Dr. Tal Cohen


Upon completing my PhD at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, under the supervision of Professor David Durban, on December 2013, I commenced my postdoc fellowship at MIT with Professor Rohan Abeyaratne as my Mentor.
I love solid mechanics and am especially fascinated by the material response when instability and extreme loading conditions are involved. I am also interested in nonlinear material behavior, including soft and biological materials, large deformation plasticity, material porosity, cavitation phenomena and shock wave propagation in solids. Lately, I have also been intrigued by some fundamental questions in the field of traffic flow dynamics.


Recent conflicts have demonstrated how focusing more knowledge and research towards design of advanced protection technologies, to deal with the increasing threat on population safety, can have beneficial outcome beyond expectation. An important ingredient in achieving this goal is by modern protective civilian spaces which can withstand direct hypervelocity impact. These challenges where the main motivation for my PhD research; learning how civilian and airborne structures respond to impact and penetration would facilitate design of more efficient protective systems which can in turn save lives. In that context my PhD research examines the effect of material porosity on penetration processes via quasistatic and dynamic cavitation models, attempting at simple analytical results. Hypervelocity penetration, which includes propagation of plastic shock waves, is studied, and the possibility of a stiffening effect due to high energy consumption, similar to the wave drag effect in fluid dynamics, is examined.