2022 Thayer Investiture

Yan Li headshot2

Yan Li

Assistant Professor of Engineering


Yan Li received her PhD degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2014. Her primary research interests are in the area of mechanics of advanced materials, involving multiscale/multiphysics modelling, integrated computational/experimental approaches for next generation material design, and application of material science and solid mechanics in advanced manufacturing. Li has worked on research projects supported by the US Army Research Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, NSF CCMD (Center for Computational Materials Design) and collaborated with industry partners including Boeing, Gulfstream and GE. Outside her lab and classroom, she likes classical music, reading and exploring different cultures and food.

Research Interests

Multiscale modeling; fracture/fatigue analysis; process-microstructure-property-performance relation; data-driven material design


  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, Yanshan University 2006
  • MS, Material Science Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University 2009
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology 2014


  • ASME ORR Early Career Award, 2020
  • NH EPSCorR Pilot Award, 2020
  • NSF Travel Award for Faculty Development Symposium, 2019
  • Best Paper Award of the 8th International Conference on Computational Methods, 2018
  • NSF Travel Award for LEVERAGE Summer Institute for Early Career Faculty, 2018
  • WAC Teaching Writing Fellow at California State University, Long Beach, 2017
  • Professors Around the World at California State University, Long Beach, 2016
  • Boeing Engineering Student of the Year, Honorable Mention, 2013
  • IPC Fellowship Award, The Institute of Paper Chemistry Foundation, 2012

Selected Publications

  • Li, Y., Ngo, E. & Song, B. A Novel Design of Guiding Stress Wave Propagation. J. dynamic behavior mater. 6, 348–357 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40870-020-00253-9
  • Li, Y., Cao, J, and Williams, C., Competing Failure Mechanisms in Metal Matrix Composites and Their Effects on Fracture Toughness, Materialia, vol. 5, p. 100238, 2019.
  • Li, Y., Phung, L, Williams, C., 3D Multiscale Modeling of Fracture Mechanisms in Metal Matrix Composites, Journal of Materials Research, pp. 1–10, 2019.
  • Li, Y., A Multiscale Framework for Designing High Toughness Composite Materials, International Journal of Computational Methods, vol. 0, p. 1940008, 2019.
  • Li, Y., Zhou, M., Effect of Competing Mechanisms on Fracture Toughness of Metals with Ductile Grain Structures, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, vol. 205, pp. 14–27, 2018.
  • H. Li, D. Huang, M. Zhan, Li, Y, X. Wang, and S. Chen, "High-temperature behaviors of grain boundary in titanium alloy: Modeling and application to microcrack prediction," Computational Materials Science, vol. 140, pp. 159–170, 2017.
  • Li, Y., Zhou, M., Prediction of fracture toughness scatter of composite materials, Computational Materials Science, vol. 116, pp. 44–51, 2016.
  • Li, Y., McDowell, D, Zhou, M., A multiscale framework for predicting fracture toughness of polycrystalline metals, Materials Performance and Characterization; 3, pp. 1–16 (2014).
  • Li, Y., Zhou, M., Prediction of Fracture Toughness of Ceramic Composites as Function of Microstructure: I. Numerical Simulations, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids; 61, pp. 472–488 (2013).
  • Li, Y., Zhou, M., Prediction of Fracture Toughness of Ceramic Composites as Function of Microstructure: II. Analytical Model, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids; 61, pp. 489–503 (2013).