Welcome to the Portela Research Group at MIT

We are a mechanics & materials group interested in designing and implementing 3D architected materials to address current societal and engineering challenges


Nanoscale impact & shock

In situ supersonic impact and shock of architected materials


Extreme mechanics of 3D nano-architected materials

Resilient nanomaterials

Towards ultra lightweight, strong, and scalable nanomaterials


About the Portela Group

Our group is interested in designing, fabricating, and testing novel types of materials from the nanoscale to the macro-scale. We strive to produce our own materials via advanced nano-to-macro fabrication processes, predict their response using numerical models, and test them using pioneering techniques.

Committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Shared values are at the core of our group. Each of us comes from a unique background and we enjoy sharing, understanding, and appreciating different perspectives. Diversity is extremely valued, and we work as a team towards common objectives. Everyone is welcome and valued in our group (regardless of race, ethnicity, ability, gender, origin, religion, sexual orientation, or skin color), and everyone can contribute to our enjoyable & respectful work and social atmosphere. Contact us and see for yourself!

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Meet the Team!

We are a diverse team of scientists, researchers, and students interested in topics ranging from theory, to computation, to experiments of materials and structures.

Updates and Announcements

LIPIT featured on MIT News

Our recent paper in PNAS was featured on the homepage of MIT News Read the full story here.

LIRAS featured on MIT News

Our recent paper out in Nature was featured on the homepage of MIT News You can read the full story here.

Molly and Somu win best presentation awards at NEW.Mech 2023

Kudos to Rachel, James, Bastien, Molly, and Somu for presenting teaser talks at NEW.Mech 2023. Also, congrats to Molly and Somu for winning the best presentation award.

Portela research group awarded J-WAFS seed grant

Carlos Portela is one among 15 PIs across MIT to be awarded the J-WAFS seed grant to conduct early work to solve issues ranging from water contamination to aquaculture monitoring and management.

Somu’s project to be sent to the ISS and the moon.

We celebrate Humanity United with MIT Arts and Nanotechnology in Space (HUMANS), a project for which Somu is the lead of manufacturing and testing, that will be sent to the ISS in May 2023 and the moon end of 2023.

Carlos Portela featured on the cover of MIT Tech Review

Carlos Portela was featured on the cover of the MIT Tech Review magazine's April 2023 edition and talked about the materials of the future in an article titled "Three takes on tomorrow’s materials".

Carlos Portela talks at TEDxMIT

Carlos Portela explained the impact of materials of the future through the TEDxMIT talk: “Nano-Architecting the Materials of the Future.”

2.002 Design Challenge featured on MIT News

The 2.002 Design Challenge introduced by the Portela Research Group provided a unique opportunity for undergrads to dive into the world of architected materials.

Somu wins the Best Poster Award at SES 2022

Somayajulu Dhulipala won the Best Poster Award in the category of Solids and Structures at SES 2022 held at Texas A&M University, College Station.

Dr. James Surjadi joins the group

Dr. James Surjadi joined the Portela Group as a Postdoctoral Associate.

Incoming Graduate Students

The Portela Group is looking for talented graduate students from MechE, DMSE, AeroAstro and Chemical Engineering. Contacts us if interested!

Research Highlights