Nicholas Boechler

Nicholas Boechler Assistant Professor
  Boechler Research Group


  • Ph.D in Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology, 2011
  • M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 2008
  • B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2007


  • Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sept 2011 to June 2013


The Boechler Research Group studies wave propagation in complex media and the design of materials with extraordinary properties. Current research topics include:

  • Contact dynamics of micro- to nanoscale granular media
  • Shock propagation and failure of ordered 3D microscale granular media
  • Dynamics of surface instabilities in soft materials
  • Non-reciprocal elastic wave propagation via photoelasticity
  • Tailorable nonlinear constitutive laws via microstructural geometric nonlinearity

Honors and awards

  • Air Force Office for Scientific Research Young Investigator Program Award
  • Army Research Office Young Investigator Program Award

Select publications

  1. Hiraiwa, M., Abi Ghanem, M., Wallen, S., Khanolkar, A., Maznev, A. A., and Boechler, N., “Complex contact-based dynamics of microsphere monolayers revealed by resonant attenuation of surface acoustic waves“, Physical Review Letters, 116, 198001 (2016)
  2. Boechler, N., Eliason, J., Kumar, A., Maznev, A., Nelson, K., and Fang, N., “Interaction of a Contact Resonance of Microspheres with Surface Acoustic Waves” Physical Review Letters, 111, 036103 (2013)
  3. Boechler, N., Theocharis, G., and Daraio, C. “Bifurcation-based acoustic switching and rectification” Nature Materials, 10, 665 (2011)
  4. Boechler, N., Theocharis, G., Job, S., Kevrekidis, P. G., Porter, M. A., and Daraio, C. “Discrete Breathers in One-Dimensional Diatomic Granular Crystals” Physical Review Letters, 104, 244302 (2010)