Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Richard James Presented Tedori-Callinan Distinguished Lecture


(Richard James left, Robert Carpick right)

On October 23, Professor Richard James presented the 2018-2019 Tedori-Callinan Distinguished Lecture at the University of Pennsylvania sponsored by Penn Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. The lecture series is presented annually by a notable and distinguished expert in the field of engineering.


Letetia Tedori-Callinan and her husband, Jim, endowed the Tedori-Callinan Lecture Series in the department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania in honor of her father who strongly encouraged her to become an engineer and emphasized education.

During her studies at Penn, Letetia worked on many projects such as developing and running the first solar heated retrofitted house in Philadelphia, “SolaRow.” She also helped design a facility to study the effects of wind on thermosolutal behavior of salt-gradient solar ponds in the MEAM (mechanical engineering and applied mechanics) wind tunnel.


(SolaRaw © MEAM University of Pennsylvania)


Professor Richard D. James is a distinguished McKnight University Professor. He has a Sc.B. in Engineering from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. He has authored or co-authored 150 articles, has given 50 plenary or named lectureships, and was awarded the Humboldt Senior Research Award (2006/7), the Warner T. Koiter Medal from ASME (2008), the William Prager Medal from the Society of Engineering Science (2008), the Brown Engineering Alumni Medal (2009) and the Theodore von Karman prize from SIAM (2014).  James’ current research concerns the study of “Objective Structures”, a mathematical way of looking at the structure of matter, the hysteresis and reversibility of solid-solid phase transformations, and the direct conversion of heat to electricity using transformations in multiferroic materials.

Professor James presented on the topic of atomistically inspired origami, drawing from recent research of postdoctoral fellows Fan Feng and Paul Plucinsky on foldable space structures.
The world population is growing approximately linearly at about 80 million per year. As time goes by, there is necessarily less space per person. Perhaps this is why the scientific community seems to be obsessed with folding things. We present a mathematical approach to “rigid folding” inspired by the way atomistic structures form naturally. Their characteristic features in molecular science imply desirable features for macroscopic structures, especially 4D structures that deform. Origami structures, in turn, suggest an unusual way to look at the Periodic Table.

The department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics congratulates Professor James on presenting for this distinguished lecture series and looks forward to his future endeavors.

Tedori-Callinan Lecture Series
Tedori-Callinan Lecture Series: 2018 Richard James
Professor Richard James

Professor James has presented on this topic with the Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures - Hooke Lecture as well. This presentation is still available for public viewing on the Oxford podcast site.

Last Modified: Thursday, 15-Nov-2018 12:57:19 CST -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation