Matthew Miller

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Professor Miller is interested in solid mechanics and the mechanical behavior of metals, engineering alloys, composites and semiconductors. Research areas include crystal stress measurements, microplasticity, fatigue crack initiation, high temperature behavior of superalloys, mechanical behavior of silicon, design and implementation of new in situ experiments with synchrotron x-rays, multiscale model development and validation. Educational areas focus on mechanics of materials, material selection, x-ray diffraction, graduate solid mechanics, mechanics of composites, experimental methods and state variable modeling.

Matthew Miller joined the Sibley School faculty in January, 1994 and is currently a full Professor. Miller received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Georgia Tech. He was named the 1993 outstanding graduating Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and was inducted into the Georgia Tech. Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni in 1995. Professor Miller spent a sabbatical leave at the Colorado School of Mines in 2000-2001, at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory in 2007 and The Ohio State University in 2008. Professor Miller has developed in situ mechanical testing / synchrotron x-ray experiments at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) and at the APS. In 2011, he co-organized a workshop at the APS to explore the synergy between high energy synchrotron x-ray diffraction experiments and high fidelity material behavior models. Miller is currently the Associate Director of CHESS and serves on the Section 1 Beamline Advisory Group at the APS. Professor Miller spent 6 years playing professional football before returning to obtain his engineering degrees. He played 4 years as an offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL and 2 years for the Denver Gold of the USFL.

Professor Miller has received several teaching and advising awards at Cornell. He was a Lilly Teaching Fellow in 1995, he won the Dennis Shepherd Award as the Outstanding Teacher in the Sibley School in 1996. Miller won the James and Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004 and the James M. Marsha D. McCormick Award for Excellence in Advising First Year Students in 2006 – both awarded by the Cornell College of Engineering. Professor Miller won an NSF CAREER Award in 1997 and participated in the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering in 1999. He won the ASM International Henry Marion Howe Award in 2009 for the Best Research Paper in Metallurgical and Materials Transactions in 2008. Professor Miller is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Fatigue and is on the Review Board for Integrating Materials and Manufacturing Innovation.

Research Interests

Miller’s research focuses on the creation of tools that enable the design and selection of structural materials. Much of Miller’s work is at the experiment/model interface, where he and his students have designed experiments to probe material state and behaviors on multiple size scales. An emphasis is the use of synchrotron x-rays and in-situ mechanical loading to understand the crystal level mechanical state of alloys during deformation – including monotonic loading and fatigue. Results from these experiments – which have been conducted on copper, aluminum, beryllium and titanium alloys – are enabling improved understanding of how micromechanical stress states evolve during plastic deformation and, eventually how damage such as a fatigue crack initiates. Miller is the Director of the new Insitμ (Integrated Simulation and x-ray Interrogation Tools and training for micromechanics) center at CHESS. The focus of Insitμ is on developing experimental capabilities and nurturing new users in the general area of structural materials. Specific support for industrial users at Insitμ comes from a recent grant from the Office of Naval Research.

Teaching Interests

Miller has developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on engineering materials at Cornell in M&AE. The required sophomore course that Miller has developed, M&AE212, begins with basic mechanics of materials concepts then introduces failure analyses associated with yielding, fracture and fatigue. The course culminates with fundamentals of material selection employing the concept of material indices. Recently Miller developed a senior level composites course that contains a senior design element. On the graduate level, Miller has taught the theory and implementation of state variable plasticity models as well as an experimental-mechanics based course focused on the model-experiment interface. A new graduate course focuses on synchrotron x-ray diffraction and the measurement of lattice strains. This course culminates with students conducting experiments CHESS.

Selected Publications

  • Miller, Matthew Peter, P. R. Dawson. 2014. “Understanding local deformation in metallic polycrystals using high energy X-rays and finite elements.” Cement and Concrete Research 18: 286-299.
  • Wong, S L., M. Obstalecki, M P. Miller, P R Dawson. 2015. “Stress and deformation heterogeneity in individual grains within polycrystals subjected to fully reversed cyclic loading.” Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 79: 157-185.
  • Pagan, Darren, Matthew Peter Miller. 2014. “Connecting Heterogeneous Single Slip to Diffraction Peak Evolution in High-Energy Monochromatic X-Ray Experiments.” Journal of Applied Crystallography 47: 887-898.
  • Schuren, J. C., S. L. Wong, P. R. Dawson, Matthew Peter Miller.  2014. “Integrating experiments and simulations to estimate uncertainty in lattice strain measurements.” Journal of Strain Analysis 49 (1): 33-50.
  • Obstalecki, M. O., S. L. Wong, P. R. Dawson, Matthew Peter Miller.  2014. “Quantitative analysis of crystal scale deformation heterogeneity during cyclic plasticity using high energy x-ray diffraction and finite element simulation.” Acta Materialia 75: 259-272.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • ASME Fellow (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) 2018
  • Henry Marion Howe Medal Award – Outstanding paper of the year 2008 in Materials Transactions A (ASM International) 2009
  • James M. and Marsha D. McCormick Award for Excellence in Advising First Year Students (Cornell College of Engineering) 2006
  • James and Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award (Cornell College of Engineering) 2004
  • Frontiers of Engineering (National Academy of Engineering) 1999
  • Dennis G. Shepard Teaching Prize (Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) 1996


  • B.A. (Geology), University of Colorado, 1979
  • B.S. (Mechanical Engineering), Colorado School of Mines, 1988
  • M.S. (Mechanical Engineering), Georgia Institute of Technology, 1990
  • Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering), Georgia Institute of Technology, 1993