Mary Boyce

Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Provost Emerita; Dean Emerita, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

205 Low Memorial Library, MC 4313
535 West 116th Street, New York, NY 10027

Tel(212) 854 2404
Fax(212) 854-0104

Mary C. Boyce is Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Provost Emerita of Columbia University, and Dean Emerita of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University.  Prior to joining Columbia in July 2013, Provost Boyce had served on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for over 25 years, leading the Mechanical Engineering Department as Department Head from 2008 to 2013.  

Research Interests

Mechanics of materials, molecular and nanomechanics of human-made and natural polymers, soft composites, natural materials, bio-inspired materials

As Provost, Professor Boyce served as the Chief Academic Officer of Columbia University. In this role, Provost Boyce propelled the academic excellence, creativity, and integrity of the many facets of Columbia University. She led the development and implementation of Columbia’s academic plans and policies; she championed the education and research aspirations of the Deans of all 17 Schools and Faculties; and she led the tenure review process and managed all faculty appointments. Together with the Chief Financial Officer, Provost Boyce also oversaw the budgets of each School and the development of the University’s annual academic budget. 

As Dean of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS/Columbia Engineering), Dean Boyce led the education and research mission of Columbia Engineering. She expanded the full time faculty from 174 to over 230, serving more than 1700 undergraduate students, 3000 graduate students, and 100 postdoctoral fellows. Together with the faculty, Dean Boyce introduced and developed an inspiring vision for the School, Columbia Engineering for Humanity, to guide the strategic expansion of the School. Dean Boyce spearheaded the expansion of interdisciplinary research and education programs across the School, attracting faculty talent in cross-cutting fields as wide ranging as Data Science, Nano Science, Advanced Materials and Devices, Sustainability and Climate, and Engineering in Health and Medicine. 

As a faculty member, Professor Boyce’s education and research efforts focus on the mechanics of materials, including theoretical, computational and experimental approaches. Her research explores the nonlinear and multi-scale mechanics of polymeric materials and soft composites. Her leadership in the field of mechanics of materials has expanded the ability to model and predict the highly nonlinear time and temperature dependence of polymeric materials based on their underlying physics. Her research has expanded understanding of the interplay between micro-geometry and the inherent physical behavior of a material. Recognition for her scholarly contributions to the field include election as a fellow of the American Academy of Mechanics, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering.  Professor Boyce has been awarded the 2015 Engineering Science Medal by the Society of Engineering Science and the 2020 Timoshenko Medal for Advances in Applied Mechanics by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Professional Experience

  • Provost of Columbia University, 2021–Present
  • Dean of Engineering, Columbia University, 2013–2021
  • Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering, Columbia University 2013-2021
  • Ford Professor of Engineering, MIT, 2011–2013
  • Gail E. Kendall (1978) Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 2000–2011
  • Department Head of Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 2008–2013
  • Joined the MIT faculty, 1987

Professional Affilliations

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers  
  • American Academy of Mechanics
  • National Academy of Engineering

Honors & Awards

  • Timoshenko Medal, 2020
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers  
  • Fellow, American Academy of Mechanics
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering
  • Engineering Science Medal, Society of Engineering Science 2015
  • Honorary Professor, Zhejiang University 2015
  • MacVicar Faculty Fellow, MIT
  • Joseph Henry Keenan Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching Award, MIT
  • ASME Special Achievement Award for Young Investigator in Applied Mechanics, 1998
  • Dupont Young Faculty Award, 1992–1995
  • ALCOA Foundation Award
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1991

Selected Publications

Mary Boyce has, with her students and collaborators, over 170 peer-reviewed publications in archival journals; a small sampling is provided below (please see CV for a more complete listing).

  • Guttag, M., Boyce, M.C., “Locally and Dynamically Controllable Surface Topography
  • through the Use of Particle-Enhanced Soft Composites”, Advanced Functional Materials,201501035, 2015
  • Yin, J., Boyce, M.C., “Unique Wrinkles as Identity Tags”, Nature, 520 (7546), 164-165, 2015
  • Rudykh, S., Ortiz, C., Boyce, M.C., “Flexibility and Protection by Design: Imbricated Hybrid Microstructures of Bio-Inspired Armor”, Soft Matter, 11(13), 2547-2554, 2015.
  • Rudykh, S., Boyce, M.C., “Transforming Small Localized Loading into Large Rotational Motion in Soft Anisotropically Structured Materials”, Advanced Engineering Materials, 16(11), 1311-1317, 2014
  • Li, Y., Kaynia, N., Rudykh, S., Boyce, M.C., “Wrinkling of Interfacial Layers in Stratified Composites”,  Advanced Engineering Materials, 15(10), 92`-926, 2013.
  • Li, Y., Ortiz, C., Boyce, M.C., “ A Bio-inspired Mechanical, Deterministic Fractal Model for Hierarchical Suture Joints”, Physical Review E, 85, 3, 031901, 2012.
  • Wang, L.F., Lau, J., Thomas, E.L, Boyce, M.C., “ Co-Continuous Composite Materials for Stiffness, Strength and Energy Dissipation”,  Advanced Materials,  23 13, 1524-1529, 2011.
  • Bruet, B.J.F., Song, J.H., Boyce, M.C., Ortiz, C. “Materials Design Principles of Ancient Fish Armor”, Nature Materials, 7(9), 748-756, 2008.
  • Bertoldi, K., Boyce, M.C., “Mechanically-Triggered Transformations of Phononic Band Gaps in Periodic Elastomeric Structures”,  Physical Review B,  77, 052102-1 – 052105-4, 2008.
  • Mullin, T., Deschanel, S., Bertoldi, K., Boyce, M.C., “Pattern Transformation Triggered by Deformation”, Physical Review Letters, 99, 084301, 2007.
  • Pantano, A., Boyce, M.C., Parks, D.M., “Nonlinear Structural Mechanics Based Modeling of Carbon Nanotube Deformation”, Physical Review Letters, 91(14), Art. No. 145504, 2003
  • Sheng, N., Boyce, M.C., Parks, D.M., Rutledge, G.C., Abes, J.J., Cohen, R.E., “Multiscale Micromechanical Modeling of Polymer/Clay Nanocomposites and the Effective Clay Particle”, Polymer, 45(2), 487-506, 2004.
  • Boyce, M.C., Socrate, S., Yeh, O.C., Kear, K., Shaw, K., “Micromechanisms of Deformation and Recovery in Thermoplastic Vulcanizates”, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 49, 1323-1342, 2001.
  • Bergstrom, J.S., Boyce, M.C., “Constitutive Modelling of the Large Strain Time-Dependent Behavior of Elastomers”, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 46, 931-954, 1998.
  • Arruda, E.M., Boyce, M.C., "A Three-Dimensional Constitutive Model for the Large Stretch Behavior of Rubber Elastic Materials", Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 41, 389-412, 1993.