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Washington State University
Washington State University Institute for Shock Physics


Vikas Prakash

Professor and Associate Director

(509) 335-1025

Scientific Interests and Work

Understanding dynamic inelastic deformation, structural changes and failure of condensed matter under intense stress wave loading; emphasis is on developing in-situ time- and spatially-resolved diagnostics for single-shot short-duration events to address scientific challenges in material response under extreme dynamic conditions.


Dr. Prakash received his Ph.D. in Engineering from Brown University in 1993.  He joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in January 1993 as the Warren E. Rupp Assistant Professor of Science and Engineering and attained the rank of Professor in 2004.  Dr. Prakash joined WSU in 2020 as a Professor and currently serves as the Associate Director of the Institute for Shock Physics.

Over the years he has been drawn towards interdisciplinary research encompassing diverse fields, where he has made use of his knowledge in engineering mechanics and materials to work on fundamental problems related to shock compression of condensed matter including dynamic deformation and failure of solids under extreme stress wave loading conditions. A parallel focus of his research has been in nanoengineering in the development of novel three-dimensional hybrid carbon nanomaterials for light-weight structural, energy storage and thermal management applications. These studies have resulted in over 225 technical publications with his graduate students and technical collaborators.

In addition to research, he has actively engaged with and volunteered his time to professional societies. He has been one of the three founding members of the Technical Division on “Dynamic Behavior of Materials” for the Society of Experimental Mechanics (SEM).  He has been particularly active with ASME, where he has served as an elected member on the ASME Basic Engineering Group Operating Board and the ASME Board of Technical Knowledge Dissemination from 2008-2014. He served as the Vice Chair of the ASME Interdisciplinary Councils Committee from 2012-2014, where he provided leadership to the ASME Nanoengineering Council, which is the Advisory Board to the ASME Nanotechnology Institute.  From 2008 to 2012, he has served as a member on the Executive Committee of the ASME Materials Division, where he chaired the Division’s Honor and Award committees including the Nadai Medal Committee, Sia-Nemat Nasser Early Career Award Committee, Orr Early Career and the Orr Best Paper Award Committees.  He served as the Chair of the ASME Materials Division during 2011-2012.


Ph.D. (Engineering (Mechanics of Solids and Structures)) 1993, Brown University, Providence, RI
M.Sc. (Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics) 1988, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
B. Tech. (Mechanical Engineering) 1985, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India

Honors and Recognition

  • Member, Advisory Board, Journal of Dynamic Behavior of Materials, Society of Experimental Mechanics, 2020 – present.
  • Invited Keynote Lecture, “Anomalous dynamic behavior of polycrystalline pure aluminum at ultra-high shearing rates and elevated temperatures.” Special session on “Dynamic Response of Materials and Structures,” 19th International Conference on Experimental Mechanics (ICEM2021), Krakow, Poland, July 5-9, 2021.
  • 2018 R.E Peterson Award by the Society of Experimental Mechanics.
  • Member, International Scientific Advisory Board, 18th International Conference on Experimental Mechanics (ICEM18), Brussels, Belgium, July 1-5, 2018.
  • Member, International Scientific Advisory Board, 17th International Conference on Experimental Mechanics (ICEM17), Rhodes, Greece, July 3-7, 2016.
  • Review Editorial Board, Frontiers in NanoEnergy Technologies and Materials, Section of Frontiers in Energy Research and Materials, Nature Publishing Group, 2014- 2019.
  • Invited Participant, Global Grand Challenges Summit 2013, Organized by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, National Academy of Engineering USA, Chinese Academy of Engineering, PRC, London, UK.
  • Invited Participant, 2013 National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI), Irvine, CA. Organized by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
  • Co-Organizer, Technical Organizing Committee, National Academy of Engineering Topical Conference on Shale Gas: Promises and Challenges, Severance Hall, Cleveland, June 18-19, 2013.
  • Invited Participant, Tenth National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering, Irvine, CA, 2004.
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, ASME Journal of Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine, 2010-2012.
  • Associate Technical Editor, International Journal of Experimental Mechanics 1998-2002.
  • Most Highly (Top 1%) Cited paper in any Field in the Year 2011. Prakash, V. (1998), Frictional response of sliding interfaces subjected to time varying normal pressures, ASME Journal of Tribology, 120, 97-102.
  • Chair, ASME Materials Division, 2011-2012.
  • Chair, Advisory Board to the ASME Nanotechnology Institute, 2010-2014.
  • Chair, Honors and Awards Committee, ASME Materials Division 2009-2010.
  • Faculty Research and Engineering Fellow, Army Research laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD, 2004 and 2005.
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2007.

Representative Publications

  1. Zuanetti, B., D. J. Luscher, K. Ramos, C. A. Bolme, and V. Prakash, 2020. Dynamic flow stress of pure polycrystalline aluminum: Pressure-shear plate impact experiments and extension of dislocation-based modeling to large plastic strains.” Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids (in press).
  2. Wang, T., and V. Prakash. “Dynamic shearing resistance of commercial purity polycrystalline magnesium at elevated temperatures and ultra-high shearing strain Rates.” J. of Applied Physics (accepted).
  3. Zuanetti, B., T. Wang, and V. Prakash, 2019. Plate impact investigation of the dynamic response of commercial tungsten carbide under shock-induced compression and combined compression-and-Shear loading.” International Journal of Impact Engineering. Vol. 131, 200-208.
  4. Zuanetti, B., S.D. McGrane, C.A. Bolme, and V. Prakash, 2018. Measurement of elastic precursor decay in pre-heated aluminum films under ultra-fast laser generated shocks. J. of Appl Phys. Vol. 123(19), 195104.
  5. Zuanetti, B., T. Wang, and V. Prakash, 2017. A novel approach for plate-impact experiments to determine the dynamic behavior of materials under extreme conditions. J. Dynamic Behavior of Materials. vol. 3, pp. 64-75.
  6. Zuanetti, B., T. Wang, and V. Prakash, 2017. A compact fiber-optics based heterodyne combined normal and transverse displacement interferometer. Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 88, 033108.
  7. Wu, X. and V. Prakash, 2015. Dynamic compressive behavior of ice at cryogenic temperatures. Cold Regions Science and Technology, vol 118, pp. 1-18.
  8. Prakash, V., and Mehta, N., 2012. Uniaxial compression and combined compression-and-shear response of amorphous polycarbonate at high loading rates. Polymer Engineering and Science. vol. 52(6), pp. 1217-1231.
  9. Yuan, F., and V. Prakash, 2013. Plate impact experiments to investigate shock-induced inelasticity in Westerly granite. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. vol. 60, pp. 277-287.
  10. Yuan, F., V. Prakash, and J.J. Lewandowski, 2010. Shear yield and flow behavior of a zirconium-based bulk metallic glass. Mechanics of Materials. vol. 42(3), pp 248-55.
  11. Yuan, F., L. Tsai, V. Prakash, A. Rajendran, and D. Dandekar, 2007. Spall strength of glass fiber reinforced polymer composites. International J. of Solids and Structures, vol. 44(24), pp. 7731-7747.
  12. Dandekar, D., Prakash, V., 2006. Effect of Shock Induced Shear on Spall Strength of SiC-N. Proceedings of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter., pp. 607-610.
  13. Liou, N. S., M. Okada, and V. Prakash, 2004. Formation of molten metal films during metal-on-metal slip under extreme interfacial conditions. J. of the Mech and Phys of Solids. vol 52(9), pp 2025-2056.
  14. Lee, Y., and V. Prakash, 1998. Dynamic fracture toughness versus crack-tip speed relationship at lower than room temperature for high strength 4340VAR structural steels. J. of the Mech and Phys of Solids. Vol. 46(10), pp. 1943-1967.
  15. Prakash, V., 1998. Frictional response of sliding interfaces subjected to time varying normal pressures. Journal of Tribology –Transactions of the ASME. Vol. 120(1), pp. 97-102.