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Group Members:

Principal Investigator: Sinan Keten, Ph.D., CV, Email:

June and Donald Brewer Professor

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Director of Graduate Studies, Mechanical Engineering

Northwestern University Tech A133, 2145 Sheridan Road

Evanston, IL 60208-3109, Tel: (847) 491-5282


Post-doctoral Scholars:


Dr. Andrea Giuntoli – Ph.D. University of Pisa, Physics

Mechanical behavior of polymers and glass-forming materials


Doctoral Students:

Nitin Hansoge – Mechanical Engineering
Materials-by-design approaches for polymer nanocomposites



Kerim Can Dansuk – Mechanical Engineering
Material interfaces inspired from adhesins and catch bonds



Martha Dunbar – Mechanical Engineering
Multi-scale methods for biomolecular nanocomposites and adhesives



Ao Wang – Mechanical Engineering
Multi-scale modeling of thermoplastic elastomers



Jenny Liu – Mechanical Engineering, Medical Scientist Training Program (co-advised with Luis Amaral)

Dynamics of proteins using MD informed network models


Suwei Liu – Mechanical Engineering, (co-advised with Rich Lueptow)

Molecular design of reverse-osmosis membranes


Xinyan Yang – Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mechanics of networks and architected materials



Visiting Scholars

Dr. Hao Xu – Associate Professor, Dalian University of Technology

Visiting Professor

Molecular modeling of epoxy systems


Yuwen Zhu – Visiting Student, Shanghai Jiaotong University

Molecular modeling of polymeric systems



Master’s Students: 

Jonathan “Bug” Meehan – Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Design with Bistable Switches


Undergraduate Researchers: 

Christopher Lee – ME/CS Dual Degree

Modeling of nanofiltration membranes



Group Photo (Spring BBQ 2019)

Ph.D Alumni 

Luis Ruiz (2010-2015 | Theoretical and Applied Mechanics), now Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Miami)

Brendan Abberton (2011-2015 | Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, co-advised with Wing Kam Liu), now Senior Engineer at Fusion Engineering LLC)

Wenjie Xia (2011-2016 |Civil and Environmental Engineering), now Assistant Professor at North Dakota State University in Civil & Environmental Engineering

David Hsu (2012-2017, Mechanical Engineering), now Assistant Professor of Physics and Engineering at Wheaton College.

Bobby Sinko (2012-2017, Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering, NDSEG Fellow), now Assistant Professor at Northern Illinois University.

Zhaoxu Meng (2013-2018 | Civil and Environmental Engineering), now Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University

Xin Qin (2013-2018 | Theoretical and Applied Mechanics), now Data Scientist at Conversant

Dan Ma ( 2013-2018 | Mechanical Engineering), now Deep Learning / AI developer at Ping An Insurance

Elizabeth DeBenedictis (2014-2019 | Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering, NDSEG and Ryan Fellow)

Former Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr. Yao Zhang (2017-2019), Ph.D. Penn State University, now postdoctoral fellow at Penn State University.

Dr. Zhaoxu Meng (2018-2019), Ph.D. Northwestern University, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University

Dr. Ben Marchi (2017-2019), Ph.D. University of Michigan, now Analystat TransUnion)

Dr. Wenjie Xia (2016-2018), Ph.D. Northwestern University, now Assistant Professor at North Dakota State University in Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. Amit Singh (2015-2018), Ph.D. University of Minnesota, now Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Bombay, India

Dr. Marco Alsina (2014-2015, Ph.D. Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, co-advised with J.F. Gaillard, now Assistant Professor at Universidad de Talca, Chile

Dr. Chen Shao (2014-2015), Ph.D. University of Michigan –Ann Arbor, now Director of Operations at Trexquant Investment

Dr. Meng Shen (2013-2015) co-advised with R. Lueptow, now Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Chicago

Dr. Elham Hamed (2013-2015), Ph.D. University of Illinois –Urbana Champaign, now Mechanical Design Engineer at Apple

Master’s Degree Alumni

Tianjiao Li, (M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2019, now Ph.D.Student at Cornell University)

Ridvan Kahraman (M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, 2017, now Master’s student in TU Munich)

Shizhe Feng (M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2017, now Ph.D. student at Tsinghua University)

Ari Benjamin (M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2016, now Ph.D.student in at Univ. of Pennsylvania)

Yuanqiao Wu (M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2015, now Ph.D. Student at Boston University)

Danielle Ma (M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2014, graduated with a Ph.D. from our lab)

Wenjie Xia (M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2013, graduated with a Ph.D. from our lab)

Shawn Mishra (M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2013, received Ph.D from the City University of New York).

Former Undergraduate Researchers: 

Roberto Votta (Mechanical Engineering, NU)

Alp Kismir (Mechanical Engineering, NU)

Susan Molina (Biomedical Engineering, NU)

Suwei Liu (Mechanical Engineering, NU, pursuing PhD. in our lab)

Su Chun Kang (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, NU).

Derya Arin (Mechanical Engineering, NU).

Jake Song (Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), NU, now PhD student at MIT in Materials Science and Engineering).

David Bai ( summer REU, Physics & Computer Science, Colorado College)

Jonathan Denose (Mechanical Engineering, NU)

Gary Li (Chemical and Biological Engineering, NU)

Ertugrul Alemdar (Middle Eastern Technical University, REU)

Raul Marrero (NU Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), now PhD. student at Northwestern University)

Katherine Yun (Mechanical Engineering)

Hannah Kim(Chemistry, Wellesley College, visiting Beckman Scholar)

Shawn Caeiro (Materials Science and Engineering, NU)

Matthew Sullivan (REU student, Chemical Engineering, Vanderbilt University)

Paige VonAchen (Mechanical Engineering,  received MD degree at University of Michigan)

Nick Brandis (Civil and Environmental Engineering, NU)

Max Goldmeier (Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), Chemistry Northeastern Illinois University, pursued Ph.D at the University of Akron).

Shawn Mishra (Biomedical Engineering, NU)

Eric Schwenker (Materials Science and Engineering, NU, pursuing PhD at Northwestern University).