Carlos Portela

Carlos Portela joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering as an assistant professor in August 2020. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2019. He was a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech under the guidance of Professors Julia Greer, Dennis Kochmann, and Chiara Daraio. Portela’s research lies at the intersection of materials science, mechanics, and nano-to-macro fabrication with the objective of designing and testing novel materials—with features spanning from nanometers to centimeters—that yield unprecedented mechanical, optical, and acoustic properties. His recent accomplishments have provided routes for fabrication of these so-called ‘nano-architected materials’ in scalable processes as well as testing nanomaterials in real-world conditions such as supersonic impact, in collaboration with researchers at MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. His present application areas involve the creation of novel lightweight armor materials, ultrasonic devices for medical purposes, and new generations of ultra-strong structural materials. Portela is the recipient of several awards including the Gold Paper Award at the Society of Engineering Science Meeting in 2019, the Centennial Award for the Best Thesis in Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Caltech, and the Caltech Rolf H. Sabersky Graduate Fellowship.



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