Triangulation photo tesserae

Katerina Papoulia
Principal and Chief Scientist

Katerina Papoulia is a graduate of the National Technical University of Athens, Greece (Civil Engineering, 1979), the University of Southampton, England (M.Sc., Structural Engineering, 1982) and the University of California, Berkeley (M.A., Mathematics and Ph.D., Engineering, 1992). Her research focuses on the study and computational modeling of material failure, in particular large deformation, damage and fracture of polymeric or glassy materials and of polymer-based composites. The work includes the development of physically based models and robust numerical algorithms with emphasis on convergence of finite element solutions. Her study of failure spans different length scales in an attempt to understand and model the relevant physics. Homogenized models are obtained by statistical simulation of digitized material samples. The latter method is being applied to woven aerospace composites and to a fiber-reinforced "smart" material whose electrical conductivity properties allow it to act as a sensor of failure and deformation.

Her research has been funded by the European Commission, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, Cornell University, and NASA. She is the recipient of a NSF Early Career award. She joined the Waterloo faculty in September 2006 after appointments at Cornell University (1999 - 2006), the Institute of Engineering Seismology and Earthquake Engineering, Thessaloniki, Greece (1996 - 1999) and the MacNeal-Schwendler Corporation (1991 - 1996). Previously she held positions in private industry and government, including term appointments at Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne National Laboratories. She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Properties of Materials Committee, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Committee on Constitutive Equations, the Association for Computational Mechanics, the International Society of Rheology, and the Technical Chamber of Greece. She has taught courses on continuum mechanics, structural mechanics, finite elements, and computational mathematics at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Cornell University and at the Univeraity of Waterloo, Canada.


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