Jeffrey W. Kysar


240 S.W. Mudd
Mail Code 4703

Tel(212) 854-7432
Fax(212) 854-3304

Jeffrey W. Kysar’s research focuses on the mechanical behavior and mechanics of materials at small scales and under extreme conditions, with an emphasis on understanding how defects in a material lead to its failure.  Kysar was one of the leaders of the Columbia Engineering team that showed graphene (a two-dimensional single atomic layer of carbon) to be the strongest material ever characterized.  His research group develops new materials with nanometer scale components that have unique properties; examples include nanoporous metal films and graphene-containing composite materials. He develops multiple length scale thermodynamic models that predict the mechanical response of materials. Kysar also works closely with surgeons to develop surgical tools that allow doctors to access directly the inner ear. 

Research Interests

Mechanical properties and mechanics of two-dimensional materials, Defect evolution during metal plasticity, Nanoscale and microscale fabrication and 3D printing, mechanical engineering.

Recent projects from Kysar’s research group include: experiments and theoretical development of the mechanical response of graphene and other 2D materials; methods to grow high strength graphene via chemical vapor deposition; fabrication of crack-free blanket films of nanoporous gold onto silicon wafers for incorporation into micro-electro-mechanical systems; development of a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) to characterize the mechanical response of gold nanocrystals; development of novel methods to characterize the spatial variation of material defects in metals that are deformed plastically; development of architected nanocomposite materials, among many others.  Kysar also collaborates with otolaryngologists on the development and fabrication of microscale needles to allow medicine to be introduced into the cochlea for the treatment of hearing and balance disorders.

Kysar received a BS in 1987 and an MS in 1992 in mechanical engineering from Kansas State University and a PhD in engineering sciences from Harvard University in 1998. In 2006 he received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.


  • Research associate, Brown University, 1998–2001


  • Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 2014–
  • Professor of Mechanical Engineering and of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, Columbia University, 2017–
  • Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 2011–2016
  • Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 2006–2011
  • Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 2001–2005


  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Materials Research Society
  • Society of Experimental Mechanics
  • American Chemical Society
  • The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society


  • William E. Hitselberger Memorial Lectureship from The American Neurotology Society, 2015
  • International Journal of Plasticity Young Research Award, 2012
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 2006
  • Department of Energy Early Career Scientist and Engineer Award, 2006
  • Frontiers of Engineering Program at National Academy of Engineering, 2003
  • National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award, 2001


  • C. Lee, X. Wei, J. W. Kysar, J. Hone. Measurement of the elastic properties and intrinsic strength of monolayer graphene. Science, 321(5887):385–388, 2008M.
  • G.-H. Lee, R. C. Cooper, S. J. An, S. Lee, A. van der Zande, N. Petrone, A. G. Hammerberg, C. Lee, B. Crawford, W. Oliver, J. W. Kysar, J. Hone. High-strength chemical-vapor–deposited graphene and grain boundaries. Science, 340(6136):1073–1076, 2013.
  • Yilmaz and J. W. Kysar. Monolithic integration of nanoscale tensile specimens and MEMS structures. Nanotechnology, 24(16):165502, 2013.
  • J. W. Kysar, Y. Saito, M. S. Öztop, D. Lee, W. T. Huh. Experimental lower bounds on geometrically necessary dislocation density. International Journal of Plasticity, 26(8):1097–1123, 2010.
  • R. C. Cooper, C. Lee, C. A. Marianetti, X. D. Wei, J. Hone, and J. W. Kysar. Nonlinear elastic behavior of two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide. Physical Review B, 87(3):035423, 2013.
  • O. Okman, J. W. Kysar. Fabrication of crack-free blanket nanoporous gold thin films by galvanostatic dealloying. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 509(22):6374–6381, 2011.
  • C. M. Kelso, H. Watanabe, J. M. Wazen, T. Bucher, Z. J. Qian, E. S. Olson, J. W. Kysar, A. K. Lalwani. Microperforations significantly enhance diffusion across round window membrane. Otology & Neurotology, 36(4):694–700, 2015.