University of California, Santa Barbara

Faculty Profile

Frederick Milstein


Mechanical Engineering

Frederick Milstein


UCSB Department of Mechanical Engineering
Room 2341 Engineering II Building
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5070

tel: (805) 893-3037
fax: (805) 893-8651

Personal web site

Research Description

Solid Mechanics, Materials, and Structures: theoretical strength of solids, large strain deformation, crystal mechanics


Professor Milstein has two primary research interests. The first comprises fundamental investigations of the mechanical behavior and stability of metals under stress. This work, in turn, is comprised of three main parts: (a) development of criteria for the assessment of the stability of crystals under stress, (b) atomistic simulations of the mechanical response of metals under stress, and (c) development of atomic models for use in the atomistic simulations. This work explores the theoretical strength of metals, the nature of failure modes at the limits of strength, phase changes in metals, and the general mechanical response of crystals at large strain. Prof. Milstein's second research area includes experimental studies of the mechanical properties of novel solids; his group is currently investigating the strength and elastic behavior of lightweight ceramic ablators that have been developed at NASA for thermal protection of space vehicles during planetary entry and of foams used by Los Alamos National Laboratories. Examples of other novel solids that were previously investigated are fiber reinforced aerogels, polymer concretes, and layered semiconductor single crystals with Van der Waals bonding between layers.


  • NASA
  • Los Alamos National Laboratories
  • Institute for Multiscale Materials Studies


  • NASA Mars Exploration Rover Project Certificate of Recognition “For outstanding performance and lasting contribution to the success of the Mars Exploration Rover Project. Entry, Descent, and Landing System”, 2003
  • ASEE Faculty Research Fellow (distinguished level), 1988
  • NATO Senior Fellowship, 1976
  • Guggenheim Fellowship (for Theoretical Studies in Materials Science), 1975-77
  • Senior Fellow, Weizmann Institute of Science, 1975-76
  • Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, 1975, 76

Selected Publications

  • Analysis of elastic stability and structural response of face-centered cubic crystals subject to [110] loading, Applied Physics Letters, 89, 2006, 181907, H. Djohari, F. Milstein, and D. Maroudas
  • Methodology for determining influence of soft surface layers in porous solids on compressive behavior: Application to NASA’s lightweight ceramic ablator, Review of Scientific Instruments, 77, 2006, 026104, M. Gray and F. Milstein
  • Applicability of Born’s stability criterion to fcc crystals in [111] loading, Applied Physics Letters, 87, 2005, 251919, F. Milstein, J. Zhao, S. Chantasiriwan, and D. Maroudas
  • Elastic stability criteria and structural bifurcations in crystals under load, Ch. 4.2 in Handbook of Materials Modeling, S. Yip (ed), Springer, 2005, 1217 – 1274, F. Milstein
  • Atomic pattern formation at the onset of stress-induced elastic instability: Fracture versus phase change, Physical Review B, 70, 2004, 184102, F. Milstein, J. Zhao, and D. Maroudas
  • Compressive response of lightweight ceramic ablators: Silicone Impregnated Reusable Ceramic Ablator, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 39, 2002, 290-298, K. Parmenter, K. Shuman, F. Milstein, C. Szalai, H. Tran, and D. Rasky
  • Thermal activation of shear modulus instabilities in pressure induced bcc-hcp transitions, Physical Review B, 62, 2000, 13799 -13802, Zhao, D. Maroudas, and F. Milstein
  • Embedded atom models of 12 cubic metals incorporating second- and third- order elastic-moduli data, Physical Review B, 58, 1998, 5996-6005, S. Chantasiriwan and F. Milstein
  • Mechanical properties of silica aerogels, Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 223, 1998, 179-189, K.E. Parmenter and F. Milstein
  • Theoretical study of the response of 12 cubic metals to uniaxial loading, Physical Review B, 58, 1998, 6006-6018, F. Milstein and S. Chantasiriwan

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