Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Ryan S. Elliott

Contact information
Office: 218 Akerman Hall
Phone: 612-624-2376
E-mail: relliott (at)

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Current research projects

Dr. Ryan S. Elliott's research deals with stability and instability problems related to structures, materials, and microstructured materials. This broad area of engineering science encompasses phenomena such as the crumpling of a car body and frame when involved in a crash, the buckling of railroad tracks on extremely hot and sunny days, the flutter of aircraft wings (where flapping-like vibrations can be amplified and ultimately rip the wings or tail fins off the craft), and the instabilities that can lead to collapse of space truss and frame structures commonly used in satellites and space station construction.  Dr. Elliott's research program has three major themes: (I) development of nonlinear modeling of discrete and continuum solid-state materials and structures, capable of accurately predicting instability behavior and the associated multiple stable states of real systems; (II) development of analytical and computational methodologies (based on theories of symmetry, bifurcation, and pattern formation) that combine applied mathematics and scientific computing to systematically discover the multiple stable states predicted by a given nonlinear model; and (III) development of open source scientific software, and the creation and support of user communities who benefit from these software packages. The specific research projects pursued by Dr. Elliott and his research group each involve one or more of these major themes which serve as common threads connecting them all.


B.S., Engineering Mechanics, Michigan State University, 1998
M.S.E., Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, 1999
M.S., Mathematics, University of Michigan, 2002
Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering and Scientific Computing, University of Michigan, 2004


2018 - present: Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
2011 - 2018: Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
2012 - 2015: Russell J. Penrose Fellow, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
2015 - Present: Graduate Faculty Member, Computational Science
2012 - Present: Graduate Faculty Member, Civil Engineering
8/2010-12/2010 - Visiting Researcher (LMS), École Polytechnique (France)
2005 - 2011: Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
2004: Research Fellow, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan
2001: Computational Science Graduate Fellowship Practicum, Los Alamos National Laboratory
1999 - 2004: Research Assistant, University of Michigan
1999: Teaching Assistant, University of Michigan
1997 - 1998: Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, Michigan State University


+ Symmetry-aware Branch-Following and Bifurcation (SyBFB) method Available by request (send me an email). This package is designed to perform numerical continuation of one-parameter systems of nonlinear equations which possess symmetries. The package incorporates results from group theory, equivariant bifurcation theory, and nonlinear continuation theory. This package has been a workhorse research code for my group and remains under active development.
+ KIM API ( The KIM API (part of the broader Knowledgebase of Interatomic Models project: is an Application Programming Interface for atomistic simulations. The API provides a standard for exchanging information between atomistic simulation codes (molecular dynamics, molecular statics, lattice dynamics, Monte Carlo, etc.) and interatomic models (potentials or force fields). It also includes a set of library routines for using the API with bindings for Fortran, C, and C++. By conforming to this API, an atomistic simulation code will seamlessly work with any KIM-compliant interatomic model written in any supported language. The interface is computationally efficient and often requires relatively minor changes to existing codes.
+ LAMMPS pair_style kim ( Available as part of the standard LAMMPS package. This is the LAMMPS (Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator) molecular dynamics code ( OpenKIM interface providing support for the OpenKIM KIM API within LAMMPS. The pair_style supports the full range of feature defined by the KIM API and is designed to provide LAMMPS users with easy access to all interatomic Models available at


  • Ellad B. Tadmor, Ronald E. Miller and Ryan S. Elliott, Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics: From Fundamental Concepts to Governing Equations, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
More information can be found at

Five Recent Publications

  • C. Combescure, & R. S. Elliott, 2017, Hierarchical honeycomb material design and optimization: Beyond linearized behavior, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 115-116: 161-169, (Journal Article) More Details
  • Mingjian Wen, Junhao Li, Peter Brommer, Ryan S Elliott, James P Sethna and Ellad B Tadmor, 2017, A KIM-compliant potfit for fitting sloppy interatomic potentials: application to the EDIP model for silicon, Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, Volume 25, Issue 1 , (Journal Article) More Details
  • Christelle Combescure, Pierre Henry, Ryan S. Elliott, 2016, Post-bifurcation and stabil- ity of a finitely strained hexagonal honeycomb subjected to equi-biaxial in-plane loading, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 8889:296318, (Journal Article) More Details
  • MingjianWen, Steven M.Whalen, Ryan S. Elliott, Ellad B. Tadmor., 2015, Interpolation effects in tabulated interatomic potentials, Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, 23:074,008, (Journal Article) More Details
  • Amartya S. Banerjee, Ryan S. Elliott, Richard D. James., 2015, A spectral scheme for Kohn-Sham density functional theory of clusters, Journal of Computational Physics, 287:226253, (Journal Article) More Details

See more publications

Honors and Fellowships

Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award, 2014
Russell J. Penrose Faculty Fellow, 2012-2015
Associate Fellow, MN Supercomputing Institute, 2009-present
McKnight Land-Grant Professor, 2009-2011
Associate Fellow, Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, 2009
CAREER grant, National Science Foundation, USA, 2007-present
Frederick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science, Department of Energy, USA, 2005
Ivor K. McIvor Award in Applied Mechanics, University of Michigan, 2004
Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (CSGF), Department of Energy, USA, 2000
Ph.D.-Course/Advanced School Scholarship, DCAMM, Technical University of Denmark, 1999
Tau Beta Pi - Matthews Fellow, 1998
College of Engineering Fellowship, University of Michigan, 1998
College of Engineering Undergraduate Fellowship, Michigan State University, 1995-1997

Scientific and Professional Societies

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Current Courses

AEM 4501 -- Aerospace Structures | Course Home Page

Subjects and Courses Taught

AEM 2011 -- Statics
AEM 2012 -- Dynamics
AEM 3031 -- Deformable Body Mechanics
AEM 3100 -- Software Applications in AEM
AEM 4501 -- Aerospace Structures
AEM 4502 -- Computational Structural Analysis
AEM 4511 -- Mechanics of Composite Materials
AEM 4595 -- Problems in Mechanics and Materials
AEM 5501 -- Continuum Mechanics
AEM 5503 -- Theory of Elasticity
AEM 8000 -- Seminar: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
AEM 8525 -- Elastic Stability of Materials
AEM 8595 -- Selected Topics in Mechanics and Materials
Brief Biographical Sketch Biographical Overview

Last Modified: Thursday, 28-Jun-2018 09:27:30 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation