People Research Teaching Publications Gallery Outreach

Welcome to the home page of the Complex Materials Group. We are interested in employing the powerful analytical and computational techniques devised in heterogeneous materials theory, statistical mechanics, condensed matter physics and discrete geometry to deepen our fundamental understanding of complex material systems with a wide range of engineering applications.  Our expertise in large-scale optimization enables us to explore novel materials with desirable microstructure and properties via inverse design approaches.

With this perspective we actively study problems involving heterogeneous materials microstructure characterization and effective property modeling, multi-functional composite design, self-assembly of colloidal particles, modeling and design of granular materials, physics of living cells and tissues, growth and invasion of malignant tumors, to name just a few. We use computer simulations and modeling to quantitatively characterize problems and to explore new research directions. Whenever possible, we actively collaborate with industry partners and scientists and engineers from many disciplines. For example, some of our research has been motivated by applications in oil industry, high combustion-efficiency propellant manufacturing, and medical/clinical applications.

We are open to new ideas, excited about new challenges and enjoy collaborations. Feel free to contact us if you find what we are doing is of interest to you.


An animation showing a fluid-fluid phase separation in a nano porous material, reconstructed from X-ray scattering data. Image courtesy of Dr. Cedric Gommes (

Group News
  • April 2018: Congratulations to Dr. Shaohua Chen and Dr. Yaopengxiao Xu for obtaining their Ph.D.!
  • April. 2018: Dr. Jiao receives the Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering Top 5% Teaching Award!

Please send comments or questions about this site to Dr. Yang Jiao