Nicola Pugno, University of Trento, Italy
Nicola has more than 320 international journals papers and a vast number of plenary talks. Nicola has innovated extensively in his field especially in the field of Nanomechanics, across several disciplines thanks to his multidisciplinary background in Engineering (where he has a Master and a PhD degree), as well as in Physics (Master degree) and in Biology (PhD). He has pioneering works in carbon nanotubes, graphene, bio-inspired materials, such as gecko-inspired super adhesive surfaces, lotus leaf-inspired super-hydrophobicity and self-cleaning surfaces, limpet teeth-inspired super-strong materials, spider silk-inspired super-tough materials and bone-inspired self-healing materials. He has developed the toughest fibers reaching 1400J/g and has discovered the strongest biological material. He has developed new theories such as Quantized Fracture Mechanics, an extension of the celebrated Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics of Griffith, from where he has removed the hypothesis of the continuous crack growth, in order to treat any defect size and shape and thus also the fracture of nanoscale objects. The theory has been further extended in fatigue and dynamic fracture. Another theory he has developed is that of multiple peeling, whereas before only single peeling problems were tractable. Peeling has a huge implication in understanding different topics from mechanics of composites to biological adhesion. He has received ERC grants to support technology transfer of his work into commercial applications and he is currently working with several high tech industries developing new markets for several different new materials. He also introduced the new concept of Bionicomposites, demonstrating that feeding spiders with graphene or nanotubes results in their spinning of a bionic silk, incorporating the nanomaterials, with superior structural characteristics. (Griffith medal and prize 2017 motivation).
Presentation Title: Griffith medal and prize 2017 lecture