Materials Research Science and Engineering Center
Graduate Student

Johannes T.B. Overvelde
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Between 2004 and 2012, Johannes T. B. Overvelde studied mechanical engineering at the Delft University of Technology, where he received both his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees with distinction. Currently, he is finishing his Ph.D. degree in applied mathematics in Katia Bertoldi’s group at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University. Johannes's research interests include the fields of structural optimization and computational mechanics with a focus on harnessing compliance and instabilities in engineered structural materials and devices to achieve function. He has worked in collaboration with several of the leading scientists in the Harvard MRSEC, including Joanna Aizenberg, Conor Walsh, Robert Wood, and George Whitesides. Johannes will be defending his dissertation in April 2016, and then in May will continue his scientific career as a tenure track group leader of the Soft Robotic Matter Group at the FOM institute, AMOLF, in the Netherlands. There he will explore the use of active and sensing elements to implement feedback capabilities and computation in soft architected materials. This line of research uniquely combines concepts from soft robotics and architected materials, and provides new and exciting opportunities in the design of compliant structures and devices with highly non-linear behavior. The aim is to uncover principles that elucidate how non-linearity and feedback can result in the emergence of complex – but useful – behavior in soft actuated systems.