Lei Cao

Lei Cao

Associate Professor

Prospective graduate students

We have two Ph.D. openings starting in fall 2023 or spring 2024. A background in materials science or solid mechanics is preferred. Please send your resume and transcripts to Dr. Cao at leicao@unr.edu for consideration.

Learn more about our graduate programs 

Research interests

  • Microstructure evolution
  • Dislocation dynamics
  • Fracture modeling and simulation
  • Deformation in nanocrystalline materials
  • Computational solid mechanics

Selected publications

  1. (Invited Review Paper) A. Zahiri, J. Ombogo, M. Lotfpour, and L. Cao, "Twinning in Hexagonal Close-Packed Materials: The Role of Phase Transformation." Metals 13.3 (2023): 525. 
  2. A. Zahiri, E. Vitral, J. Ombogo, M. Lotfpour, and L. Cao, "The role of mechanical loading in bcc-hcp phase transition: tension-compression asymmetry and twin formation", Acta Materialia, 241, 118337 (2022). 
  3. T. Ma, H. J. Kim, N. Mathew, D. J. Luscher, L. Cao, and A. Hunter, "Dislocation transmission across Σ3{112} incoherent twin boundary: a combined atomistic and phase-field study", Acta Materialia, 117447 (2022). 
  4. A. Zahiri, L. Carneiro, J. Ombogo, and L. Cao, "On the formation of {11-22} boundary via {10-12}-{01-12} twin–twin interaction in magnesium," Computational Materials Science, 201 (2022) 110887. 
  5. P. Chakraborty, T. Ma, Y. Cui, A. Hunter, and L. Cao, "Elastic-interaction-induced anisotropic growth of dislocation loop arrays," Journal of Materials Research (2021). 
  6. A. Zahiri, J. Ombogo, T. Ma, P. Chakraborty, L. Cao, "Transformation-induced plasticity in omega titanium, " Journal of Applied Physics, 129 (1), 015105 (2021). 
  7. A. Zahiri, J. Ombogo, L. Cao, "Formation of {11-22} contraction twins in titanium through reversible martensitic phase transformation, " Scripta Materialia, 195, 113694 (2021). 
  8. J. Ombogo, A. Zahiri, T. Ma, and L. Cao, "Nucleation of {101 ̅2} Twins in Magnesium through Reversible  Martensitic Phase Transformation," Metals 2020, 10 (8), 1030.  
  9. T. Ma, P. Chakraborty, X. Guo, L. Cao, and Y. Wang, "First-principles Modeling of Thermal Transport in Materials: Achievements, Opportunities, and Challenges", International Journal of Thermophysics (2020) 41: 9 
  10. P. Chakraborty, Y. Liu, T. Ma, X. Guo, L. Cao, R. Hu, and Y. Wang, "Quenching Thermal Transport in Aperiodic Superlattices: A Molecular Dynamics and Machine Learning Study", ACS Applied Materials & Interface (2020) 12 (7), 8795-8804. 
  11. A. Zahiri, P. Chakraborty, Y. Wang, and L. Cao, "Strong strain hardening in ultrafast melt-quenched nanocrystalline Cu: the role of fivefold twins, " Journal of Applied Physics, 126, 075103 (2019). 
  12. P. Chakraborty, T. Ma, L. Cao, and Y. Wang, "Significantly enhanced convective heat transfer through surface modification in nanochannels, " International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 136, 702-708 (2019).  
  13. P. Chakraborty, G. Xiong, L. Cao, and Y. Wang, "Lattice thermal transport in superhard hexagonal diamond and wurtzite boron nitride: A comparative study with cubic diamond and cubic boron nitride, " Carbon 139 (2018) 85-93. 
  14. (Invited Review Paper) P. Chakraborty, T. Ma, A. Zahiri, L. Cao, and Y. Wang, "Carbon-Based Materials for Thermoelectrics," Advances in Condensed Matter Physics vol. 2018, Article ID 3898479, 29 pages (2018). 
  15. P. Chakraborty, L. Cao, and Y. Wang, "Lattice Thermal Conductivity of the Random Multilayer Structure with Lattice Imperfections," Scientific Reports. 2017; 7: 8134. 
  16. L. Cao, D. Pantuso, A. Sengupta, M. Koslowski, "Effect of texture and grain size on the residual stress of nanocrystalline thin film," Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering 25 075004 (2017). 
  17. L. Cao, M. Koslowski, Rate-limited plastic deformation in nanocrystalline Ni, "Journal of Applied Physics," 117 (24), 244301 (2015). 
  18. L. Cao, A. Hunter, I. J. Beyerlein, M. Koslowski, "The role of partial mediated slip during quasi-static deformation of 3D nanocrystalline metals," Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 78 (2015): 415-426. 
  19. L. Cao, M. Koslowski, "Effect of microstructural uncertainty on the yield stress of nanocrystalline nickel," Acta Materialia 61.4 (2013): 1413-1420.  

Courses taught

  • ME 303 - Applied Numerical Methods
  • ME 701 - Advanced Mathematical Methods for Engineers
  • ME 791 - Special Topics