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Dr. Kenneth M. Liechti, PhD
Zarrow Centennial Professorship in Engineering
Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Associate Director of the Center for Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Materials
Email: kml@mail.utexas.edu
Office Phone: (512) 471-4164, Fax: (512) 471-5500
Office Location: WRW 110C (map)



Dr. Liechti received a B.Sc. degree in Aeronautical Engineering with first class honors in 1973 from the University of Glasgow in the U.K. and graduate degrees in Aeronautics, with specialty in the mechanics of solids, from the California Institute of Technology (M.S. 1974, Ph.D. 1980). He worked as a Research Scientist at General Dynamics' Fort Worth Division until 1982, when he joined the University of Texas at Austin, where he currently holds the Zarrow Centennial Professorship in Engineering.

Dr. Liechti has an active interest in fracture mechanics with a focus on interfacial fracture and delamination mechanics, particularly as it relates to the reliability of structural adhesive bonding, interfaces in microelectronics devices and polymer coatings for blast mitigation and protection from aggressive environments. Linear and nonlinear viscoelastic effects in the polymers have to be accounted for as the effects of temperature and moisture are considered. In addition, adhesion at ever smaller scales is being examined via atomic and interfacial force microscopy. This relates to the reliability of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) devices where stiction and friction are important and the use of molecular self-assembly to modulate adhesion, friction and wear. Self-assembled monolayers are also allowing some fundamental aspects of fracture to be examined at the molecular scale using interfacial force microscopy and a miniature high vacuum fracture device. The adhesive behavior of graphene and other two-dimensional meterials are also being considered. All these problem areas are addressed with a combination of experiments and numerical analysis to develop understanding that is then used to develop design guidelines. The results of this research have been published in more than 90 papers in leading archival journals. Dr. Liechti is a coauthor with Dr. Bedford on the textbook "Mechanics of Materials".

At this stage, Dr. Liechti has mentored 6 post-doctoral fellows, 17 PhD students and 33 MS to successful completion of their research topics. Graduates are employed in academia, national laboratories and a range of companies in the oil, aerospace, microelectronics and renewable energy fields where several senior graduates now hold leadership positions. Dr. Liechti served on the Executive Committee of the Applied Mechanics Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has also served on the Executive Board of the Adhesion Society. He has been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Mechanics and Experimental Mechanics. He is currently Joint Editor of the Mechanics of Time Dependent Materials journal and on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Solids and Structures. He has organize several national and international conferences including the US Congress of Applied Mechanics in 1986, the 1999 Society of Engineering Science Conference, and the 2007 ASME Mechanics and Materials Conference. He was Program Chair of the 17th and 31st (1993 and 2008) Annual Meetings of the Adhesion Society. Dr. Liechti is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Experimental Mechanics, the Adhesion Society and the American Academy of Mechanics as well as being an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was the 2015 recipient of the Adhesion Society’s Award for Excellence in Adhesion Science, sponsored by 3M.