Interests and Background

Technical Interests:

  • Fatigue and fracture: analysis, testing, and design
  • Residual stress measurement
  • Structural integrity and damage tolerance (aircraft structure, mechanical systems)
  • Effects of maintenance quality on aircraft structural performance
  • Laser shock peening, cold working, and other residual stress treatments for metals
  • Finite element simulation for structural analysis
  • Experimental mechanics
  • Measurements in general (here is an interesting history of measurements)

Current Research:

  • Laser shock peening: process characterization, effects on fatigue behavior
  • Prediction of fatigue and fracture behavior for residual stress bearing materials
  • Improvement of metallic structures using residual stress treatments
  • Correction of fracture and fatigue data for residual stress effects
  • Measurement of residual stress in metallic and metallic-ceramic composites
  • Development of the contour method for residual stress measurement
  • Standardization of the slitting method for residual stress measurement


  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering, September, 1996. Stanford University, Stanford, CA. Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dissertation research described below. Advisors: Drew V. Nelson and Sheri Sheppard.
  • MS in Mechanical Engineering, May 1991. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Course work emphasis in probabilistic design and reliability, mechanics, and structural dynamics. Advisor: Paul H. Wirsching.
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, May 1989. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.


  • Professor, University of California, Davis, 5/10 – Present
  • Associate Professor, University of California, Davis, 7/04 – 5/10
  • Founder and Chief Executive, Hill Engineering, LLC (a UC Davis start-up), 1/05 – Present
  • Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis, 9/96 – 6/04
  • Dissertation Research, Stanford University. 9/92 – 8/96
    • Title: Determination of Residual Stress Based on the Estimation of Eigenstrain
    • Developed a hybrid experimental-analytical method to determine sub-surface residual stress, results presented at ASME PVP95 and ASME PVP96.
    • Investigated the influence of residual stress on fatigue and fracture.
    • Produced literature review on fatigue crack propagation in welded joints.
    • Wrote grant proposals, final and interim reports.
  • Consultant, Sverdrup Technology, Ames Division. 3/95 – 12/95
    • Quantified the influence of residual stress on the initiation of ductile crack growth.
    • Findings accepted for publication.
  • Consultant, Apple Computer. 7/94 – 12/94
    • Performed failure investigation for flat panel display assemblies.
    • Presented findings to high-level management of Apple and display vendor.
  • Student Assistant, NASA Ames R. C., Mechanical Systems Branch. 6/91 – 6/94
    • Studied ductile crack initiation of small specimens as part of a team.
      • Performed numerical modeling and experimental observation of crack initiation.
    • Characterized fatigue crack growth behavior of aluminum alloy welds.
    • Conducted fatigue testing of full-scale, proof-loaded pressure vessel.
      • Presented findings at ASME PVP93.
      • Work published in the Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology.

 Professional Memberships:

  • ASME – member PVP Division, Materials and Fabrication Committee
  • ASTM – member Committee E08 on Fatigue and Fracture


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