Brown University School of Engineering

Brown’s Franck, Henann Share $3.35M Naval Research Grant Over Four Years

March 1, 2017

Brown University Assistant Professors of Engineering Christian Franck and David Henann are among five principal investigators for an Office of Naval Research award worth $3.35 million over four years, led by Franck. The group will be investigating the finite deformation, time-dependent material response of soft matter due to inertial cavitation. Zhen Xu from the University of Michigan will join Franck’s effort of developing and validating a multiscale theory for cavitation and its associated damage mechanisms in complex, soft materials through a rigorous and synergistic integration of experimental techniques. Eric Johnsen, also of Michigan, Tim Colonius of the California Institute of Technology, and Brown’s Henann will develop computational formulations. Once developed, the computational-theoretical framework will be utilized to quantitatively characterize the material behavior of soft materials across several orders of magnitude in length scale, strain rate, strain magnitude, temperature and stress, none of which is achievable with current material characterization methodologies.

Franck is a mechanical engineer specializing in biomechanics and new experimental mechanics techniques at the micro and nanoscale, and in particular on methods for quantifying cell-matrix stresses in 3D for a variety of material systems. He received his B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia in 2003, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2004 and 2008. His doctoral research was on the development of a quantitative three-dimensional experimental technique for applications in soft biomaterials and cellular traction investigations. Franck held a post-doctoral position at Harvard investigating brain and neural trauma before beginning his appointment at Brown in 2009. 

Henann’s research interests are in the area of theoretical and computational solid mechanics. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT in 2011, followed by postdoctoral appointments at MIT and Harvard. He became an assistant professor of engineering at Brown in the fall of 2013, and was named the James R. Rice Assistant Professor of Engineering in the summer of 2016.

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