Dr. Michael D. Sangid

Michael D. Sangid received his degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC): B.S. in 2002 with a minor in Mathematics, M.S. in 2005, and PhD in 2010. During his undergrad, he worked in the Advanced Materials Testing and Evaluation Laboratory and also the Autonomic Materials Laboratory in the fields of material behavior and testing.  His master’s research focused on Process Characterization of Vibrostrengthening and Application to Fatigue Enhancement of Aluminum Aerospace Components and was sponsored by the Boeing Corporation.  After completing his Master’s degree, Dr. Sangid spent two years working in Indianapolis, IN for Rolls-Royce Corporation, specializing in material characterization, deformation, fatigue, fracture, and creep of high temperature aerospace materials before resuming his education in 2007.  His research has centered around a multi-scale approach to understand grain boundary effects on crack initiation.  Through this work, atomistic simulations are used to quantify local energy barriers to deformation, which are built into continuum models to connect material structure to performance.  Dr. Sangid continued as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at UIUC working on 1.) heterogeneous deformation of materials and fatigue crack growth testing and modeling of new and emerging materials and 2.) prediction of fiber orientation and length in polymer-based long fiber composites. 

In the fall of 2011, Dr. Sangid started as an Assistant Professor at Purdue University in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where he continues his work on building computational materials models with experimental verification and validation efforts.  His research specifically focuses on (micro)structure to performance modeling, via using atomistic simulations to inform multi-scale models for plasticity, fatigue, and fracture of metallic alloys and high temperature composites.  Both material systems have direct applications in Aerospace Engineering.  There is also an experimental component to his research as he does advanced materials testing and characterization including digital image correlation, advanced microscopy, and stress analysis using high-energy x-ray diffraction at the synchrotron source at Argonne National Lab.  This research lies at the confluence of materials science and solid mechanics.  Dr. Sangid is an active member of the Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society; American Society of Mechanical Engineers; American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; ASM International; and Pi Tau Sigma Honor Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Post-Doctoral Associates

Ritwik Bandyopadhyay

His academic training includes a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University, a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Kanpur, and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from IIEST Shibpur, the then BESU Shibpur.

In grad schools, Ritwik’s research involves structural performance and failure analysis primarily using computational techniques and occasionally experiments and semi-analytical methods. During master’s, he worked on vibration analysis of structures, including sloshing in tuned liquid dampers and hysteretic damping in an Euler-Bernoulli beam. During Ph.D., Ritwik shifted attention to fatigue performance assessment of safety-critical aerospace components made of nickel-based superalloys and titanium alloys primarily using crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) method and a little bit of energy dispersive X-ray diffraction (EDD) experiments.

During Ph.D., the exposure to the EDD technique made Ritwik appreciate the true potential of high energy X-ray diffraction microscopy (HEDM) in the advancement of material modeling, and engineering, in general. This leads to his present research interests, which include coupling HEDM and CPFE to answer some of the technologically as well as scientifically essential questions which have been outstanding for several decades.

Imad Hanhan

Imad is from Tampa, FL, and graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2015, his Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University in 2017, and his PhD in Aeronautics in Astronautics from Purdue University in 2020. Imad originally began his research career in 2013, where he worked on hybrid composites for structural health monitoring. In 2015, he was awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, and began graduate school at Purdue University. His research interests are in aerospace structures and materials, specifically the micromechanical response of composite materials. His research experiences have been mainly experimental, with emphasis on X-ray tomography and microscopy techniques. Additionally, Imad has worked on finite element simulations at the microstructural level, which were used to gain insight into the behavior of composite materials. Imad began as a post-doctoral researcher in May 2020, and his hobbies include cooking and playing the piano.    

Quan (Jason) Zhou

Jason received his bachelor’s in Materials Science and Engineering from Chongqing University, China in 2012.  He then received his PhD in Materials Science from Michigan State University in 2019.  During his PhD, Jason worked on two projects, “microstructural evolution and mechanical behavior of lead-free solder joints under thermal cycling” with Cisco Systems, Inc., and “new braze materials for planar solid oxide fuel cell applications” with Delphi Automotive. The outcome of these two projects include two pending patents, several papers, and numerous conference presentations.  Jason also completed a 6-month Materials R&D internship at Hitachi America, Inc. working on automotive component development, failure analysis as well as process improvement in manufacturing.  

Jason joined the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics as a post-doctoral research assistant in July 2019 under the supervision of Dr. Michael Sangid. He is currently working remotely at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) inside Argonne National Laboratory.  His work focuses on the “high-throughput high-energy X-ray diffraction microscope” at the 6-ID-D beamline involving hardware, control, calibration, operation and data analysis.  His research interest includes new materials design, advanced materials characterization and microstructural evolution of materials in operation.  Jason likes cooking and is a big fan of road trips and hiking.

PhD Candidates

John Rotella

John originates from Chicago, IL where he obtained his Bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from The Illinois Institute of Technology, IIT, in December of 2013. His undergrad research focused on Grain Boundary Engineering in Nickelbased Superalloys and Superalloy design. From January to June of 2014 John worked as a researcher in the High Temperature Structural Materials Lab located at IIT under the guidance of Dr. Sammy Tin. In fall of 2014 John joined the School of Materials Engineering to pursue his PhD. His PhD research in the ACME lab will focus around fatigue and fracture mechanisms and properties for materials in extreme environments.


Ajey Venkataraman

In May 2013, I received my Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, India. My research interests are in computational materials science, primarily of metallic systems. During my undergraduate course, I interned at the Interdisciplinary Center for Advanced Materials Simulation (ICAMS), Germany, where I worked on investigation of hydrogen trap sites in phases of steel using Density Functional Theory (DFT) simulations in Prof. Alexander Hartmaier’s group. Further, for a short period after my Bachelor’s, I interned at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) where I worked towards calculation of elastic constants of binary metallic systems using Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations incorporating the Parrinello–Rahman fluctuation formula.

I joined the School of Aeronautics & Astronautics Engineering at Purdue University as a Master’s student in August 2013 and I’m working with Prof. Michael Sangid’s group working on atomistic simulations. 

Ronald Agyei

Ronald Agyei hails from Ghana, West Africa. He received his BSc in Aerospace Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. During this period, he interned at the School of Trade Training at the Ghana Airforce where he under guided supervision underwent hands-on training on the workshop practice (joining procedure, lathe machine work and basic machining procedure), basic airframe structural repairs, building and troubleshooting simple electronic relating avionics using state of the art electronic gadgets and software.  He also gained some experience on the operation of the K8G Flight Simulator and Simulator Practice. Upon completion of his BSc he was posted to the Safety Regulations Department of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, the aviation authority and regulatory agency of the Republic of Ghana, for his national service.

He is currently enrolled at the school of aeronautics and astronautics of Purdue University and is pursuing further studies in Aerospace Structures and Materials. At the school of AAE, he is part of the Advanced Computational Materials and Experimental Evaluation Lab group under Professor Michael Sangid.  Ronald’s research area is the Characterization of Material Properties through the use of tomograms from X-Ray Microtomography and Digital Image Processing Techniques.

Saikiran Gopalakrishnan

Saikiran received his B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology) degree in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering from National Institute of Technology (NIT)– Trichy, India in May 2016. His primary research interests are Performance Modelling of Advanced Materials, Structural Design Optimization and Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME). During his undergrad, he worked as a research intern on multidisciplinary projects such as “Design of Composite Acoustic Liners for Jet Engines”, “Effective Mass Evaluation of n-type Lead-Bromine semiconductor to improve the Z Factor” at the Aerospace Department and the Physics Department of Indian Institute of Science respectively. As part of his senior research project, he worked on “Development and Characterization of Nickel-Titanium Intermetallic Laminates for High Strain Applications”. Saikiran has always been an Aerospace enthusiast and has worked and led several small-scale projects as a part of “The Third Dimension Aeromodelling Club” of NIT-Trichy.

Saikiran joined the Purdue School of Aeronautics & Astronautics in Fall 2016 for his graduate education. He is currently working on “Completing the Model Based Definition in a Component Design”. He plans to work on Structural R&D in the Aerospace sector after his PhD.  His extracurricular activities include classical guitar, cooking, soccer, hiking and music concerts.

Priya Ravi

Priya received her B.E. in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh, India in May 2015. During her undergrad, after the end of her second year of engineering, she was one among four engineering students to be chosen to intern at 3BRD (Base Repair Depot) at the Air Force Station Chandigarh, where she was familiarized and intimated with the complete overhauling, defect investigation and RTP (repair to produce) of Indian military helicopters, and turbo-prop and turbo-shaft engines. She also interned at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, for a semester where she worked on phase field modeling of systems with non-dilatational misfits.

In the fall of 2015, she joined the school of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University as a Masters student majoring in Structures and Materials. She worked with Dr. Sangid in the summer of 2016 on DIC (Digital Image Correlation) bias correction, strain map stitching, and EBSD contour mapping. In her spare time, Priya loves to play music and sing, experiment with cooking different cuisines, read, and play basketball.

Sven Gustafson

Sven originates from a small town in New Hampshire.  He participated in a 3+2 liberal arts/engineering program at St. Lawrence University and Clarkson University respectively.  In spring of 2017, the program ended and earned him Bachelor’s degrees in Math, Physics, and Civil Engineering.  In fall of 2017, Sven began the pursuit of an Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering PhD degree at Purdue University.  His research will focus on using high energy X-ray diffraction (HEDM) to explore thermomechanical fatigue in engineering metals. 

Greg Scofield

Greg Scofield received his bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from Purdue University in 2016.  As an undergraduate Greg performed research on solid state electrolytes for applications in Li-ion batteries and spent two summers at the Rolls-Royce single crystal foundry in Indianapolis.  Upon graduation Greg worked for one year at Rolls-Royce supporting the development of power dense thermal management systems for high energy applications.  In the fall of 2017 Greg began his PhD studying environmental effects on crack propagation in SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composites.  The emphasis of his work looks into the oxidation of the CMC matrix material in the 900-1200C range and seeks to further define the microchemical processes occurring near the crack tip and on the fracture surface of CMCs during mechanical loading.   In addition to the direction of Dr. Sangid, Greg is coadvised by Dr. Sandhage in the school of Materials Engineering.

Brandon Mackey

Brandon is from the town of Irondequoit located in Rochester, New York. He completed the 2+2 program with Monroe Community College (MCC) and Clarkson University to obtain his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering  (May 2019).  During Brandon’s time at MCC he competed in the ASEE National Robotics Competition, where his team placed 3rd overall. At Clarkson University, Brandon was an undergraduate research assistant, where he studied viscoelastic material properties for space applications. At Clarkson University, he also conducted research on the geometric optimization of a manned space module in cis-lunar orbit. As part of a summer internship at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics, He was responsible for designing and conducting laboratory experiments for a cryogenic target position system for inertial confinement fusion research. Outside of school, Brandon enjoys skiing, playing basketball, hiking, eating, and music concerts.

Glenn R. Peterson

Glenn Peterson received his master’s degree in nuclear engineering in 2015 from the Air Force Institute of Technology after completing his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2013. His graduate research focused on characterizing surface features of two novel uranium-based materials studying Debye temperatures and bandgaps using a combination of photoemission spectroscopy techniques. Glenn spent the past several years working in the public sector on various engineering projects taking him across the country and around the world. He enters Purdue University this fall as a Secretary of the Air Force STEM PhD Fellow supported by the Purdue Military Research Initiative. He is excited to join the research efforts of his co-advisers, Dr. Sangid and Dr. Sandhage from the school of Materials Engineering and is looking forward to studying materials for potential hypersonic vehicle use.

Sidharth Krishnamoorthi

Sid has lived with his family in many places including Illinois, Texas, and most recently Westfield, Indiana. He received his B.S. in Materials Engineering from Purdue University in May 2020. As an undergraduate, he conducted research with Dr. Xinghang Zhang on solid solution strengthened iron-zirconium thin films. Sid also worked as an intern for Haynes International in Kokomo, IN, where he worked on characterizing the microstructure evolution of Ni-based Superalloys as they undergo processing and on mathematically modeling gamma-prime precipitation. Sid’s final summer internship before beginning graduate studies is at SpaceX where he will work in the materials engineering department supporting work on Starship.

In the Fall of 2020, Sid will be joining the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University to pursue his PhD. He will be working on modeling plasticity and prediction of material response. Outside of his academic pursuits, Sid enjoys playing the guitar, watching movies, fishkeeping, and playing basketball & football. 

Masters Candidates

Paul Gardner

Paul grew up in Sydney, Australia before joining the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 2008. He studied Aeronautical Engineering at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). In addition to his studies at ADFA, he focused on chassis design, machining and driver training for their Formula SAE team.

Following graduation in 2011 Paul commenced full time employment with the RAAF. This included a propulsion Design Engineering role which specialized in Engine Structural Integrity and in an aircraft maintenance role (with 36 Squadron supporting RAAF global airlift operations and aviation safety). His last position with the Defence Aviation Safety Authority involved providing Aircraft Structural Integrity services to support RAAF operations. During this time, he was also acting as an Additive Manufacturing liaison with Australian Industry as well as domestic and international aviation regulators.


Paul commenced his studies at Purdue in Fall 2019 to further enhance his Aircraft Structural Integrity and Additive Manufacturing knowledge. Paul’s personal interests include: motorsports, fitness, sci-fi fiction and music.

Alejandra M. Ortiz

Alejandra is from the northwesternmost state of México: Baja California. Here, she attended CETYS University for a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace Design. Her research interests include aerospace structures, materials engineering, and spacecraft design.

During her undergrad, she worked as a research assistant in the Institute of Astronomy at UNAM, where she performed structural analysis using FEM simulations and optical systems design. The objective was to analyze the structure supporting the 2.1m telescope at the National Astronomical Observatory to prevent any deflections or mechanical stress.  

Afterwards, she had an internship in Gulfstream Aerospace in the Aeronautical Engineering Department, supporting the Mechanical Design team, and then moving to the Structural Analysis team, where FEM simulations are performed on the custom jets. More recently, she has been a research assistant at the Mexican Space Agency, where she has contributed to the design of a Laboratory for small satellite integration.

Her hobbies include listening to a lot of music (especially classic rock), watching great movies, reading about art history, painting, learning new languages, reading about musicians and bands, trying to understand theoretical physics, and most importantly: astronomy and space technology.

John Ferguson

John grew up just South of Daytona Beach in Port Orange, Florida. In June 2015, John enrolled at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and attended Basic Cadet Training. While at the Academy, John majored in Mechanical Engineering focused in Structures and Dynamics. In addition to a number of research opportunities, John completed free-fall parachute training, and in intramurals before graduation in May 2019.


During his time at USAFA John conducted research focused in the dynamic behavior of composite laminate plates. He also participated in a summer internship with the Hypersonics Division of Air Force Research Laboratories. John attended Purdue University during the Fall 2017 semester as a guest student and cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.


John joined the group in Fall 2019 in order to further his understanding of aircraft structures and prepare for a career as a Pilot in the United States Air Force. John’s research interests include high-temperature material properties and structural dynamics and his personal interests include skiing, softball, and diving.

Undergraduate Researchers

Javi Solano

Javi Solano is a junior from Houston, Texas studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston. At the University of Houston Javi is a lead teaching assistant for a MATLAB based engineering computing course and a program coordinator for the St. Elmo Brady STEM Academy, a STEM outreach program for underprivileged 4th and 5th grade minority boys of the 3rd Ward area. 

Javi joined the group in the summer of 2019 and continued his research during the summer of 2020. His current research deals with the determination of the mechanisms that initiate and propagate damage through the microstructure of varying layups of the T650/5320 composite. In his free time Javi enjoys running, lifting weights, learning new coding languages and trying new blends of coffee.

Ryoma Kawakami

Ryoma is from Bellefontaine, Ohio. He is a rising junior studying computer science and engineering at The Ohio State University. He worked at Ohio Supercomputer Center during the summer of 2019 as a High Performance Computing intern.


Ryoma joined the group in the summer of 2020. He is interested in the application of computer science to various fields. He is part of the Connected and Automated Vehicles team in OSU EcoCAR, and he also participates in Code 4 Community and ASEE. His personal interests are frisbee, basketball, and speedcubing.

Aidan Molnar

Aidan grew up in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. He is currently a junior studying aerospace engineering at Purdue. In the summer of 2018, Aidan worked as a thermal engineer intern at Glenn Research Center. He conducted a computational thermal analysis of a sensor package for hall thruster plumes and used the results to inform material selection.

He joined the ACME lab in the fall of 2019. His research focuses on integrating a model feature network containing spatially variant material properties with ABAQUS using Python. He is also a member of the Purdue Space Program rocket design club. Aidan’s other interests include running, ice hockey, and science fiction.


There are openings in the lab for motivated and hard-working individuals who are interested in a combination of materials science, solid mechanics, and manufacturing. 

Interested individuals should provide their CV and a statement indicating their areas of interest to Dr. Sangid (

© msangid 2018