Dr. Matthew SmithAssociate 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, Dynamics, and Mechanical Vibrations. He works closely with Hope’s Boerigter Center for Calling and Career 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 liquid crystal polymer 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
- “Tuned photomechanical switching of laterally constrained arches,” Smart Materials and Structures, 2019
- “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
Outside of Hope
Matt and his wife, Heidi, have six children. They enjoy playing sports, reading books out loud, trying to cook new foods and spending time at church.