Donald A. Shockey, Senior Staff Scientist, Materials Research Laboratory | SRI International

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Donald A. Shockey

Senior Staff Scientist, Poulter Applied Mechanics

Donald A. Shockey, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert in fracture of materials and structures, and an authority on failure under impact and explosive loads.

In his more than 40 years at SRI, he has directed more than 320 research projects for government and industry. He currently leads problem-solving efforts associated with:

  • Astronaut gloves, to determine how high-strength fabric gets abraded and torn during space walks and what can be done to preclude glove damage
  • Enabling design of fracture-resistant stents for peripheral arteries by devising mechanical tests that mimic loads imposed by blood vessels
  • Development of new glass-based materials and new structural designs for more weight-efficient windows on Humvees and military trucks
  • Optimizing solder joint reliability through understanding, measuring, and modeling fatigue crack initiation and propagation in electronic components
  • Prognosticating mechanical failure by developing and applying advanced fractographic methods to generate the ability to predict future performance and remaining useful life of aircraft, bridges, and pipelines
  • Determining the root cause of and providing expert testimony for equipment failures such as rotor hub cracking in a Chilean power plant

Shockey joined SRI International in 1971 after earning a doctorate in materials science at Carnegie Mellon University and completing a three-year postdoctoral appointment at the Ernst-Mach-Institut and the Institut für Werkstoffmechanik in Freiburg, Germany. His special research interests are high strain-rate failure and the role of microstructure on crack initiation and growth.

Shockey has published more than 150 technical articles, holds several patents, and serves on the NASA panel of Materials Experts. He is a Fellow of ASM International, the Year 2000 recipient of the John S. Rinehart award for pioneering work in the field of dynamic fracture, and the 2006 recipient of the Murray Medal for excellence in experimental mechanics.

Shockey was named an SRI Fellow in 1990.

Donald A. Shockey