Faculty Directory
Horacio D. Espinosa

James N. and Nancy J. Farley Professor in Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship

Director, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Program

Director of the Institute for Cellular Engineering Technologies

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and (by courtesy) Biomedical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech A212
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-5989Email Horacio Espinosa


Micro and Nanomechanics Lab


Mechanical Engineering


Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Graduate Program

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Ph.D. Solid Mechanics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

M.Sc. Applied Mathematics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

M.Sc. Solid Mechanics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

M.Sc. Structural Engineering, Polytechnic of Milan, Milan, Italy

Civil Engineering, Magna Cum Laude, six-year professional degree, Northeast National University, Corrientes/ Resistencia, Argentina

Research Interests

Professor Espinosa’s research focuses in two areas: (1) understanding the mechanical behavior of natural and synthetic nanomaterials across scales, from nano to macro, and (2) developing micro/nano devices for materials research and personalized medicine.

Significant Recognition

  • Member, Academia Europaea, 2019-present
  • Member, Russian Academy of Engineering, 2011-present
  • Prager Medal, Society of Engineering Science, 2019
  • Murray Medal, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2014
  • Fellow, American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2013
  • Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2013
  • Member, European Academy of Sciences and Arts (elected), 2010
  • Member, U.S. National Committee of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 2010-present
  • Member, Society of Engineering Science Board of Directors (elected), 2008-present
  • Fellow, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2008
  • Lazan Medal, Society for Experimental Mechanics, 2008
  • SES Young Investigator Medal, Society of Engineering Science, 2007
  • Hetenyi Award, Society of Experimental Mechanics, 2005
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2004
  • Junior Award, American Academy of Mechanics, 2002
  • Fellow, American Academy of Mechanics, 2001
  • ASME, Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division, Appreciation Award, 2001
  • ONR-Young Investigator Award, 1997
  • NSF-CAREER Award, 1996

Significant Professional Service

  • Member, U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, National Academy of Sciences
  • Member, IUTAM Congress Committee and General Assembly
  • National Academies Panel on Materials Science and Engineering to advise the Army Research Lab, 2013-2016
  • President, Society of Engineering Science, 2012-present
  • Founding Principal Editor of Materials Research Communications, 2011-present
  • Co-Editor of the Wiley Book Series on Micro and Nanotechnologies, 2009-present
  • Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Experimental Mechanics, 2006-2010
  • Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Mechanics, 2003-2009
  • Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Mechanics, 2002-2006
  • Editor of Mechanics a publication of the American Academy of Mechanics, 1998- 2004
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Nanomechanics and Micromechanics, 2010-present
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Laboratory Automation, 2007-present
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), 2007-present

Selected Publications

    R. A. Soler-Crespo, L. Mao, J. Wen, H. T. Nguyen, X. Zhang, X. Wei, J. Huang, S. T. Nguyen and H. D. Espinosa "Atomically Thin Polymer Layer Enhances Toughness of Graphene Oxide Monolayers" Matter, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matt.2019.04.005 (Cover Article)

    S. S. P. Nathamgari, S. Dong, L. Medina, N. Moldovan, D. Rosenmann, R. Divan, D. Lopez, L. J. Lauhon and H. D. Espinosa "Nonlinear Mode Coupling and One-to-One Internal Resonances in a Monolayer WS2 Nanoresonator" Nano Letters, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b01442

    S Bhowmick, H Espinosa, K Jungjohann, T Pardoen, O Pierron, “Advanced microelectromechanical systems-based nanomechanical testing: Beyond stress and strain measurements, MRS Bulletin 44 (6), 487-493, 2019.

    N Alderete, A Zaheri, H.D. Espinosa, “A Novel In Situ Experiment to Investigate Wear Mechanisms in Biomaterials,” Experimental Mechanics 59 (5), 659-667, 2019

    MF Pantano, B Calusi, B Mazzolai, HD Espinosa, NM Pugno, “Load Sensor Instability and Optimization of MEMS-based Tensile Testing Devices,” Front. Mater. 6: 161. doi: 10.3389/fmats

    L Mao, H Park, RA Soler-Crespo, HD Espinosa, TH Han, SBT Nguyen, J. Huang, “Stiffening of graphene oxide films by soft porous sheets,” Nature communications, 10 (1), 1-7, 2019

    R. Yang, V. Lemaitre, C. Huang, A. Haddadi, R. McNaughton and H. D. Espinosa, "Monoclonal Cell Line Generation and CRISPR/Cas9 Manipulation via Single-Cell Electroporation" Small, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.201702495, 2018.

    P. Mukherjee, S. S. P. Nathamgari, J. A. Kessler and H. D. Espinosa "Combined Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Localized Electroporation-Based Cell Transfection and Sampling" ACS Nano, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.8b05473.

    B. Wang, T. N. Sullivan, A. Pissarenko, A. Zaheri, H. D. Espinosa and M. A. Meyers "Lessons from the Ocean: Whale Baleen Fracture Resistance" Advanced Materials, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201804574.

    R. A. Soler-Crespo, W. Gao, L. Mao, H.T. Nguyen, M.R. Roenbeck, J.T. Paci, J. Huang, S.T. Nguyen, H. D. Espinosa, “The Role of Water in Mediating Interfacial Adhesion and Shear Strength in Graphene Oxide,” ACS Nano, Vol. 12, 6089, 2018.

    A. Zaheri, J. S. Fenner, B. P. Russell, D. Restrepo, M. Daly, D. Wang, C. Hayashi, M. A. Meyers, P. D. Zavattieri, H. D. Espinosa, "Revealing the Mechanics of Helicoidal Composites through Additive Manufacturing and Beetle Developmental Stage Analysis" Advanced Functional Materials, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201803073, 2018

    R. Yang, A. Zaheri, W. Gao, C. Hayashi and H. D. Espinosa, "AFM Identification of Beetle Exocuticle: Bouligand Structure and Nanofiber Anisotropic Elastic Properties" Advanced Functional Materials, Vol. 27, Cover Article, 1603993, 2017.

    R. Yang, A. Zaheri, W. Gao, C. Hayashi and H. D. Espinosa, "AFM Identification of Beetle Exocuticle: Bouligand Structure and Nanofiber Anisotropic Elastic Properties" Advanced Functional Materials, Vol. 27, Article 1603993, 2017.

    M. J. Chon, M. Daly, B. Wang, X. Xiao, A. Zaheri, M. A. Meyers and H. D. Espinosa, "Lamellae spatial distribution modulates fracture behavior and toughness of african pangolin scales " Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Vol. 76, p. 30-37, 2017.

    J. A. Broussard, R. Yang, C. Huang, S. S. P. Nathamgari, A. M. Beese, L. M. Godsel, S. Lee, F. Zou, N. J. Sniadecki, K. J. Green and H. D. Espinosa, "The desmoplakin/intermediate filament linkage regulates cell mechanics" Molecular Biology of the Cell, DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E16-07-0520, 2017.

    H. D. Espinosa and R. A. Soler-Crespo, "Materials science: Lessons from tooth enamel" Nature, Vol. 543, No. 7643, p. 42-43, 2017.

    W. Kang, R. L. McNaughton and H. D. Espinosa, "Micro- and Nanoscale Technologies for Delivery into Adherent Cells" Trends in Biotechnology, Vol. 34, No. 8, p. 665-678, 2016.

    S. S. P. Nathamgari, B. Dong, F. Zhou, W. Kang, J. P. Giraldo-Vela, T. McGuire, R. L. McNaughton, C. Sun, J. A. Kessler and H. D. Espinosa, "Isolating single cells in a neurosphere assay using inertial microfluidics" Lab on a Chip, Vol. 15, p. 4591-4597, 2015.

    R. Ramachandramoorthy, R. Bernal and H.D. Espinosa, "Pushing the Envelope of In Situ Transmission Electron Microscopy" ACS Nano, Vol. 9 No. 5, p. 4675-4685, 2015.

    X. Wei, L. Mao, R. A. Soler-Crespo, J. T. Paci, J. Huang, S. T. Nguyen and H. D. Espinosa, "Plasticity and ductility in graphene oxide through a mechanochemically induced damage tolerance mechanism" Nature Communications, Vol. 6, Article 8029, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9029, 2015.

    R. Ramachandramoorthy, W. Gao, R. Bernal and H. D. Espinosa, "High Strain Rate Tensile Testing of Silver Nanowires - Rate Dependent Brittle-to-ductile Transition" Nano Letters, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b03630, 2015.

    M. R. Roenbeck, A. Furmanchuk, Z. An, J. T. Paci, X. Wei, S. T. Nguyen, G. C. Schatz and H.D. Espinosa, "Molecular-Level Engineering of Adhesion in Carbon Nanomaterial Interfaces" Nano Letters, Vol. 15, p. 4504-4516, 2015.

    R.A. Bernal, A. Aghaei, S. Lee, S. Ryu, K. Sohn, J. Huang, W. Cai and H.D. Espinosa, "Intrinsic Bauschinger Effect and Recoverable Plasticity in Pentatwinned Silver Nanowires Tested in Tension" Nano Letters, Vol. 15, No. 1, p. 139-146, 2014.

    W. Kang, J.P. Giraldo-Vela, S.S.P. Nathamgari, T. McGuire, R.L. McNaughton, J.A. Kessler and H.D. Espinosa, "Microfluidic Device for Stem Cell Differentiation and Localized Electroporation of Postmitotic Neurons" Lab on a Chip, 14 (23), 4486–4495, 2014.

In the Classroom

Professor Espinosa has taught a variety of courses, including Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), Experiments in Micro/Nano Science and Engineering, Experimental Engineering, Elasticity, Damage and Inelasticity of Advanced Materials, Advanced Computational Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, and Aircraft Structures.

His teaching philosophy addresses issues that require particular attention in modern education: (a) the increasingly international world of business and markets; (b) the technological advances that are continuously raising the speed at which information is obtained and transmitted; and (c) the dynamics of the job market that makes likely that most individuals will enjoy several careers in their lifetime. It is his view that a student-centered curriculum in which the student takes responsibility for her or his education rather than a rigid and static core curriculum is the best choice for the future. Such a curriculum maximizes multidisciplinary course work, independent study and research (honor degrees), and encourages experimentation and intellectual expansion.