Dr. Matthew SmithAssistant Professor of Engineering
Matt Smith joined the Hope College faculty in 2012. He primarily teaches engineering mechanics and materials courses, including Introduction to Engineering Materials, Statics, Mechanics of Materials and Mechanical Vibrations. He works closely with Hope’s Career Development Center to prepare students to obtain internships and full time employment
AREAS OF INTEREST
Matt specializes in the development and modeling of responsive materials. Recently, he has been working with his research students to synthesize materials that experience large shape changes when exposed to certain wavelengths of light or variations in temperature. He also works with mathematical models and computational software to predict how these materials will perform.
- Ph.D., theoretical and applied mechanics, Cornell University, 2009
- B.S., mechanical engineering, Cedarville University, 2003
- B.A., mathematics, Cedarville University, 2003
HONORS, GRANTS, AWARDS, & PUBLISHED WORK
- “Discrete-state photomechanical actuators,” Extreme Mechanics Letters, 2016
- “Designing for flexural-torsional deformation in photo responsive liquid crystalline polymer networks,” Soft Matter, 2014
- “Contactless, photoinitiated snap-through in azobenzene-functionalized polymers,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013
- “Designed autonomic motion in heterogeneous Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ)-gelatin composites by synchronicity,” Advanced Functional Materials, 2013
- “Autonomic hydrogels through postfunctionalization of gelatin,” Chemistry of Materials, 2012
- “Elastic instability model of rapid beak closure in hummingbirds,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2011
Matt and his wife, Heidi, have five children. He enjoys curling up on the couch and reading chapter books to his kids. He also enjoys playing all manner of sports, especially basketball, golf and soccer. He and his family are actively involved in their local church.