Laboratory for Virtual Experiments in Mechanics

What do we do

At the Laboratory for Virtual Experiments in Mechanics we advance the state of the art of numerical tools and models for the simulation of the mechanical response of solids. This is the research group of Professor Adrian Lew.

Computer simulations are pivotal tools in today's scientific and engineering endeavors, and their relevance will only grow in the future. The confidence in simulations gained after tackling the hard problems of yesteryear is quickly shattered when faced with the hard problems of nowadays. Novel computing paradigms that exploit new computer architectures, construct more faithful models, facilitate design space exploration, and quantify uncertainty are needed, and this need makes the field a vibrant and dynamic one. The shortcomings of current tools are laid bare when, for example, designing hydraulic fracturing strategies in shale gas and geothermal reservoirs, and evaluating their environmental impact, or when assessing the injury to crew members in a military vehicle blasted by an improvised explosive device.

In these pages you will find a brief description of our activities.


  • [ June 14, 2015] Evan Gawlik receives the Juan C. Simo Best Thesis Award.

  • [ Septeber, 2014 ] Honorable Mention of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman's 2012 Awards for Advancement in Accessibility for the Virtual Braille Keyboard.

  • [June 16, 2012] LavXm Reunion for Commencement: Some former and current members of the group together for lunch before commencement.

From left to right: Maurizio Chiaramonte, Ramsharan Rangarajan, Alex Ten Eyck, Raymond Ryckman, Adrian Lew, Michael Hunsweck, Haneesh Kesari, Evan Gawlik, Jean-Antoine Bechara.

  • Universal Meshes: Ramsharan Rangarajan showcases the idea behind Universal Meshes, to construct high-order immersed boundary methods and simulate complex cracking problems, such as thermally-induced cracking and hydraulic fracture.