Nonlinear Mechanics and Dynamics Summer Research Institute

FEA modeling simulation

A test specimen for measuring dissipation across a lap joint under different loading environments (top), and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) predictions for the same system (bottom).

When offered

The six-week institute will begin on June 23, 2015, and will end on July 31, 2015.

Afterwards, participants will have an opportunity to present their research in an institute-organized symposium at the ASME 2015 International Design & Engineering Technical Conference. The conference will be held on August 2–5 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Who can apply

Graduate students and early career researchers from the U.S. and international communities


Sandia/New Mexico

About the institute

The 2015 Sandia National Laboratories Nonlinear Mechanics and Dynamics Summer Research Institute will bring together participants from around the world to work in small teams on projects germane to interfacial mechanics and jointed structures.

The institute’s goals are to help form long-lasting collaborations between national laboratories, academia, and industry and to make significant progress toward solving major challenges in the area of joints and interfacial mechanics.

The institute is open to graduate students and early career researchers from the United States and international communities.

Research projects

In keeping with the institute’s collaborative vision, the institute is soliciting proposals for research projects.

Proposed projects can be associated with a participant’s application. Proposals that pose separate research questions regarding interfacial mechanics and jointed structures are also welcome. Each research topic should be able to capture a research team’s interest and should be of sufficient scope and breadth so that a team can make significant progress during the six-week session of the institute.

Some of Sandia’s experimental and high-performance computational facilities will be available for use by teams in the institute. Examples of projects currently planned for the institute include the following:

  • Experimentally assessing the variability and repeatability in jointed structures to test hypotheses of the mechanisms that contribute to their variability.
  • A numerical round robin to assess the relative merits of different model-reduction strategies for simulating complex systems with strong nonlinearities.
  • Developing a formal framework for assessing epistemic and aleatoric uncertainty in large data sets from systems with strong nonlinearities.


There are no fees to register or participate in the institute. Participants will be responsible for their travel, housing, and daily living expenses, as well as any symposium-related costs.


Contact the institute for assistance in applying for the following funding opportunities:

  • U.S. graduate students – A limited number of internships are available through Sandia National Laboratories. Successful intern applicants will support the institute as part of their summer assignments.
  • U.S. researchers – Funds to help cover some of the expenses associated with attending the institute may be available through the National Science Foundation.
  • Researchers from countries affiliated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – A cosponsorship grant to help cover some of the expenses associated with attending the institute may be available from NATO.

Eligibility and requirements

  • All – An interest in working with other researchers from around the world to explore major challenges in the area of joints and interfacial mechanics.
  • Sandia internships for graduate students – U.S. citizenship, full-time enrollment status at an accredited college or university, and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5/4.0. Learn more about Sandia’s internship requirements.

Application procedure

  • To apply to participate in the institute, email the following to Matthew Brake by March 1, 2015:
    • A copy of your curriculum vitae
    • A statement of your research interests
    • A statement indicating whether or not your home institution can provide funding for you to attend the institute.
  • To submit a research proposal for the institute, email your proposal to Matthew Brake by March 1, 2015.