OUR TEAM

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor
Louis Berger Junior Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Theoretical and Applied Mechanics

Education

2013   PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
2011   MSc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
2011  Diplome d’Ingenieur, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
2009 MSc,  Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
2008 BSc, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France

Awards

2017             IGEN Keynote speaker, Northwestern University
2017             Education Teaching Teachnology Fellow, Northwestern University
2016-2017  National Center for Supercomputing Applications Faculty Fellowship
2016            ASCE New Faces of Civil Engineering Professionals Award
2014-2015  Collins Scholar, Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education, UIUC
2009-2011  MIT Energy Initiative Fellowship

Press Coverage
Urbana High School Outreach | Intrinsic High School Outreach
Geopolymer research | Geopolymer MD simulations | NCSA Fellowship| ASCE New Faces Award
Scratch Test model

Dr. Akono’s laboratory investigates fracture and failure mechanisms in complex materials systems from the molecular level up to the macroscopic scale. This research is articulated over three main thrusts: environment-friendly and high-performance structural materials, natural and nano-engineered biomaterials, and geological materials such as shale or rock. Dr. Akono’s areas of expertise include nano-mechanics, fracture analysis, nanotechnology, advanced experimental testing and multiscale modeling.

Postdoctoral Associates

Saeed Rahimi Aghdam , PhD
Saeed earned his PhD at Northwestern University (NU), in 2019. Saeed completed his B.S. in the fields of Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering (Double Major) with highest honors from Sharif University of Technology in my home country, Iran. He performs research on computational and applied mechanics, with emphasis on modeling the behavior of organic-rich shale.

Graduate Students

Jiaxin Chen, PhD Candidate
Jiaxin completed her M. Sc. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her B. Sc. at the Harbin Institute of Technology. Her research interests include geopolymer composites, crumbed-rubber reinforced concrete, and alkali silicate gels.

 

Yuhui Lyu, PhD Candidate
Yuhui received her B.E. degree in Civil Engineering from Zhengzhou University, and her M.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia. Her research interests include fracture mechanics, nano-mechanics, and cementitious materials.

 

Mimi Zhan, Visiting Scholar
Mimi is a Ph. D. candidate in Southeast University, China. Her research interests include treatment of recycled concrete aggregates via and microbially-induced calcium carbonate precipitation, and mechanical characterization of nanomodified cement-based materials reinforced with carbon nanotubes.

Alumni

Pooyan Kabir, PhD 2018, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Current Position: TBD

Caroline Johnson, M. Sc. 2016, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Current Position: Structural Engineer at Strand Associates

Orieka Okeoghene, M. Sc. 2016, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Current Position: Structural Engineer at Dunaway Associates

Kevin Anderson, M. Sc. 2016, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Current Position: Engineer at STV

Gregory Bouche, M. Sc. 2015, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Current Position: Project Engineer at CITGO Petroleum