Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Thomas W. Shield

Thomas Shield

Contact information
Office: 117A Akerman Hall
Phone: 612-626-7793
E-mail: shield (at)

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Professor Shield's research program focuses on understanding the effects that microstructures in modern materials have on the overall behavior of these materials and on their fracture properties. The materials under study include single crystals of shape-memory and other copper-based alloys, as well as novel materials with both magneto-elastic and shape-memory behaviors. Experimental work concentrates on observing the microstructures that form under various types of loading and at the tips of cracks. Single crystals are studied to isolate the microstructural behaviors from the grain-to-grain interactions that occur in polycrystalline materials. Models are then developed that allow the observed microstructures to be predicted and their effects on overall behavior of these materials to be understood. The basic understanding developed by this work will allow the actuators, sensors and other applications that employ these and other similar materials to be improved and designed more reliably. This work is done in collaboration with Professors Leo and James.


B.S., Engineering Mechanics, University of Illinois -Urbana/Champaign, 1983
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1984
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1988


2004 - Present: Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
1998-2017: Director of Undergraduate Studies, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
1996 - 2004: Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
1990 - 1996: Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
1988 - 1990: Research Associate, University of Illinois and Brown University
1983 - 1988: Research Assistant, University of California at Berkeley

Five Recent Publications

  • Leo, P. H., and Shield, T. W., 2016, A Lumped Energy Model for Crack Growth in Shape Memory Materials, Journal of Applied Mechanics, 83(3):031010-031010-7, (Journal Article) More Details, Request PDF
  • Yintao Song, Xian Chen, Vivekanand Dabade, Thomas W. Shield and Richard D. James, 2013, Enhanced reversibility and unusual microstructure of a phase-transforming material, Nature, Volume 502, pp. 85-88, (Journal Article) More Details
  • Y. Ganor, D. Shilo, J. Messier, T.W. Shield and R.D. James, 2007, Testing system for ferromagnetic shape memory micro-actuators, Review of Scientific Instruments, 78, (Journal Article) More Details, Request PDF
  • Cui, J., and Shield, T. W., 2007, Ferromagnetic Shape Memory Effects in an Iron Palladium Alloy, Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures, 2(3), (Journal Article) More Details
  • Venkatasubramaniam S. Kalambur, Bumsoo Han, Bruce E. Hammer, Thomas W. Shield, John C. Bischof, 2005, In vitro characterization of movement, heating and visualization of magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications, Nanotechnology, 16, pp. 1221-1233, (Journal Article) More Details

See more publications

Honors and Fellowships

IT Student Board, AEM Professor of the Year, 2004
University of Minnesota's McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, 1992 - 1994
NSF National Young Investigator Award, 1992 - 1997
The Berkeley Graduate Fellowship, 1983, 1988
National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1984-1987


Chair, CSE Curriculum Committee

Subjects and Courses Taught

AEM 3031 -- Deformable Body Mechanics
AEM 3100 -- Software Applications in AEM
AEM 4495 -- Aerospace Systems Problems
AEM 4501 -- Aerospace Structures
AEM 4595 -- Problems in Mechanics and Materials
AEM 4601 -- Instrumentation Laboratory
AEM 4602W -- Aeromechanics Laboratory
AEM 5501 -- Continuum Mechanics
AEM 5503 -- Theory of Elasticity
AEM 8000 -- Seminar: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
AEM 8295 -- Selected Topics in Fluid Mechanics
AEM 8500 -- Research Seminar in Mechanics of Materials
AEM 8523 -- Elastodynamics
AEM 8533 -- Theory of Plasticity
AEM 8880 -- Plan B Project

Last Modified: 2017-07-15 at 10:42:50 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation