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

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.

Dr. Molly Carton joins the group

Dr. Molly Carton joined the Portela Group as a Postdoctoral Associate.

Portela groups adds 3 new grad students

The Portela group is happy to welcome Michael, Sam and Andrew to the group.

Somayajulu Dhulipala and Rachel Sun awarded the MathWorks fellowship 2022

Congratulations to our grad students Somayajulu Dhulipala and Rachel Sun for being selected as MathWorks fellows for 2022.

Carlos Portela recognized as ‘2022 MIT Technology Review: 35 innovators under 35’

Prof. Carlos Portela has been recognized as one of the innovators in the category of Materials Science in the MIT Technological Review 2022: 35 innovators under 35.

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!

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