David Littlefield

Professor and Graduate Program Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Education & Engineering Complex 259
(205) 934-8460

Research and Teaching Interests: Computational Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, Shock Physics, High Performance Computing, Electromagnetics

Office Hours: By appointment

  • B.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering
  • M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering
  • Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering

David Littlefield's primary technical interests are in the areas of computational solid mechanics, high performance computing (HPC), and computational magnetohydrodynamics. Applications of his research include impact mechanics, biomechanics, weapons design and effects, and force protection. He has authored or co-authored over 200 papers and technical reports in these areas. For almost two decades he has served as technical onsite for computational structural mechanics for the Department of Defense (DoD). In this role he has been responsible for user support, technology transfer of computer modeling applications, algorithms, methods and tools to the DoD HPC community. A sampling of his technical contributions in this position includes advanced finite element methods, error estimation and adaptive mesh refinement, code coupling algorithms, interface tracking and contact algorithms, constitutive models for materials, and equations of state for energetics. His work has been recognized many times for its impact on advances to modeling and simulation capabilities supporting weapons effects and force protection applications across the US.

His teaching interests include classes on numerical methods, finite element methods, continuum mechanics, and advanced engineering mathematics. He also offers special topics courses in areas specific to his research including computational inelasticity, nonlinear finite element analysis, and computational methods for hydrocodes.

Dr. Littlefield is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and was elected to fellow grade in 2002. He is also a member of the United States Association for Computational Mechanics and the National Defense Industrial Association. He is a member of the Hypervelocity Impact Society where he serves on the Board of Directors. He also holds a DoD security clearance.

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  • Recent Courses
    • EGR 796: Interdisciplinary Egr
    • ME 464: Intro to Finite Element Method
    • ME 698: Non-Thesis Research 2017
    • ME 699: Thesis Research 2017
    • ME 798: Non-Dissertation Research 2017
    • ME 799: Dissertation Research 2017
  • Select Publications
    • "Simulation of human head response to impact loading using newly developed biofidelic material models for brain tissue." Stapp car crash journal. 55:75-89. (2011)
    • "Geometric and energy scaling for celestial impacts." International Journal of Impact Engineering. 35:1642-1647. (2008)
    • "Analysis of formation of the Odessa crater." International Journal of Impact Engineering. 34:1953-1961. (2007)
    • "The role of impactor shape and obliquity on crater evolution in celestial impacts." International Journal of Impact Engineering. 33:371-379. (2006)
    • "Modeling of impact problems using an h-adaptive, explicit Lagrangian finite element method in three dimensions." Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering. 192:1649-1679. (2003)
    • "Effect of alignment on the penetration of segmented rods." International Journal of Impact Engineering. 26:421-431. (2001)
    • "The use of r-adaptivity with local, intermittent remesh for modeling hypervelocity impact and penetration." International Journal of Impact Engineering. 26:433-442. (2001)
    • "Yaw impact of rod projectiles." International Journal of Impact Engineering. 26:211-220. (2001)