Faculty Profile

Ahmed Elbanna

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ahmed Elbanna
Ahmed Elbanna
Assistant Professor
2219 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg
205 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801

Primary Research Area

  • Structural Engineering


  • PhD. Civil Engineering California Institute of Technology, USA 2011
  • MSc. Applied Mechanics California Institute of Technology, USA 2006
  • MSc. Structural Engineering Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University 2005
  • BSc. Civil Engineering Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University 2003


Ahmed E. Elbanna holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering (2011) and an M.S. in applied mechanics (2006), both from the California Institute of Technology, and an M.S. in structural engineering (2005) and B.S. in civil engineering (2003) from Cairo University. He joined the faculty in December 2012. 

His honors include the George Housner Fellowship, California Institute of Technology, 2005, and a Certificate of Honor, National Ceremony of Science, Egypt, 2004.

Academic Positions

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara 2011-2012

For more information

Research Statement

Dr. Elbanna's research focuses on developing computational and analytical models for complex phenomena, such as friction, adhesion and fracture, in multi-scale systems such as crustal faults and human bone. In his work, he uses concepts from a wide variety of fields including continuum mechanics, dynamical systems, numerical analysis and statistical physics. From a fundamental point of view, processes like fracture and friction are fascinating nonlinear, and often dynamic, phenomena occurring on many scales. In practice, understanding friction and fracture is of vital importance to many engineering (e.g. fiber reinforced composites), biological (e.g. bone fracture) and geophysical (e.g. earthquake rupture) applications.

Research Interests

  • Self-Healing
  • Composites
  • Metamaterials
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Friction
  • Bone
  • Mechanobiology
  • Earthquakes.
  • Granular Materials
  • Failure and deformation in amorphous materials

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • "Towards physics based seismic PRA." Ahmed Elbanna,Zahra Mohaghegh, Erbie Kee, Seyed Reihani, Reza Kazemi and Shawn Rodgers. Proceedings of 2013 ANS National Meeting, November 2013
  • "Size dependence of strength and a model reduction technique for frictional systems failing at multiple length scales." Elbanna A., Heaton T. H. Proceedings of the 16th National Congress on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Penn. State, June 2010
  • "Dynamics of self-healing slip pulses on frictional interfaces: Steady propagation, stability properties and interaction with stress heterogeneities" Elbanna, A. E., Lapusta, N., and Heaton, T. H. Proceedings of the 16 th National Congress on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Penn State, June 2010

Invited Lectures

  • Crack Propagation in Bone: the Role of Sacrificial Bonds
  • To order or To disorder: Examples from bio-inspired architectured composites
  • On some problems in amorphous plasticity of granular media
  • ￿On some bone-Inspired material design ideas: The sacrificial bond mechanism for enhancing toughness and heterogeneity patterning for novel functionality￿.
  • The different signatures of pulse like ruptures propagating on strong velocity weakening frictional interfaces
  • On the Self-healing rupture mode and some investigations on fault zone inelasticity
  • Bone: Some mechanics and Inspiration
  • Non equilibrium thermodynamics of fault gouge: Effect of grain contact processes
  • A multiscale model for shear flow in granular medium with breakable particles
  • A multiscale model for fault zone evolution: From grain fragmentation to secondary faults branching

Professional Societies

  • American Physics Society
  • Engineering Mechanics Institute -ASCE
  • American Geophysics Union

Service on Department Committees

  • Member of Newmark Lecture Committee
  • Chair of Qualification Exam Committee (2015- now)
  • Member of Graduate Admissions Committee (2014-2015)


  • NCSA Fellow (2015-2016)