SungWoo Nam

SungWoo Nam
SungWoo Nam
Adjunct Associate Professor
(217) 300-0267
4418 Mechanical Engineering Lab

For More Information


  • Ph.D., Applied Physics, Harvard University, 2011
  • M.A., Physics, Harvard University, 2007
  • M.Eng., Materials Engineering, Yonsei University, 2005
  • B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, 2002

Academic Positions

  • Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, August 16, 2018-date
  • Affiliate Faculty (0%), The Carle Illinois College of Medicine, UIUC, October, 2019-date
  • Affiliate Faculty (0%), Materials Research Laboratory, UIUC, August, 2019-date
  • Affiliate Faculty (0%), Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UIUC, September, 2013-date
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, August 16, 2012-August 15, 2018
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of California, Berkeley, 2011-2012
  • Graduate Student Researcher & Postdoctoral Research Associate, Harvard University, 2005-2011

Other Professional Employment

  • Research Associate, ILJIN Nanotech Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea, 2002-2005

Research Statement

Many mechanical deformations, such as buckling, crumpling, wrinkling, collapsing, and delamination, are usually considered as threats to mechanical integrity and are avoided or reduced in the traditional design of materials and structures. Our research goes against these conventions by tailoring such mechanical instabilities to create new functional morphologies. We use ultralow bending stiffness and semiconducting properties of atomically-thin materials to enable emerging mechanically-coupled properties (e.g., quantum emission, exciton localization/condensation, tunable plasmonics, flexoelectricity, etc.) and device-level multi-functionalities that extend beyond those of bulk material systems.

Research Areas

  • Applied Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Energy
  • Health and Bio
  • Manufacturing
  • Security and Defense
  • Solid Mechanics and Materials

Chapters in Books

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

Professional Societies

  • Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2020-Present
  • Member, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), 2018-Present
  • Member, Society of Engineering Science (SES), 2017-Present
  • Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2013-Present
  • Member, Biophysical Society, 2013-Present
  • Member, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), 2013-Present
  • Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2013-Present
  • Member, Materials Research Society (MRS), 2008-Present

Teaching Honors

  • Rose Award for Teaching Excellence, College of Engineering, 2018
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, 2013, 2015 & 2017
  • Provost's Initiative on Teaching Advancement (PITA) Award, 2013
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Outstanding by Their Students (Top 10%), 2013
  • Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University, 2009

Research Honors

  • Anderson Faculty Scholar, UIUC, 2020-Present
  • Center for Advanced Study, UIUC, 2020-2021
  • Campus Distinguished Promotion Award, UIUC, 2018
  • TMS 2018 Early Career Faculty Fellow Award, 2018
  • Hanwha Advanced Materials Non-Tenured Faculty Award, 2017
  • Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award, 2017
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, College of Engineering, 2017
  • Arab-American Frontiers Fellowship, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 2017
  • Poster Award, ASME IMECE 2016 Micro & Nano Technology Forum, 2016
  • Invited Participant, 2016 Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Symposium, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 2016
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Early Career Faculty (ECF) Award, 2016
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Award, 2016
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award, 2016
  • Poster Award, ASME IMECE 2015 Micro & Nano Technology Forum, 2015
  • IEEE EMBS Micro and Nanotechnology in Medicine Conference New Innovators Lectureship, 2014
  • Young Investigator Award, Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA), 2014
  • Doctoral New Investigator Award, American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund (PRF), 2013
  • Gold Award, Materials Research Society (MRS), 2011
  • Outstanding Student Designer Award at ISSCC, Analog Devices, 2010
  • GSAS Merit Fellowship, Harvard University, 2009
  • The Samsung Scholarship, Samsung Foundation of Culture, 2005
  • Humantec Award, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., 2002
  • Summa Cum Laude with the Valedictorian Prize, Seoul National University, 2002

Recent Courses Taught

  • BIOE 497 SWN - Individual Study
  • ME 330 AL1 (ME 330 AL2, ME 330 AL4, ME 330 OL2, ME 330 ZJ1) - Engineering Materials
  • ME 598 AN1 (ME 598 AN2) - Nano-Fab & Characterization