Welcome to The Intelligent Matter (T.I.M.) lab at the University of Houston. At our lab, we aim to explore both material and geometric behaviours in the design of intelligent matter. We design novel materials by leveraging geometric abstractions and advanced computation, and we demonstrate their unprecedented characteristics through digital fabrication and precision experiments.

Want to join?

We are hiring PhD students! Check out the postings here.

Social media

Tim (@timtianchen) will present our latest work on deployable structures next month @siggraph. His talk video can be found here: https://go.epfl.ch/bass

[2106.15189] Tomohiko G. Sano, Matteo Pezzulla, Pedro M. Reis: A Kirchhoff-like theory for hard magnetic rods under geometrically nonlinear deformation in three dimensions http://arxiv.org/abs/2106.15189 http://arxiv.org/pdf/2106.15189.pdf #cond_mat_soft

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Recent News

July 25, 2021
Our paper on the Smooth triaxial weaving with naturally curved ribbons was accepted in Phys. Rev. Lett. and promoted as an Editors’ Suggestion!

May 1, 2021
Our paper on the Bending Response of a Book with Internal Friction was accepted in Phys. Rev. Lett. and promoted as an Editors’ Suggestion! EPFL published a news article on it.

May 1, 2021
Our paper on Bistable Auxetic Surface Structures was accepted in Siggraph 2021!

May 1, 2021
Our paper on Computational Inverse Design of Surface-based Inflatables was accepted in Siggraph 2021!

May 1, 2021
Our paper on 3D Weaving with Curved Ribbons was accepted in Siggraph 2021!

March 27, 2021
Our paper on the Computational design of multi-stable, reconfigurable surfaces was accepted in Materials & Design!

March 25, 2021
3 out of 3 papers were accepted at SIGGRAPH’21! More details to follow when the papers come out.

January 20, 2021
Read a great Nature News & Views piece by Corentin Coulais titled Mechanical memory written and read remotely.

January 20, 2021
A new article titled A reprogrammable mechanical metamaterial with stable memory was accepted in Nature! Great collaborating with Mark Pauly and Pedro Reis.

July 11, 2020
Our paper on the design of the Canopy pavilion on the EPFL campus has been accepted at the Advances in Architectural Geometry conference.

November 8, 2019
Tim was awarded the ETH medal for his doctoral thesis by the Rectorate of ETH Zurich.
The medal is awarded to outstanding doctoral theses(<8%), and includes a prize of 2,000 CHF.

October 10, 2019
We entered the IASS 2019 Form and Force competition with the ‘Elastic Rod Pavilion‘ and was announced as a prize winner. The accompanying conference proceeding is titled X-Shell Pavilion: A Deployable Elastic Rod Structure.

June 28, 2019
The work on a self deploying solar panel was featured in a Focus Story in Physics.

June 28, 2019
Resulting from a continuing collaboration with Caltech, our paper on a self deploying solar panel was published in Physical Review Applied and selected as an Editors’ Suggestion.

June 6, 2019
From a continuing collaboration with MIT, our paper titled Design and Computational Modeling of a 3D Printed Pneumatic Toolkit for Soft Robotics was published in Soft Robotics.

April 18, 2019
Our paper titled Programmable, active lattice structures: Unifying stretch-dominated and bending-dominated topologies was published in Extreme Mechanics Letters.

August 8, 2018
The paper on soft robots was featured on both ETH and Caltech front pages, and was on CBS news!

May 15, 2018
Collaborating with the folks at Caltech, our paper titled Harnessing bistability for directional propulsion of soft, untethered robots was published in PNAS.