Dr. Akono’s laboratory investigates fracture and failure mechanisms in complex materials systems from the nanoscale up to the macroscopic scale. The end-goal is to gain a fundamental understand of fracture at small length-scales so as to be able to initiate or inhibit fracture propagation as needed for the relevant application. This research is articulated over three main thrusts: environment-friendly and high-performance structural materials, natural and nano-engineered biomaterials, and geological materials. Some examples of ongoing research projects include strength modeling of multiscale geopolymer composites, CO2-induced mechanical degradation during CO2 geological storage, fracture characterization of hard biomineralized tissues, toughness of novel Mars-friendly binders, Mechanical response of recycled asphalt shingle pavements, durability of macro-defect-free cement, and nanoscale mechanical characterization of organic-rich shale for unconventional resource recovery. The current research is funded by industry, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U. S. National Science Foundation.