Robert O. Ritchie

University of California, Berkeley

Robert Ritchie is currently the H.T. & Jessie Chua Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the materials science & engineering and mechanical engineering departments at the University of California, Berkeley; he is also senior faculty scientist at the materials sciences division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). He received his B.A., M.A., Ph.D. and Sc.D. degrees in materials science from Cambridge University, where he was the Goldsmith’s Junior Research Fellow in Metallurgy at Churchill College from 1972-74. He first came to the U.S. in 1974 as a Miller Research Fellow at Berkeley. Following nearly five years on the mechanical engineering faculty at MIT, he joined the faculty at Berkeley in 1981 where he was director of the Center for Advanced Materials at LBNL from 1987-95 and chair of the materials science & engineering department on campus from 2005-11. He is known for his research into the mechanics and mechanisms of fracture and fatigue of a broad range of structural and biological materials, spanning steels and aluminum through ceramics and composites to bone, teeth and fish scales. Currently his research interests are focused on the development of bio-inspired lightweight structural materials, issues of damage and fracture in metallic glasses and high-temperature composites, and the biological degradation of the structural integrity of bone. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom.