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Paul Plucinsky

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Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering


  • 2017, Doctoral Degree, California Institute of Technology
  • 2011, Master's Degree, University of Michigan
  • 2011, Bachelor's Degree, University of Michigan


Paul Plucinsky joined the faculty in the USC Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering as an Assistant Professor in January of 2020. Prior to USC, Paul was a Postdoctoral Scholar in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Caltech in 2017, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.S. in Structural engineering at the University of Michigan in 2011.

Research Summary

Paul Plucinsky's research interests lie at the interface of solid mechanics, materials science and mathematics. Broadly, Paul aims to develop theories that capture the interplay between geometry and complex (active and architectured) material behavior, and to use these theories to make predictions relevant to the design of new materials, structures and devices. He has applied this theory-guided approach to a range of topics, including nematic elastomer sheets, origami design, shape-memory alloys, and phase transitions in nano-structures.


  • 2017 Centennial Prize for Best Thesis in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Caltech
  • 2014 NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship, 2014-2017
  • Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

  • OHE 430
  • USC Mail Code: 1453

Contact Information
  • plucinsk@usc.edu


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