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Markus Buehler

Contact Info

room 1-165

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


  • 2004

    Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems & University of Stuttgart

    PhD, Materials Science/Chemistry
  • 2001

    Michigan Technological University

    M.S., Engineering Mechanics
  • 2000

    University of Stuttgart

    B.S. eq., Process and Chemical Engineering

Research Interests

  • Deformation and failure
  • Protein folding and property prediction
  • Biomass conversion
  • Multiscale modeling
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning 
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Hierarchical materials
  • Bio-inspired materials (analysis, design, manufacturing)
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Solid mechanics
  • Deformation and failure
  • Rare events
  • Molecular modeling methods
  • Biophysics
  • Category theory
  • Deep learning 


Markus J. Buehler is the McAfee Professor of Engineering at MIT, a member of the Center for Computational Science and Engineering at the Schwarzman College of Computing, and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering. Professor Buehler’s work applies computational mechanics to the broad area of bio-inspired design, manufacturing, and experimental analysis. Through these efforts, he has devised novel computational approaches to design and manufacture advanced biomaterials that offer greater resilience and a wide range of controllable properties from the nano- to the macroscale. His interests include a variety of functional material properties including mechanical, optical and biological, linking chemical features, hierarchical and multiscale structures, to performance in the context of physiological, pathological and other extreme conditions. His methods include atomistic, molecular and multiscale modeling, machine learning and AI, computational design, as well as computationally-driven experimental synthesis and characterization. His particular interest lies in the mechanics of complex hierarchical materials with features across scales (e.g. nanotubes, graphene and natural biomaterial nanostructures, and especially protein materials), and developing manufacturing strategies such as 3D printing to offer a direct pathway to realize computational models as physical systems.

His recent research has resulted in a new paradigm for the analysis of bio-inspired materials and structures to devise novel biomaterial platforms, and using a mathematical categorization approach that connects insights from disparate fields such as materials, structures to music and language using graph methods. His work also includes the introduction of AI methods in materials modeling and design, especially fracture mechanics, featuring a novel perspective to connect datasets form experiment and simulation to develop multiscale models, as well as the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in the exploration of complex biological materials and graphs, and the design of new audio synthesis methods via the sonification of proteins and other natural materials. He has applied these methods to wide ranging areas of application including protein folding and mechanical features of protein materials, deformation and fracture, as well as deep learning based composite design. In recent work he has further coupled the de novo design methods with additive manufacturing approaches. He is well-known for his research on mechanically relevant proteins, especially silk, elastin, intermediate filaments, and collagen.

Buehler has authored more than 450 peer-reviewed publications (H-index=99), which have been cited more than 35,000 times, and authored two monographs (as well as several edited books). He has given more than 400 invited/keynote/plenary talks around the world, and given several highly-praised TED talks. His technical innovations have resulted in several patents.

He is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, was recently elected as the Section Editor of MRS Bulletin Impact by the Materials Research Society, and is active on the editorial board of many other peer-reviewed journals, such as Extreme Mechanics Letters, Computational Materials Science, and others. Buehler is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Engineering Science (SES), and between 2018 and 2020 served a three-year term as President-elect, President and Past President of the SES. He served as the chair of several conferences (including the ASME Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology meeting in 2011), various societal committees in professional organizations, and is actively involved in public outreach (including an annual materials research camp at MIT with local middle and high schools). He served as the MRS Fall 2021 Meeting Chair.

Buehler is the recipient of many awards including the Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award, the Alfred Noble Prize, the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, the Leonardo da Vinci Award, the Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award, the SES Rice Medal, and the ASME Drucker Medal. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the United States Air Force Young Investigator Award, the Navy Young Investigator Award, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award, as well as the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). In 2016 he was awarded the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for his advances in nanotechnology. In 2018, he was selected as a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher. In 2020, he was named as one of the global top 0.09% of all researchers worldwide in the nanoscience category in a study from Stanford University. His contributions to the arts have been featured in various venues including the Guggenheim and Palais de Tokyo.


Online Data

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