Thomas W. Shield


Thomas W. Shield

Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics


Akerman Hall
Rm 117A
110 Union Street SE





Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1988

M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1984

B.S., Engineering Mechanics, University of Illinois -Urbana/Champaign, 1983

Professional Background

Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota, 2004-Present

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota, 1998-2017

Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota, 1996-2004

Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota, 1990-1996

Research Associate, University of Illinois and Brown University, 1988-1990

Research Assistant, University of California at Berkeley, 1983-1998


Scientific & Professional Societies
Chair Member, CSE Curriculum Committee
Research Interests

Professor Shield's research program focuses on understanding the effects that microstructures in modern materials have on the overall behavior of these materials and on their fracture properties. The materials under study include single crystals of shape-memory and other copper-based alloys, as well as novel materials with both magneto-elastic and shape-memory behaviors. Experimental work concentrates on observing the microstructures that form under various types of loading and at the tips of cracks. Single crystals are studied to isolate the microstructural behaviors from the grain-to-grain interactions that occur in polycrystalline materials. Models are then developed that allow the observed microstructures to be predicted and their effects on overall behavior of these materials to be understood. The basic understanding developed by this work will allow the actuators, sensors and other applications that employ these and other similar materials to be improved and designed more reliably. This work is done in collaboration with Professors Leo and James.

For more information about Professor Shield's Research click here

Currently Teaching Courses
AEM 4602W -- Aeromechanics Laboratory
Honors and Awards

2004: IT Student Board, AEM Professor of the Year

1992-1994: University of Minnesota's McKnight Land-Grant Professorship

1992-1997: NSF National Young Investigator Award

1983 & 1988: The Berkeley Graduate Fellowship

1984-1987: National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship

Selected Publications

Leo, P. H., and Shield, T. W., 2016, A Lumped Energy Model for Crack Growth in Shape Memory Materials, Journal of Applied Mechanics, 83(3):031010-031010-7, (Journal Article) 

Yintao Song, Xian Chen, Vivekanand Dabade, Thomas W. Shield and Richard D. James, 2013, Enhanced reversibility and unusual microstructure of a phase-transforming material, Nature, Volume 502, pp. 85-88, (Journal Article)

Y. Ganor, D. Shilo, J. Messier, T.W. Shield and R.D. James, 2007, Testing system for ferromagnetic shape memory micro-actuators, Review of Scientific Instruments, 78, (Journal Article) 

Cui, J., and Shield, T. W., 2007, Ferromagnetic Shape Memory Effects in an Iron Palladium Alloy, Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures, 2(3), (Journal Article) 

Venkatasubramaniam S. Kalambur, Bumsoo Han, Bruce E. Hammer, Thomas W. Shield, John C. Bischof, 2005, In vitro characterization of movement, heating and visualization of magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications, Nanotechnology, 16, pp. 1221-1233, (Journal Article)