Our research group is located in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Iowa State University. We foster an interdisciplinary research environment where scientists and engineers explore fundamental and applied aspects of soft materials. The Soft Materials and Structures Lab is located at 3344 Hoover Hall in Ames, Iowa.

Research Focus

Our research lies at the intersection of soft materials, mechanics, and functionality.   Through precise experiments and analyses, we study and exploit the fascinating interplay between material composition, geometry, and programmed deformations.  This interdisciplinary and biomimetic approach aims to create advanced, multifunctional materials with novel combinations of mechanical and functional properties, including ‘smart’ adhesives, deformable electronics and soft robotics, and adaptive materials.


6/2020 – The Soft Materials and Structures Lab is moving to Virginia Tech starting Fall 2020.
6/2020 – Prof. Bartlett and Rob Style write an editorial titled Introduction to Liquid Composites as guest editors for the special Soft Matter issue on ‘Liquid Composites.’ See the collection here.
6/2020 – Haque receives a Postdoctoral Seed Grant from the Graduate College at Iowa State.
6/2020 – Prof. Bartlett’s  World Science Festival presentation has been posted on YouTube. This is from the Cool Jobs program in New York City in 2019.
5/2020 – Prof. Bartlett receives a DARPA Director’s Fellowship Award.
4/2020 Paper on programmable liquid metal microstructures for multifunctional soft thermal composites published in Advanced Functional Materials and featured as a cover article. See the story by ISU.
3/2020 – Dohgyu receives the Research Excellence Award from the Graduate College. Read more here.
3/2020 – Haque, Ravi, Dohgyu, and Ted present at the Midwest Graduate Student Society of Experimental Mechanics (SEM) Symposium.
2/2020 – Prof. Bartlett receives the Early Career Scientist Award from the Adhesion Society.
2/2020 – Ravi receives the Alan Gent Distinguished Student Award from the Adhesion Society. Read more here.
2/2020 – Dohgyu, Ravi, and Prof. Bartlett attend and present at the Adhesion Society in Charleston, SC. Prof. Bartlett co-organized and co-chaired a session on Soft Materials for Soft Technology.
1/2020 – Dohgyu receives the Brown Graduate Fellowship.
1/2020 – Sarah is awarded the Dean’s High Impact Award for Undergraduate Research to support her research in the lab.
12/2019 – Ravi wins two awards. The Research Excellence Award from the Graduate College and the Peebles Award from the Adhesion Society.
11/2019 – Prof. Bartlett gives an invited seminar at the University of Illinois in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering.
11/2019 – Our lab hosted Science Bound students for a Saturday morning outreach event with our soft robotic gripper kits and new slingshot activity.
11/2019 – Haque and Prof. Bartlett give presentations at the IMECE in Salt Lake City.
11/2019 – Prof. Bartlett receives a NASA Iowa Space Grant Early Career Investigator Research Grant.
10/2019 – Prof. Bartlett gives an invited seminar at Virginia Tech in the Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII).
8/2019 – Prof. Bartlett is invited to be a guest editor for a special issue on ‘Liquid Composites’ for the journal Soft Matter.
8/2019 – Our lab receives a Regents Innovation Fund (RIF) grant to develop active materials for advanced mechanical systems.
7/2019 – Doh-Gyu and Prof. Bartlett present posters at the Adhesion GRC. Doh-Gyu also give a presentation at the Adhesion GRS and is elected the 2020 GRS Co-Chair! 
6/2019 Review paper on Switchable Adhesives for Multifunctional Interfaces with Croll Lab published in Advanced Materials Technologies.
5/2019 – Prof. Bartlett presents at the World Science Festival in New York City in the Cool Jobs program. 
5/2019 Paper on soft electronic skin for multi‐site damage detection and localization with Majidi and Markvicka Labs published in Advanced Functional Materials.
5/2019 – Prof. Bartlett gives an invited seminar at the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council (PSTC) TECH 42 meeting.
5/2019 Paper on Self-healing materials for soft-matter machines and electronics with Dickey and Majidi Labs published in Nature Asia Materials.
4/2019 Paper on liquid metal elastomer composites with controllable droplet size and loading with Martin Lab is published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces and is featured as a cover article.
4/2019 –  Our paper on Tunable Kirigami Mechanical Metamaterials is a Top 100 Scientific Reports paper in Materials Science in 2018.
4/2019 – Prof. Bartlett gives an invited seminar at Arizona State University.
4/2019 – Prof. Bartlett gives a presentation at MRS Spring 2019 in Phoenix.
3/2019 – Prof. Bartlett gives an invited seminar at 3M.
3/2019 – Prof. Bartlett gives a presentation and chairs a session at SPIE Smart Materials + NDE in Denver. Check out the presentation.
3/2019 Paper on collagen gel properties to regulate cancer cell migration with Schneider Lab published in Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces.
2/2019 Paper on Kirigami-enabled wireless deformation sensors with Reuel Lab published in Advanced Materials Technologies.
2/2019 –  Ravi, Doh-Gyu, and Prof. Bartlett present at the 2019 Adhesion Society Annual Meeting in Hilton Head, SC. Prof. Bartlett chairs a session and serves as Chair of the Soft Adhesives Division.
1/2019 – Our paper on self-stiffening composites with the Thuo lab is one of the most popular articles in Materials Horizons in 2018. 
1/2019 – Congratulations to Doh-Gyu for winning the Go for the Gold Award. 
1/2019 Paper on Flexible Thermoelectric Generators with Wu and Claussen Labs published in Nanoscale.
12/2018 – Congratulations to Ravi and Doh-Gyu for passing their preliminary exam.
11/2018 – Prof. Bartlett gives a presentation at ASME-IMECE in Pittsburgh.
10/2018 – Our lab hosted Science Bound students for a Saturday morning event with our new soft robotic gripper kits. Check out the video.
10/2018 – Prof. Bartlett part of multi-disciplinary ISU team team funded by NSF to study flexible resonant sensors.
9/2018 Paper on Multiphase Liquid Metal, Solid Particle Soft Composites with Napolitano Lab published in Advanced Functional Materials.
9/2018 – Prof. Bartlett gives seminar in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Iowa State University
7/2018 – Prof. Bartlett receives a 2018 DARPA Young Faculty Award.
7/2018 – Our lab hosted a Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) summer camp event.
5/2018 Paper on Autonomous Self-Healing Electronics and Robotics with Majidi Lab published in Nature Materials. Featured on The Washington PostPhys.org, New Atlas, & others.
5/2018 – Doh-Gyu wins a poster award at the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council (PSTC) Tape Summit.
5/2018 Paper on Extreme Toughening of Soft Materials with Liquid Metal with Majidi Lab published in Advanced Materials.
4/2018 – Prof. Bartlett gives a presentation at MRS in Phoenix.
3/2018 – Undergraduate researcher Matthew Swift receives Stuart Honors Award for research in the lab.
3/2018 – Prof. Bartlett participates in AFRL 2030 at U. Nebraska.
3/2018 – Prof. Bartlett gives seminars in Mechanical Engineering at University of Nevada Reno & Iowa State University
3/2018 – Doh-Gyu, Ravi, and Prof. Bartlett present at the 2018 Adhesion Society Annual Meeting.
2/2018 – Paper on Tunable Mechanical Metamaterials through Hybrid Kirigami Structures published in Scientific Reports.
1/2018 – Paper on kirigami-inspired adhesives published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.  Featured on C&ENNanowerk.
1/2018 – Paper on mechanically triggered stiffness tuning with Thuo Lab published in Materials Horizons. Featured on Materials TodayPhys.org Channel 13 news, & others. Featured as an inside cover article and on the front cover of the Fall 2018 ISU Engineering Magazine.
5/2017 – Prof. Bartlett receives a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award
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