• Ph.D., Brown University, 2008
  • M.S., Brown University, 2008
  • B.S., Beijing University, 2003


A novel optical setup for experimental study of fracture and fatigue of ferroelectric crystals.

Dr. Xia began at Georgia Tech in Fall 2011. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories of the California Institute of Technology (CALCIT).


  • Mechanics of Materials: experimental solid mechanics, nano and micromechanics, mechanics of energy storage and conversion materials, mechanics of heterogeneous media, fracture and fatigue of active materials.

Dr. Xia's research interests are in the area of experimental solid mechanics, especially involving multi-physical processes at small length scales. The thrust of his research is to investigate and develop innovative nano- and micro-structured materials that possess unprecedented properties for emerging technologies, such as nanophotonics, smart materials, and energy storage and conversion devices. His research is highly multidisciplinary and lies at the intersection of mechanics, optics, electronics and chemistry. The areas of his current interest include fracture and fatigue of piezoelectric and ferroelectric crystals, mechanics of lithium battery electrode materials, and adhesion of heterogeneous solids. Although the research activites in his laboratory are primarily experimental, theoretical and computational modeling is also frequently performed in conjunction with experiments through close collaboration with academic and industrial partners from different disciplines. Dr. Xia and his research team place strong emphasis on both fundamental studies and practical applications. Consequently students who graduate from his laboratory find themselves well-suited for academic positions as well as professional careers in industrial research centers and engineering consulting firms.

  • Orr Early Career Award, ASME, 2012
  • Haythornthwaite Research Initiation Grant, ASME, 2012
  • Graduated with honors, Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, 2003
  • Graduated with honors, Beijing University, 2003
  • Samsung Fellowship, Samsung Corporation 2002

Representative Publications

  • S. M. Xia and M. Mello, 2011. Phase Multiplied Photoelastic and Series Interferometer Arrangement For Full-Field Stress Measurement in Single Crystals. Experimental Mechanics 51, 653-666.
  • S. M. Xia, Y. Qi, T. A. Perry and K. -S.Kim, 2009. Strength Characterization of Al/Si Interfaces: A Hybrid Method of Nanoindentation and Finite Element Analysis. Acta Materialia 57, 695-707.
  • S. M. Xia, Y. F. Gao, A. F. Bower, L. Lev and Y. T. Cheng, 2007. Delamination Mechanism Maps for a Strong Elastic Coating on an Elastic-Plastic Substrate Subjected to Contact Loading. International Journal of Solids and Structures 44, 3685-3699.