Sharvan K. Kumar Professor of Engineering

Prior to joining Brown in January 1995, Professor Kumar was a senior staff scientist at Martin Marietta Laboratories in Baltimore, MD. While there, he co-invented a new generation of aluminum-copper-lithium alloys for aerospace cryogenic fuel tank applications. The fuel tank for the Space Shuttle launched on June 2, 1998 was built out of this family of alloys. He received the Outstanding Technical Paper Award at the First and Third International Symposia on Structural Intermetallics in 1993 and 2002, the Maryland Distinguished Young Scientist Award in 1994, participated as a member of National Academies Committee for "Alternative Technologies to Anti-Personnel Landmines" from 1999 to 2001 and was made a Fellow of ASM International in 2003.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

M.J.N.V. Prasad, M.W. Reiterer, K.S. Kumar, “Microstructure and Mechanical Behavior of an as-drawn MP35N Alloy Wire”, Mater. Sci. Eng. A, 610 326-337 (2014).

Peng Chen, Hassan Ghassemi-Armaki, Sharvan Kumar, Allan Bower, Shrikant Bhat, Sriram Sadagopan, “Microscale-calibrated modeling of the deformation response of dual-phase steels” Acta Mater., 65, 133-149 (2014).

H. Ghassemi-Armaki, P. Chen, S. Bhat, S. Sadagopan, K.S. Kumar, A.F. Bower “Microscale-Calibrated Modeling of the Deformation Response of Low-Carbon Martensite", Acta Mater., 61, 3640-3652 (2013).

S.-W. Kim, X. Li, H. Gao and K.S. Kumar, “In-situ Observations of Crack Arrest and Bridging by Nanoscale Twins in Copper Thin Films”, Acta Mater., 60, 2959-2972 (2012).

B. Syed, D. Catoor, R. Mishra, and K.S. Kumar, “Coupled Motion of [10-10] Tilt Boundaries in Magnesium Bicrystals”, Philos. Mag., 92, 1499-1522 (2012).

D. Catoor and K.S. Kumar, “Crack-Grain Boundary Interactions in Zinc Bicrystals”, Philos. Mag., 91, 2154-2185 (2011).

P. Jain and K.S. Kumar, “Tensile Creep of Mo-Si-B Alloys”, Acta Mater., 58, 2124-2142 (2010).

D. Catoor and K.S. Kumar, “Crack Growth on the Basal Plane in Single Crystal Zinc: Experiments and Computations”– Philos. Mag., 88, p. 1437-1460 (2008).

K.S. Kumar, L. Reinbold, A.F. Bower and E. Chason, “Plastic Deformation Processes in Cu/Sn Bimetallic Films”, Jour. Mater. Res., 23, p. 2918-2934 (2008).

A.P. Alur and K.S. Kumar, "Monotonic and Cyclic Crack Growth Response of a Mo-Si-B Alloy", Acta Materialia, 54, 385 (2006).

Matthew F. Chisholm, Sharvan Kumar, Peter Hazzledine, "Dislocations in Complex Materials", Science, volume 307, pp. 701-703, 2005. Abstract, full text.

A.P. Alur, N. Chollacoop and K.S. Kumar, "High-temperature Compression Behavior of Mo-Si-B Alloys", Acta Materialia, 52, 5571 (2004)

K.S. Kumar, S. Suresh, M.F. Chisholm, J.A. Horton and P. Wang, "Deformation of Electrodeposited Nanocrystalline Nickel", Acta Mater., 51, 387 (2003).

P. Wang, N. Bhate, K.S. Chan and K.S. Kumar, "Colony Boundary Resistance to Crack Propagation in Lamellar Ti-46Al", Acta Mater. 51, 1573 (2003).

K.S. Kumar, H.S. van Swygenhoven and S. Suresh, "Mechanical Behavior of Nanostructured Metals and Alloys", Acta Materialia, 51, 5743 (2003) - an invited review for the Golden Jubilee Issue.

L. Pang, S.M. Han, and K.S. Kumar, "Tensile Response of an Fe-40Al-0.7C-0.5B Alloy", Acta Mater., 50, 3623 (2002).

L. Pang and K.S. Kumar, "Complex Faults in a B2 Iron Aluminide Alloy", Acta Materialia, 49, 2215 (2001).

J.J.M. Arata, K.S. Kumar, W.A. Curtin and A. Needleman, "Crack Growth in Lamellar Titanium Aluminide", Inter. Jour. of Fracture, 111, 163 (2001).


research overview

Professor Kumar's research interests include experimental characterization and analysis of defects, deformation and fracture in structural metals and alloys, and intermetallic and metal-matrix composites. Current research activities focus primarily on various intermetallics, novel high-strength, high-toughness steels, nanocrystalline metals and alloys, and refractory alloys for aerospace and defense applications.

research statement

Professor Kumar's research interests include structure-property relationships in structural metals and alloys, intermetallics, metal-matrix composites, physical metallurgy, phase transformations in metallic materials, and deformation behavior. Current research activities focus primarily on intermetallic materials, nanocrystalline metals and alloys, refractory alloys of Molybdenum, and high-strength steels. Professor Kumar has  researched the structure of Laves phases in Cr-based alloys and their stability as a function of temperature and composition. In this, he has collaborated with scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory to understand the atomic structure in the core of dislocations and how the local structure may facilitate the motion of dislocations. In the projects on nanocrystalline metals and alloys, he collaborated with faculty members at MIT to understand the deformation mechanisms in these materials by employing in-situ straining techniques in the transmission electron microscope. In the project related to Molybdenum alloys (alloys for the next generation aircraft engine components), strength and crack growth resistance in monotonic and cyclic loading over the temperature range from room temperature to 1400C have been measured and the role of the underlying microstructure on the properties were understood. In addition, dominant deformation mechanisms are being elucidated using a combination of experiments and computations. In yet another project, the basllistic penetration responses of novel high strength steels are being assessed and the evolution of microstructure in the dynamic deformation regime is being characterized using a range of state-of-the-art experimental techniques that include Focussed Ion Beam and high resolution transmission electron microscopy. These techniques enable detailed characterization of microstructure within the narrow adaibatic shear bands and provide evidence for features that were until now hypothesized. More recently he has been using new micro-mechanical testing techniques to characterize the mechanical properties of individual phases in multiphase alloys and has worked with computatational mechanics people to model the behavior of complex sheet steels for automotive applications; he is also examining the deformation behavior  of metallic materials (shape memory alloys and MP35N) used in medical devices.

funded research


Office of Naval Research, 4-year program – $370K— June 2011 – June 2015

•US Army (ARO-MURI), 5-year program $6,250,000 August 2011- August 2016 (5 faculty members).

NSF (GOALI), 3 years Program $300K Sept 2013-August 2016.

DoE-USAMP, 4 year Program $650K, October 2012 - September 2016.

Past Record

At Brown University

Office of Naval Research – 3-year program – $380K— June 2004 – June 2007. •

Brown Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) member- National Science Foundation - $ 9.3M over 2005 --2011 (total of 19 faculty members; my part: 1 post doc + 1 summer month. •

Second Office of Naval Research Program – $360K – September 2004 - September 2007. •

Naval Surface Warfare Center Program – $50K – September 2005 - September 2006.

Office of Naval Research –3-year program – $290K— September 2001 – May 2004

•Defence Advance Research Project Agency – $ 180K over 2 years – July 2001- July 2003

•Office of Naval Research – 4 year program $330K total -- 1995-1999.

Office of Naval Research – 1996-1999 (with Prof. Clyde Briant) – $450K/3 years

Ford Grant– 1998 – 75K "research gift"

At Martin Marietta Laboratories

• From Comalco Aluminum, Thomastown, Australia -- $150K/year for 3 years 1985-1988.
• From Pratt & Whitney, Florida – $150K/1 year, 1989
• Three (3) contracts from National Aeronautics and Space Agency- Lewis Research Center (1986-1989) adding up to ~$750K.
• From National Aeronautics and Space Agency-Langley Research Center– 75K/year for 2 years
• Office of Naval Research effort on XD-NiAl for three years for $1.1M (1989-1992)