PhD, mechanical science and engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012
Areas of expertise and bio
Expertise: Mechanics of bio- and nanomaterials for injury prediction and energy/manufacturing applications
Wonmo Kang will join the faculty of the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy in January 2020, after spending the past four years as a research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.
There, Kang is leveraging his scientific expertise in materials characterization and mechanics of materials, including biomaterials, to deliver cutting-edge technology and new knowledge to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
Kang’s research focus varies widely – ranging from monitoring and detecting brain injuries to developing nanocarbon materials-based composite structures. These new materials could result in yarns that are 10 times stronger, but as light as state-of-the-art carbon fibers to create lightweight soft armor and high-performance composites.
Kang has always been fascinated by engineering problems that have real-world relevance. He is looking forward bringing those practical applications to his research and teaching in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
“ASU impressed me in many ways, including the world-renowned faculty members, a diverse student body and excellent facilities with state-of-the-art instruments,” says Kang. “[But] what struck me the most was the openness between different disciplines. I believe this openness is the key to fostering fruitful multidisciplinary collaborations, as well as providing students with unique opportunities to gain invaluable interdisciplinary experience.”
Kang realizes many students become more invested in their studies when they know the course materials are relevant to real-life problems.
“I will always emphasize the intimate link between the class materials and real-world applications so that students can appreciate the importance of the class materials,” he says. “At ASU, I will continue to pursue my research interests by carefully formulating scientific questions that will lead to innovative technology breakthroughs.”