Alejandro M. Aragón

Assistant Professor

Alejandro Marcos Aragón started working December 1st 2014 as an Assistant Professor in the Precision and Microsystems Engineering department of the Faculty of 3mE at TU Delft. Alejandro was born on November 10th, 1977, in San Juan, Argentina.

Alejandro obtained the degree of “Ingeniero Civil” from the Universidad Nacional de San Juan in 2001. He worked as a structural engineer for two years before he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a M.Sc. degree in USA. He received his M.Sc. in 2006 and his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). His doctoral dissertation focused on the computational design of microvascular biomimetic materials. During his Ph.D. program, Alejandro received the Mavis Memorial Scholarship Award in 2009 for academic excellence and research accomplishments. After obtaining his Ph.D., Alejandro held two postdoctorate appointments, where he conducted research on the computational modeling of heterogeneous materials (UIUC) and computational contact mechanics (EPFL, Switzerland).

His Ph.D. program and postdoctorate positions shaped Alejandro's research profile strongly on numerical methods. He has always worked at the boundary between computer science and engineering. Alejandro's research focuses on the creation of new enriched finite element technology and its application for solving complex engineering problems. He has worked on the design of novel materials and (origami) structures, the damage response of complex microstructures, the analysis and design of metamaterials—and phononic crystals in particular. Alejandro's latest research efforts revolve on the creation of new enriched finite element methods for the mesh-independent analysis of problems with discontinuities (for example material interfaces and cracks). His knowledge on enriched finite element methods is also taught in his own course "Advanced Finite Element Methods (ME46050)," which is taught in quarters 3 and 4. This course not only contains theory on enriched finite element formulations, but also benefits from the actual computer implementation to solve real engineering problems.

Research interests
  • Computational design of novel materials
  • Origami structures
  • Analysis of heterogeneous microstructures
  • Analysis and design of metamaterials (and phononic crystals in particular)
  • Gradient-based optimization
  • Enriched finite element methods (GFEM/XFEM, IGFEM, DE-FEM)
  • Implicit modeling of weak and strong discontinuities
  • Topology optimization
  • Massively parallel scientific computing
  • Computational solid/contact/multiscale/fracture mechanics
Research projects

Multi-physics Design of Metamaterial-Based Measurement Systems

Topconsortia voor Kennis en Innovatie (TKI) grant obtained through the Nano Engineering Research Initiative (NERI)

Unlike natural materials, whose properties are determined by chemical composition, metamaterials (MMs) obtain peculiar functionality typically not found in nature by means of their structure. Phononic crystals (MMs that interact with mechanical waves) are of particular interest because of their potential applications, which include energy harvesting, wireless communications, thermal barriers, elastic/acoustic filters, improved transducers, and waveguides.

This project will investigate phononic crystals (PnCs) for the design of vibration isolation for high-tech systems. The project is a cooperation with leading industrial companies, active in the field of cutting-edge flow measurement systems.

3D structural compliance minimization example where the right side is clamped and the vertical load is imposed on the bottom-left segment.
  • Mavis Memorial Fund Scholarship award for outstanding research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
  • Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a M.Sc. program in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Graduated with honors for B.Sc. (ranked 4th among graduating students of all engineering disciplines), thereby qualifying for membership in the prestigious post-graduation Flag Honor Guard
Professional activities
  • Reviewer for International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Journal of Computational Physics, Composites Science and Technology, Finite Elements in Analysis and Design, Advanced Modeling and Simulation in Engineering Sciences, and the Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures.
  • Co-organizer of the workshop "Fast and Accurate Computing," held in the Twentieth Engineering Mechanics Symposium 
  • Co-organized of mini-symposia focused on new enriched methodologies, particularly for modeling problems with discontinuities
  • Instructor of Advanced Dynamics, a graduate course of the National Graduate School on Engineering Mechanics
  • Instructor of Python programming workshops in collaboration with Taylor board

Selected journal publications


Alejandro M. Aragón