College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Levitas receives second Humboldt Fellowship

Valery Levitas, Schafer 2050 Challenge Professor and faculty member in both aerospace and mechanical engineering, has received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for alumni in recognition of his research the field of mechanics of materials.

Levitas received a Humbodlt-Research Fellowship in 1993 that allowed him to conduct research for two years in Germany. After his first Humbodlt award, he was considered an alumnus of the program, making him eligible for his most recent recognition.

The alumni award provides funding for up to three months of research in Germany, including support for a postdoctoral student from the US. Levitas is spending part of the term researching at the University Erlangen-Nuremberg, while his post doc, Oleg Zarechnyy, is working there for the entire three months.

He has dedicated time to give talks at several German Universities and will participate in two international conferences over the course of the fellowship. He will also establish collaborations with German professors and students to research mechanics modeling of complex surfaces and interfaces, such as those found in nanotechnologies.

“Advancing modeling of mechanics is especially important for nanoobjects, like nanowires, nanoparticles, and nanofilms, as well as for interfaces between nanotwins in bulk materials,” explained Levitas. These sorts of nanoobjects can help researchers create new materials and devices with broad applications.

He adds he’ll also be working to attract German PhD and postdoctoral students to apply to Iowa State.