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Markus J Buehler

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Markus Buehler



Materials Science, Engineering Science, Mechanical Engineering, Biomechanics, Biology, Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, Materiomics

California Institute of Technology, Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alma mater
University of Stuttgart, Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Michigan Tech

Known for
Computational materials science of biological materials, including: structural proteins such as collagen, silks and amyloids, intermediate filaments and synthetic peptide materials; nanoscience and nanotechnology (carbon and derived nanomaterials)

Notable awards
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, National Academy of Engineering-Frontiers in Engineering, Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award (ASME), Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award (AIME), Sia Nemat-Nasser Award (ASME), Leonardo da Vinci Award (EMI), Stephen Brunauer Award (ACS), Alfred Noble Prize (ASCE), TMS Hardy Award, MRS Outstanding Young Investigator Award

University of Stuttgart, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Michigan Technological University

Material Genome Initiative Session 4: Materials Design for Biomedical Applications

Markus J. Buehler is an American materials scientist and engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a professor at MIT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where he directs the Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics (LAMM). Since 2013, he serves as the Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. His research and teaching activities center on the application of a computational materials science approach to understand functional material properties in biological and synthetic materials, specifically focused on mechanical properties. His work is highly cross-disciplinary and incorporates materials science, engineering, mathematics and the establishment of links between natural materials with the Arts through the use of category theory.


Markus J. Buehler Markus J Buehler De Gruyter Open

Education and career

Markus J. Buehler MIT Short Course on Multiscale Materials Design June 2226 Markus

Before joining MIT in 2005, he served as the Director of Multiscale Modeling and Software Integration at Caltech’s Materials and Process Simulation Center in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. He received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research after obtaining a M.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Tech, and undergraduate studies in Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Stuttgart.


Buehler has a background in materials science, engineering science and applied mechanics. Buehler’s research focuses on bottom-up simulation of structural and mechanical properties of biological, bioinspired and synthetic materials across multiple scales, with a specific focus on materials failure from a nanoscale and molecular perspective, and on developing a fundamental understanding of how functional material properties are created in natural, biological and synthetic materials. He is best known for the use of simple computational models to explain complex materials phenomena in biology and engineering from a bottom-up perspective.

His recent work has focused on applying a computational materials science approach to study materials failure in biological systems, including the investigation of material breakdown in a variety of diseases and other extreme conditions across multiple time- and length-scales. His key contributions lie in the field of deformation and failure of structural protein materials such as collagen and silk, where his work revealed universal material design paradigms that enable protein materials to provide enhanced and diverse functionality despite limited resources (energy, material volume, weak building blocks such as H-bonds, etc.), and demonstrated how these mechanisms break down under extreme conditions and disease (impact, trauma, mutations, flaws, etc.). The impact of his work has been the establishment of the universality-diversity paradigm, explaining how multifunctionality (diversity) of material properties in biology is achieved by changing structural arrangements of few (universal) constituents rather than inventing new building blocks, or through reliance of the quality of building blocks. Some of Buehler's current work involves the use of ologs, a category-theoretic framework for knowledge representation, to encode the structure-function relationships inherent in hierarchical materials.

Buehler has published more than 300 articles on theoretical and computational modeling of materials using various types of simulation methods, a monograph on atomistic modeling, a book on Biomateriomics, several book chapters, and has given hundreds of invited lectures, keynote talks and plenary speeches. He collaborates broadly with experimental researchers in the United States, Europe and Asia. He serves as a PI and co-PI on numerous research grants, including several interdisciplinary research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and other organizations.


His teaching at MIT focus on engineering mechanics and modeling and simulation, and on introducing undergraduate and graduate students to computational research.

He has been involved in teaching MIT subjects 1.021J Introduction to Modeling and Simulation, 1.978 From nano to macro: Introduction to atomistic modeling techniques, 1.545 Atomistic Modeling of Materials and Structures and 1.050 Engineering Mechanics I. Buehler collaborates with MIT’s IS&T department within the scope of the initiative "Bringing Research Tools into the Classroom", where is developing tools to enable simple use of multiscale simulation tools in teaching and education of undergraduate and graduate students. He is also actively participating in MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), where he serves as a faculty mentor. He is a faculty advisor in the MIT Summer Research Program and for the Everett Moore Baker Memorial Foundation.


Buehler serves as editor or a member of the editorial board of several international journals including PLoS ONE, International Journal of Applied Mechanics, Acta Mechanica Sinica, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Journal of Nanomechanics and Micromechanics, and the Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience. Since 2011 he serves as a co-Editor in Chief of BioNanoScience, a journal he co-founded. He was elected to the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface in 2012.

He is the chair of the Biomechanics Committee at the Engineering Mechanics Institute of the ASCE, Co-Chair of the NanoEngineering in Medicine and Biology Steering Committee at the ASME, a member of the U.S. National Committee on Biomechanics, and participates in several other committees at ASME including the Committee on Mechanics in Biology and Medicine. He is also active in the Materials Research Society as volunteer writer for the MRS Bulletin, organizer of MRS symposiums, and through his involvement in the MRS Graduate Student Award program. Since 2010 he serves as the Director of the MIT-Germany Program (MISTI Germany).

Awards and recognitions

Buehler received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the United States Air Force Young Investigator Award, the Navy Young Investigator Award, and the DARPA Young Faculty Award. Buehler was cited as one of the top engineers in the United States between the ages of 30-45 through invitation to the National Academy of Engineering-Frontiers in Engineering symposium of the National Academy of Engineering. In 2009, his work was recognized by the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on young researchers in the early stages of their careers. He received the 2010 Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award for exceptional distinction in teaching and in research scholarship, the 2010 ASME Sia Nemat-Nasser Award, the 2011 Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award and the 2011 Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award. In 2011 he received the inaugural Leonardo da Vinci Award from EMI. His work was recognized with several other awards including the Alfred Noble Prize.


Markus J. Buehler Wikipedia

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