are all plus points.

To learn more about our group, visit

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