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Matthew Peter Miller

  • Matthew Peter Miller
  • Dept: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Title: Professor
  • Address: 194 Rhodes Hall
  • Phone: 607 255-0400
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Professor Miller is interested in solid mechanics and the mechanical behavior of metals, engineering alloys, composites and semiconductors. Research areas include crystal stress measurements, microplasticity, fatigue crack initiation, high temperature behavior of superalloys, mechanical behavior of silicon, design and implementation of new in situ experiments with synchrotron x-rays, multiscale model development and validation. Educational areas focus on mechanics of materials, material selection, x-ray diffraction, graduate solid mechanics, mechanics of composites, experimental methods and state variable modeling.
Matthew Miller joined the Sibley School faculty in January, 1994 and is currently a full Professor. Miller received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Georgia Tech. He was named the 1993 outstanding graduating Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and was inducted into the Georgia Tech. Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni in 1995. Professor Miller spent a sabbatical leave at the Colorado School of Mines in 2000-2001, at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory in 2007 and The Ohio State University in 2008. Professor Miller has developed in situ mechanical testing / synchrotron x-ray experiments at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) and at the APS. In 2011, he co-organized a workshop at the APS to explore the synergy between high energy synchrotron x-ray diffraction experiments and high fidelity material behavior models. He is currently the Faculty Liaison at CHESS and serves on the Users Organization Steering Committee and the Section 1 Beamline Advisory Group at the APS. Professor Miller spent 6 years playing professional football before returning to obtain his engineering degrees. He played 4 years as an offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL and 2 years for the Denver Gold of the USFL. 
Professor Miller has received several teaching and advising awards at Cornell. He was a Lilly Teaching Fellow in 1995, he won the Dennis Shepherd Award as the Outstanding Teacher in the Sibley School in 1996. Miler want the James and Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004 and the James M. Marsha D. McCormick Award for Excellence in Advising First Year Students in 2006 - both awarded by the Cornell College of Engineering. Professor Miller won an NSF CAREER Award in 1997 and participated in the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering in 1999. He won the ASM International Henry Marion Howe Award in 2009 for the Best Research Paper in Metallurgical and Materials Transactions in 2008. Professor Miller is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Fatigue and is on the Review Board for Integrating Materials and Manufacturing Innovation.

Research Interests

Miller's research focuses on the creation of tools that enable the design and selection of structural materials. Much of Miller's work is at the experiment/model interface, where he and his students have designed experiments to probe material state and behaviors on multiple size scales. An emphasis is the use of synchrotron x-rays and in-situ mechanical loading to understand the crystal level mechanical state of alloys during deformation - including monotonic loading and fatigue. Results from these experiments - which have been conducted on copper, aluminum, beryllium and titanium alloys - are enabling improved understanding of how micromechanical stress states evolve during plastic deformation and, eventually how damage such as a fatigue crack initiates. Miller is also a collaborator on a new data repository framework and virtual specimen creation methodology. The overall objective of this new digital environment is to enable and facilitate material design. Data from Miller's diffraction-based experiments exist side by side with crystal based-simulation results - enabling the comparisons and iterations associated with the design process. As Associate Director of the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), Miller's focus is on developing experimental capabilities and nurturing new users in the general area of structural materials. This includes a recent Air Force Research Laboratory initiative to upgrade the CHESS F2 beamline for high energy.

Teaching Interests

Miller has developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on engineering materials at Cornell in M&AE. The required sophomore course that Miller has developed, M&AE212, begins with basic mechanics of materials concepts then introduces failure analyses associated with yielding, fracture and fatigue. The course culminates with fundamentals of material selection employing the concept of material indices. Recently Miller developed a senior level composites course that contains a senior design element. On the graduate level, Miller has taught the theory and implementation of state variable plasticity models as well as an experimental-mechanics based course focused on the model-experiment interface. A new graduate course focuses on synchrotron x-ray diffraction and the measurement of lattice strains. This course culminates with students conducting experiments at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS).

Selected Publications

  • Bernier, J. V., N. R. Barton, Matthew Peter Miller, U. L. Lienert. 2011. "Far-Field High Energy Diffraction Microscopy: A Tool For Intergranular Orientation and Strain Analysis." Journal of Strain Analysis 46: 537-548.
  • Schuren, J. C., Matthew Peter Miller. 2011. "Quantifying the Uncertainty of Synchrotron-based Lattice Strain Measurements." Journal of Strain Analysis 46: 663-682.
  • Miller, Matthew Peter, Robert Suter, Ulrich Lienert, Armand Beaudoin, Ernest Fontes, Jay Schuren. 2012. "High-energy needs and capabilities to study multiscale phenomena in crystalline materials." Synchrotron Radiation News 25 (6): 18-26.
  • Schuren, J.C., Matthew Peter Miller, A. Kazimirov. 2012. "A mechanical testing capability for measuring the microscale deformation behavior of structural materials." Experimental Mechanics 52 (5): 461-479.
  • McNelis, K., P. R. Dawson, Matthew Peter Miller. 2013. "A Multiscale Methodology for Determining the Residual Stress in an Aerospace Alloy Using High Energy X-Ray Diffraction." Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 61: 428-449.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Henry Marion Howe Medal Award - Outstanding paper of the year 2008 in Materials Transactions A (ASM International) 2009
  • James M. and Marsha D. McCormick Award for Excellence in Advising First Year Students (Cornell College of Engineering) 2006
  • James and Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award (Cornell College of Engineering) 2004
  • Frontiers of Engineering (National Academy of Engineering) 1999
  • CAREER Award (National Science Foundation) 1997



  • BA (Geology), University of Colorado, 1979
  • BS (Mechanical Engineering), Colorado School of Mines, 1988
  • MS (Mechanical Engineering), Georgia Institute of Technology, 1990
  • Ph D (Mechanical Engineering), Georgia Institute of Technology, 1993