Thomas W. Shield

Tom Shield

Thomas W. Shield

Professor Emeritus, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics


Akerman Hall
Room 202
110 Union Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


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

Research Page

Professional Background

Professor Emeritus, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota, 2019-present

Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota, 2004-2019

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

Editorial Positions

Associate Editor, ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics, 2005-2011


Scientific & Professional Societies

  • Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
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.


Teaching Subjects
AEM 3031 -- Deformable Body Mechanics
AEM 4495 -- Aerospace Systems Problems
AEM 4595 -- Problems in Mechanics and Materials
AEM 8000 -- Seminar: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
AEM 8500 -- Research Seminar in Mechanics of Materials

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 MaterialsJournal 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 materialNature, 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-actuatorsReview of Scientific Instruments, 78, (Journal Article) 

Cui, J., and Shield, T. W., 2007, Ferromagnetic Shape Memory Effects in an Iron Palladium AlloyJournal 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 applicationsNanotechnology, 16, pp. 1221-1233, (Journal Article) 


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