Dr. Brandon A. Krick
Principal Investigator
P. C. Rossin Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
Lehigh University

Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida, 2012

Visiting Scholar

Dr. Christopher P. Junk

Graduate Students

Current Ph.D. Students

Kasey Campbell (NSF Fellow) - polymer blends and soft matter tribology
Tomas Grejtak - topology optimization of composites for wear
Cooper Atkinson - polymer composites and MoS2
Tomas Babuska (NSF Fellow) - materials tribology

Current Ph.D. Students

Dr. Mark Sidebottom - Assistant Professor at Miami University of Ohio
Dissertation - polymer nanocomposites
Dr. John Curry - Postdoc at Sandia National Laboratories
Dissertation - tribology of MoS2 for space and other applications
Dr. Guosong Zeng - Postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Dissertation - tribology of III-Nitride materials

Former Masters Students

Michael Goldstein - design and uncertainty of multifunctional tribometers
Michael Sedaille - in situ optical tribometer

Eric Gallant - multipurpose spray lubricants
Samuel Zorn - adhesion of soft matter

Former Research Active Undergraduates

Zakaria Hsain - atomic layer deposition
Jacob Smith - polymer composites
Samuel Joynson - tribometer design


Undergraduate Research Positions Available

Research Opportunities

Oportunity for hands on research experience.

Now Accepting Applications.

In the Tribology Laboratory, undergraduates will do experimental research focused on interfacial interactions of condensed matter. This includes studying the fundamental origins of friction, wear, surface deformation and adhesion on complex surfaces and materials ranging from cells to nanocomposites in environments ranging space to kilometers under water.

Active research includes analysis of materials that recently returned from the international space station, evaluating wear of dinosaur dental fossils, developing and patenting ultra-low wear polymer nanocomposites, studying and designing biocompatible and bio-inspired polymeric and hydrogel materials, and collaborating internationally on the physics of soft matter interactions. This research in tribology is at the intersection of mechanical engineering, materials science and surface physics.

Nanomechanical and Tribological Properties on Hadrosaurid Dinosaurs

Nanomechanical and Tribological Properties on Hadrosaurid

Prof. Greg Sawyer, Greg Erickson and Brandon Krick measured nanomechanical and tribological properties on hadrosaurid (duck-billed dinosaur) dental fossils from the American Museum of Natural History. Using custom instruments, we measured tissue hardness and wear rates that were preserved in the 65 million year old tooth. These properties are preserved in fossilized teeth because apatite mineral content is the major determinant of dental tissue hardness. Measured tissue wear rates were used to simulate the formation of hadrosaurid tooth chewing surfaces using a 3-D wear simulation. The simulation results in a surface profile nearly identical to a naturally worn hadrosaurid dental battery. The model revealed how each tissue (of differing wear rates) contributed to the formation of sophisticated slicing and grinding features in these reptiles tens of millions of years before mammals evolved analogous chewing capacity. This capacity to measure wear-relevant properties preserved in fossils provides a new route to study biomechanics throughout evolution. See Journal papers:
Science, October 5, 2012, pp.98-101.

Experiments back from the International Space Station

Space Tribometers and Samples back for analysis

Materials on the International Space Station Experiments Space Tribometerd

Materials on the International Space Station Experiments (MISSE) Space Tribometers were the first ever active tribometers directly exposed to the Low Earth Orbit Environment

The Tribology Laboratory at Lehigh University is under construction

The lab as of May 2013

The lab as of July, 3rd 2013

The main laboratory is located in Lehigh's Packard Laboratory.