Brian D. Flinn

Brian D. Flinn

  • Research Associate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering
Office:337 Roberts Hall
Phone:(206) 616-9068
Lab Phone:(206) 685-7216
Fax:(206) 543-3100
Web:Flinn Research Group


BS 1984, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Metallurgical Engineering

MS 1986, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Metallurgical Engineering

PhD 1991, University of California, Santa Barbara, Materials Engineering

Research Interests

Experimental Mechanics of Materials - Fracture and Fatigue

Structure-Processing-Property Relationships of Advanced Materials

Engineering Education- Knowledge Retention and Transfer from Course to Course

Joining of Composites and Advanced Materials

Throughout my career, my scientific research has been focused on the relationships between material processing, structure, and properties in structural materials. When a layperson asks me what I research, the short answer is: I make it, break it, look at it and make it better. At the University of Washington my research covers a variety of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers and composites) with the common goal of improving structural properties by relating the processing to the microstructure and subsequent mechanical behavior. This approach has been successfully implemented in both basic scientific research and applied research with industry. Fundamental issues relate the strength and fracture behavior of materials to their processing technique and resulting microstructure. This behavior is often related to the characteristics and properties of the material surfaces and interfaces. The design and implementation of experimental techniques to measure material behavior for the development of materials models, e.g. constitutive laws, for computational modeling of material or component performance is often necessary. My current research is focused on: 1) The effect of deformation induced residual stresses on the fracture and fatigue behavior of metals and fastener holes. 2) Understanding the role of surface preparation on quality and durability of composite bonds. 3) Detection of Barely Visible Damage (BVD) in composite materials. 4) Novel uses and processing of fiber reinforced composites.

Selected Publications

  • B.D. Flinn, M.E. Wiegman, M. Sigelmann, T. Nam, E. Easterbrook and A. Mines;  StressWave™Fatigue Life Improvement of 6A1-4V Titanium for Medical Implants, Medical Device Materials (Proceedings of Materials & Processes for Medical Devices Conference, 8-10 Sep 2003, Anaheim, CA).
  • A Biomimetic Spicular Optical Fiber of a Sponge - Mechanical Properties and Structure, M. Sarikaya, H. Fong, B.D. Flinn, G. Mayer, A. Mescher, E. Gaino, J. Mater. Res., 16(5), 1420-1428 (2001).
  • The StressWave Fatigue life Enhancement Process, E.T. Eastbrook, B.D. Flinn, C. Meyer & N. Juhlin,  Proceedings of 2001 Aerospace Congress, 2001.
  • Impact Strength of High Density Solid-State Microcellular Polycarbonate Foams, C. Barlow, V. Kumar, B. Flinn, R. Bordia & J. Weller, J. of Engr Mtls & Tech (ASME), April 2001.
  • Barlow, C., Weller, J., Flinn, B. D.,. Bordia, R. K and Kumar, V., The Effects of Density and Cell Size on the Impact Strength of Microcellular Polycarbonate, accepted by J.Am. Soc. Mech. Eng. Sept. 2000
  • A History of ECSEL Community College Interactions, B.D. Flinn, M.K. Silva, J.M. Carson, B. Liaw, J. Barba and G. Zhang, ASEE/FIE, 13a1-14-21 (November 1999).
  • Fracture of Alumina with Controlled Pores, A. Zimmermann, M. Hoffman, B. Flinn, R. Bordia, T.Chuang, E. Fuller, Jr., J. Rödel, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Vol. 81, No. 9 (1998).
  • Evolution of Strength Determining Flaws During Sintering, with B.D. Flinn and J. Roedel, Sintering Technology , Eds. R. M. German, G. L. Messing and R. G. Cornwall, pp. 13-20 (1996).
  • Processing and Properties of Rapid Cure Preimpregnated Composite Systems, with J.D. Holbery and B.D. Flinn, Proc. of the Tenth International Conference on Composite Materials, Vol.3, pp. 93-100, (August 1995).

Professional Activities and Responsibilities

  • Member:  American Ceramic Society, ASM/TMS, Keramos
  • 18 presentations at professional conferences.
  • Reviewer for Journal of the American Ceramic Society.
  • Session Chairman, 1995 Annual Meeting of American Ceramic Society
  • Symposium Organizer, 1995 Pacific Coast Regional Meeting of American Ceramic Society
  • Presidential Scholar, Electron Microscopy Society of America, 1988

Career History

  • 2002 - Present - Research Associate Professor, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 1995 - 2002 - Research Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 1991 - 1995 - Research Associate, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 1986 - 1991 - Research & Teaching Assistant, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 1984 - 1986 - Research & Teaching Assistant, Colorado School of Mines, Golden
  • 1981 - Technician, Esco Corporation, Portland, Oregon

Contact Us

UW Department of Materials Science & Engineering

phone: (206) 543-2600
fax: (206) 543-3100