Prof. Cai’s research lies at the intersection of materials science, solid mechanics and high-performance computing. The main goal is to predict the properties of materials through the evolution of their microstructures. An example is the prediction of the stress-strain curves of metals during plastic deformation through large-scale simulation of dislocations, which are line defects inside the crystal. Understanding the synthesis and deformation mechanisms of nano-scale objects (such as nanowires) through atomistic and continuum modeling is another major area of interest. We aim to push the capability of materials modeling through the use of advanced numerical algorithms and machine learning techniques, and taking advantage of new novel computational architectures (such as GPUs). The group is also starting experimental and computational research on metal additive manufacturing (3D printing).