Our research group in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio works in the interdisciplinary field across mechanics, materials and applied physics, with expertise in atomistic and multiscale materials modeling as well as atomic force microscopy based nanomechanical experimentation. Our goal is to understand the fundamental principles governing mechanical properties and behaviors of materials in both engineering and biology. Our research has plentiful applications in nanotechnologies, biomedicine, energy and others.


  • Two fully-funded Ph.D. positions are available for 2020 Spring/Fall in our group. The prospective student should be highly motivated to take part in theoretical, computational and/or experimental research related to multiscale mechanics of advanced materials. If you are interested please send a CV to Prof. Wei Gao (wei.gao@utsa.edu).

  • M.S. and Undergraduate students who are interested in our research are highly recommended to contact Prof. Wei Gao. Stipend is available for competitive applicants. 


A. Ghasemi, P. Xiao, W. Gao, Nudged elastic band method for solid-solid transition under finite deformation, The Journal of Chemical Physics, 151, 054110, 2019.


R. Manno, W. Gao, I. Benedetti, Engineering the crack path in lattice cellular materials through bio-inspired micro-structural alterations, Extreme Mechanics Letters 26, 8–17, 2019.

R. Ramachandramoorthy, W. Gao, R. Bernal and H. Espinosa. High Strain Rate Tensile Testing of Silver Nanowire - Rate Dependent Brittle-to-ductile Transition. Nano Letters, 16, 1, 2016.

W. Gao, R. Huang. Thermomechanics of monolayer graphene: rippling, thermal expansion and elasticity.  Journal of Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 66, 42-58, 2014.

Full list of publication

  • 2019/8: Our research on phase transition of 2D TMDC materials is funded by NSF. 


  • ​2019/8: Welcome Joel Gomz, Colton Kubena and Rohan Negarkar join our group as Master Students. 

  • 2019/8: We received funding from CPS Energy to develop an Autonomous Soft Robotic Solar Tracking System. 


  • 2019/7: Our research on nanomechanics of bone is funded by NIH R01 which is led by Prof. Xiaodu Wang. 


  • 2018/4: Prof. Wei Gao gave a seminar at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio on "Nanomechanics and Application for Biomaterials". 

  • 2017/9: Prof. Wei Gao received UTSA GREAT Award.