World Congress on Computational Mechanics


Kai James

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Aerospace Engineering


Kai James is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Principal Investigator of the Computational Design Innovation Lab at UIUC. From 2012 to 2015, he was a postdoc in the Computational Mechanics Group at Columbia University, and he earned his PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Toronto in 2012. His research focuses on computational mechanics and multidisciplinary design optimization with an emphasis on problems involving various sources of nonlinearity, such as viscoelasticity, superelasticity, and large deformations. He is especially interested in developing novel algorithms that leverage high-fidelity computational models and topology optimization methods for conceptual design and synthesis of complex engineering structures. Some of his major research projects include aerostructural optimization of an electric aircraft, optimal design of a bi-stable airfoil, topology optimization of self-actuating shape-memory polymer mechanisms, and computational synthesis of multi-body systems. Dr. James is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2018), and in 2020 he received the Scott White Aerospace Engineering Faculty Fellow Award from the University of Illinois.