Faculty Directory
Sinan Keten

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

June and Donald Brewer Professor


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech A133
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-5282Email Sinan Keten


Keten Research Group Website


Mechanical Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Biomedical Engineering


Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Graduate Program

PhD Program in Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences

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PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

MEng, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

BS, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey

Research Interests

My research expertise is on computational materials science and mechanics, emphasizing two areas: (1) nanostructured polymeric materials and (2) biomolecular and bioinspired materials. My career goal is to establish theory and simulation-driven approaches to understanding the physics of soft materials at multiple-length scales, typically utilizing molecular dynamics and theoretical approaches. I envision that creating faster and more accurate computational methods, and also learning from biological design principles, will accelerate the design of new materials for structural use, separations, and broader applications relevant to energy, environment, and infrastructure. Designing biomolecular and polymeric materials by theory-driven approaches remains at its infancy because of the dynamic nature of these systems at the nanoscale, and because of the intricacy of the nanoscale interfaces in these systems. 

Significant Recognition

  • ASME Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award (2019)
  • ASCE Huber Research Prize (2019)
  • JMBBM Early Career Researcher Award (2018)
  • Society of Engineering Science Young Investigator Award (2018)
  • NAE US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium Participant (2017)
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) (2017)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (Division of Polymer Physics) (2016)
  • Office of Naval Research Director of Research Early Career Award (ONR) (2016)
  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (ONR YIP) (2015)
  • SEARLE Fellow for Teaching Excellence (2014)
  • ASME Applied Mechanics Division Haythornthwaite RIG Award (2012)
  • Materials Research Society Graduate Student Award (2009)
  • MIT Philip Loew Memorial Award (2008)
  • MIT Emerson Music Scholarship (2007-2009)
  • MIT Presidential Graduate Fellowship (2006)

Significant Professional Service

  • Associate Editor for npj Computational Materials
  • Member of the editorial board for BioNanoScience, Scientific Reports and ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering

Selected Publications

  • Erickson, Daniel P.; Dunbar, Martha; Hamed, Elham; Ozturk, Oguz K.; Campanella, Osvaldo H.; Keten, Sinan; Hamaker, Bruce R., Atomistic modeling of peptide aggregation and β-sheet structuring in corn zein for viscoelasticity, Biomacromolecules 22(5):1856-1866.
  • Hansoge, Nitin K.; Gupta, Agam; White, Heather; Giuntoli, Andrea; Keten, Sinan, Universal Relation for Effective Interaction between Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles, Macromolecules 54(7):3052-3064.
  • Wang, Ao; Vargas-Lara, Fernando; Younker, Jarod M.; Iyer, Krishnan A.; Shull, Kenneth R.; Keten, Sinan, Quantifying Chemical Composition and Cross-link Effects on EPDM Elastomer Viscoelasticity with Molecular Dynamics, Macromolecules 54(14):6780-6789.
  • Fish, Jacob; Wagner, Gregory J.; Keten, Sinan, Mesoscopic and multiscale modelling in materials, Nature materials 20(6):774-786.
  • Dansuk, Kerim C.; Keten, Sinan, A Simple Mechanical Model for Synthetic Catch Bonds, Matter 1(4):911-925.
  • Li, Tianjiao; Meng, Zhaoxu; Keten, Sinan, Interfacial mechanics and viscoelastic properties of patchy graphene oxide reinforced nanocomposites, Carbon 158:303-313.
  • Qin, Xin; Marchi, Benjamin C.; Meng, Zhaoxu; Keten, Sinan, Impact resistance of nanocellulose films with bioinspired Bouligand microstructures, Nanoscale Advances 1(4):1351-1361.
  • Darnall, Shawn M.; Li, Changyi; Dunbar, Martha; Alsina, Marco; Keten, Sinan; Helms, Brett A.; Xu, Ting, Organic Nanotube with Subnanometer, pH-Responsive Lumen, Journal of the American Chemical Society 141(28):10953-10957.
  • Xia, Wenjie; Hansoge, Nitin K.; Xu, Wen Sheng; Phelan, Frederick R.; Keten, Sinan; Douglas, Jack F., Energy renormalization for coarse-graining polymers having different segmental structures, Science Advances 5(4).
  • Natarajan, Bharath; Krishnamurthy, Ajay; Qin, Xin; Emiroglu, Caglar D.; Forster, Amanda; Foster, E. Johan; Weder, Christoph; Fox, Douglas M.; Keten, Sinan; Obrzut, Jan; Gilman, Jeffrey W., Binary Cellulose Nanocrystal Blends for Bioinspired Damage Tolerant Photonic Films, Advanced Functional Materials 28(26).
  • Dansuk, Kerim C.; Keten, Sinan, Tunable seat belt behavior in nanocomposite interfaces inspired from bacterial adhesion pili, Soft Matter 14(9):1530-1539.
  • Xia, Wenjie; Song, Jake; Jeong, Cheol; Hsu, David D.; Phelan, Frederick R.; Douglas, Jack F.; Keten, Sinan, Energy-Renormalization for Achieving Temperature Transferable Coarse-Graining of Polymer Dynamics, Macromolecules 50(21):8787-8796.
  • Hansoge, Nitin K.; Huang, Tianyu; Sinko, Robert; Xia, Wenjie; Chen, Wei; Keten, Sinan, Materials by design for stiff and tough hairy nanoparticle assemblies, ACS nano 12(8):7946-7958.
  • Meng, Zhaoxu; Soler-Crespo, Rafael A.; Xia, Wenjie; Gao, Wei; Ruiz, Luis; Espinosa, Horacio D.; Keten, Sinan, A coarse-grained model for the mechanical behavior of graphene oxide, Carbon 117:476-487.
  • Xia, Wenjie; Meng, Zhaoxu; Shao, Chen; Keten, Sinan, Designing multi-layer graphene-based assemblies for enhanced toughness in nacre-inspired nanocomposites, Molecular Systems Design & Engineering(1):40-47.
  • Xia, Wenjie; Song, Jake; Hsu, David D.; Keten, Sinan, Understanding the Interfacial Mechanical Response of Nanoscale Polymer Thin Films via Nanoindentation, Macromolecules 49(10):3810-3817.
  • Hsu, David D.; Xia, Wenjie; Song, Jake; Keten, Sinan, Glass-Transition and Side-Chain Dynamics in Thin Films, ACS Macro Letters 5(4):481-486.
  • Xia, Wenjie; Ruiz, Luis; Pugno, Nicola M.; Keten, Sinan, Critical length scales and strain localization govern the mechanical performance of multi-layer graphene assemblies, Nanoscale 8(12):6456-6462.
  • Debenedictis, Elizabeth P.; Hamed, Elham; Keten, Sinan, Mechanical Reinforcement of Proteins with Polymer Conjugation, ACS nano 10(2):2259-2267.
  • Qin, Xin; Xia, Wenjie; Sinko, Robert; Keten, Sinan, Tuning Glass Transition in Polymer Nanocomposites with Functionalized Cellulose Nanocrystals through Nanoconfinement, Nano letters 15(10):6738-6744.
  • Shao, Chen; Keten, Sinan, Stiffness Enhancement in Nacre-Inspired Nanocomposites due to Nanoconfinement, Scientific reports 5.
  • Shen, Meng; Keten, Sinan; Lueptow, Richard M., Rejection mechanisms for contaminants in polyamide reverse osmosis membranes, Journal of Membrane Science 509:36-47.
  • Sinko, Robert; Vandamme, Matthieu; Bažant, Zdeněk P.; Keten, Sinan, Transient effects of drying creep in nanoporous solids, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 472(2191).
  • Wei, Xiaoding; Meng, Zhaoxu; Ruiz, Luis; Xia, Wenjie; Lee, Changgu; Kysar, Jeffrey W.; Hone, James C.; Keten, Sinan; Espinosa, Horacio D., Recoverable Slippage Mechanism in Multilayer Graphene Leads to Repeatable Energy Dissipation, ACS Nano 10(2):1820-1828.

In the Classroom

Sinan Keten's teaching interests include mechanics of materials, statics and dynamics classes at the undergraduate level, as well as atomistic modeling and simulation of materials. He is also interested in the development of online simulation tools that provide for a hands-on, practical learning environment for students.