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Professor Matt Daly’s metal research has potential to change industries worldwide

CME Professor Matt Daly

Chicago opened the world’s first skyscraper in 1885. Technological improvements and the innovative use of structural steel in a metal frame design enabled the construction.

Today, UIC Assistant Professor Matthew Daly is making an impression with his metal research that has the potential to once again change the world. It can potentially impact infrastructure, auto, aerospace, and any industry that requires resilient structural materials.

The UIC professor in civil and materials engineering recently had a research paper published in the International Journal of Plasticity. The paper, titled “On the competition between nucleation and thickening in deformation twinning of face-centered cubic metals,” outlines a new theory that describes competing mechanisms of metal deformation.

The paper is co-authored by Ashok Kumar, Chandra Veer Singh, and Glenn Hibbard, all of the University of Toronto.

“Our research expands previous deformation theories by adding a new criterion to describe the microstructure evolution of materials which undergo twinning,” said Daly. “This theory can be used to make materials lighter while maintaining their strength. This is useful for vehicles where we can either use less fuel or extend the range of an electric car, lighten aircraft, or improve the strength of materials in civil infrastructure.”

Daly’s research focuses on understanding materials processes at the small scale, which can be translated to design new high-performance materials. This focus touches on a broad range of materials including graphene and other 2D materials, nanomaterials, metals and alloys, and bioinspired materials systems.

Learn more about his research at