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

Our research is featured by MIT ILP

MIT's Industry Liaison Program (ILP) features our research on their front page.Link to full storyLink to video

We receive the 2022 NSF CAREER Award!

We are honored to receive the CAREER award from the Mechanics of Materials and Structures (MoMS) program, to continue our explorations on the mechanics of self-architected materials.

Rachel joins our group

Rachel Sun has joined the Portela Group after graduating from Caltech, a brief internship at Tesla, and receiving the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! She will be exploring the mechanics and fabrication of reconfigurable metamaterials. Welcome, Rachel!

Our nanoarchitected impact work appears in Nature Materials

We are proud to share this collaborative effort with the Nelson Group at MIT.

‘Best Oral Presentation’ at MRS Spring 2021

We were recognized for our Carlos' presentation at MRS Spring 2021

Somu experiences Zero-G

Very happy to see our students pursue their passion! Pictured is our very own Somu Dhulipala on his long-awaited Zero-G flight. Way to go!

Dr. Yun Kai joins our group

Dr. Kai has joined the Portela Group as a Postdoctoral Associate. He will apply his ultrafast optics expertise to study the mechanical response of architected materials fabricated in our group.

We installed our Nanoscribe PPGT2!

The Portela Group is happy to announce that we have received and installed our Nanoscribe tool in state-of-the-art facilities at MIT.nano. We look forward to exploring new architectures with this tool.

Somu joins our group

Somayajulu Dhulipala has just joined the Portela Group. He has successfully completed his master's thesis at MIT MechE and will be exploring experimental and computational aspects of self-assembled architected materials.

Postdoctoral Position

Postdoctoral position available immediately, more information here.

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