New Faculty Bios

It is our great pleasure to introduce you to just a few of our newest faculty.

Irene Beyerlein joined the Department in July 2016. Most recently, she served as co-director of the Energy Frontier Research Center at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), where she started as a J.R. Oppenheimer Fellow in 1997 after earning her PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at Cornell University. She received the LANL Distinguished Postdoc Mentor Award, the LANL Fellow's Prize, and the International Journal of Plasticity's Young Researcher Award. She received recognition for writing top-five and top-ten most-cited articles for Philosophical Magazine and International Journal of Plasticity, respectively, and she serves as Editor of Acta Materialia and Scripta Materialia and as Associate Editor of the Journal of Engineering Materials and Technology. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, received a visitn professor fellowship at the University of Lorraine, and was most recently honored with the 2016 NSF ADVANCE STEM Professor Fellowship at the University of New Hampshire.

Prof. Beyerlein's research focuses on the creation and design of advanced, lightweight materials with unprecedented structural performance under extreme strain, stress, and temperature. These features are critical for achieving improved fuel economy, as well as a other critical performance metrics, in applications for aircraft, aerospace, automotive, medical, space, energy, and military industries. 

Samantha Daly joined the Department as an Associate Professor July 2016. She earned her MS and PhD in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech, then joined the faculty at the University of  Michigan before her move to UCSB in 2016. Her interests lie at the intersection of experimental mechanics  and materials science, with an emphasis on using novel methods of experimentation coupled closely with theoretical and computational modeling. She was granted the NSF’s CAREER Award, the Eshelby Mechanics Award, the Journal of Strain Analysis Young Investigator Award, the Best Paper of the Year Award from Experimental Mechanics, the Best Paper of the Year Award from IJSS, the DOE Early Career Award, the AFOSR-YIP Award, the ASME Orr Award, the Caddell Award, anda number of teaching recognitions.

Here at UCSB, Prof. Daly’s research group focuses on the statistical quantification of microstructural features  of materials and their effect on meso- and macro-scale properties. Currently, the group is engaged in the development of novel methods of multi-scale material characterization, with application to active materials, high temperature ceramics, very high cycle and low cycle fatigue mechanisms, plasticity, fracture, and material behavior at the nano-scale. Most of all, she looks forward to collaborating on the statistical examination of the mechanics of hierarchical materials, and the development of new methods of experimentation in order to more fully understand how advanced materials deform and fail.

Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz joined the Department in July 2015 from the University of Cambridge. He earned his MSc in Applied Mathematics from Imperial College London and his PhD in Aeronautics from Cornell University, for which he received the Acrivos Award of the American Physical Society for Outstanding U.S. Dissertation in Fluid Dynamics. He proceeded to embark on postdoctoral scholarship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the largest independent U.S. organization dedicated to the study of all aspects of marine science and engineering.

In his role at UCSB, he leads the Fluid Energy Science Laboratory, which pursues a wide range of research in theoretical, experimental, and computational fluid mechanics with the goal of enabling key technological advances in the field of energy production or conservation. His ongoing projects include redesigning wind turbines to improve their collective performance in large wind farms, uncovering the causes for the erratic performance of superhydrophobic surfaces for drag reduction, modeling flow through vegetation in complex terrain, and developing an open-source instrument for microscale water density measurements in oceanographic research. Most recently, in collaboration with Prof. Eckart Meiburg, Prof. Luzzatto-Fegiz has been awarded an NSF grant to perform fluid dynamics experiments on the International Space Station with the goal of developing next-generation models of sediment transport.

Tyler Susko joined the Department in March 2015 as a Lecturer PSOE with a special focus on the Mechanical Engineering design program including the required Capstone Design course. Prior to this appointment, he completed his PhD from MIT in the department of Mechanical Engineering where his research focused on the development of a novel robotic system for the treatment of neurological injuries affecting gait. He has also worked as a design engineer at Ingersoll Rand and as an adjunct professor in Physics at Augusta State University, where he discovered his love for teaching.

In addition to pursuing new directions in rehabilitation robotics, his active research includes engineering education not only at the college level but also in K-12 programs. California is one of 18 states transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards which incorporates engineering design. Because most of our teaching force are not engineers, there is an opportunity here for engineering designers to assist in this transition. Last year, Dr. Susko started a joint robotics program with Girls, Inc., 5th and 6th graders, and his engineering freshmen in which the students teamed up to create 20 unique dancing robots. It’s no wonder that he was honored with the Outstanding Faculty Award this past June. He is excited to continue to work with brilliant students and faculty in the most beautiful location in the world.