Chiara Daraio


  • USA, Italy

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering. University of California, San Diego. June 2006.
  • M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, San Diego. January 2003.
  • M.S./B.S. (Diploma di Laurea, 5 yrs), magna cum laude, Mechanical Engineering. University of Ancona, Politecnico delle Marche, Ancona, Italy. December 2001.

Professional Experience

  • ETH Zürich, CH (January 2013 to present)
    Professor, Chair in Mechanics and Materials
  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (December 2010 to present)
    Professor, Aeronautics and Applied Physics
  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (September 2006 to 2010)
    Assistant Professor, Aeronautics and Applied Physics


Honors and Awards


  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), White House, Washington D.C., July 2012.
  • JSA Young Investigator Lectureship, Society for Experimental Mechanics, June 2012.
  • Sloan Research Fellowship, February 2011.
  • JFK 50 Years, Legacy Gallery, January 2011.
  • Brilliant 10, Popular Science Magazine, October 2010.
  • Richard C. Biedebach Memorial Watson Lecture, May 2010.
  • ONR Young Investigator Award, Office of Naval Research, April 2010.
  • Future World Leader, Science and Technology in Society forum (selected as one of 10 scientists under 40 worldwide, one of two representing the USA), Oct. 2009.
  • NSF CAREER Award, CMMI, January 2009.
  • Lister Vickery Trophy, 1st prize winner of the "INSEAD Comitel 16th Business Venture Competition" (Solitonik), June 2008.
  • Richard-von-Mises-Prize, awarded by GAMM (Association of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics), April 2008.
  • Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society, elected Full Member, 2007.
  • Felice De Carli Medal (Young Investigator Award), Italian Metallurgical Society, Nov. 2006.
  • Selected scientific News Coverage: CNN, Scientific American, National Geographic, Discover, Discovery Channel, CBSNews, MSNBC, NPR, NPR Canada, London's Telegraph, Popular Science, Science Daily, EurekAlert, Daily Caller, Yahoo News, R&D Magazine, Thaindian News, ANSA, La Repubblica, La Stampa.

University of California, San Diego

  • Gold Award Winner, MRS Graduate Student Contest, MRS 2005 Fall Meeting, Nov. 2005.
  • APS/SCCM travel award recipient, August 2005.
  • Materials Science Fellowship (UC San Diego) for the year 2004-2005.
  • Jacobs Fellowship (UC San Diego), September 2001-2002.
  • Selected as one of the ~40 nation best engineering graduate students by Animal Planet/Discovery Channel TV to participate in the filming of "Chasing Nature" episodes in Australia, October 2005.
  • Selected scientific news coverage: Nature News, National Geographic, Scientific American, Science Daily, EurekAlert, PhysOrg, New Scientist, Nanowerk, La Repubblica.

University of Ancona, Politecnico delle Marche, Italy

  • First Prize Winner for the Rotary Club International Thesis Award, Ancona, May 2002.
  • Honors, Thesis Publication Reccommended (Dignita’ di Stampa) December 2001.
  • Selected by ESA (European Space Agency) in the Italian students representative for the International Aerospace Conference in Toulouse (FR) in September 2001.


Professional Memberships

  • SEM - Society for Experimental Mechanics
  • MRS - Materials Research Society
  • APS - American Physical Society, Topical Group of SCCM, SNP
  • TMS - The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society
  • WISE - Women In Science and Engineering Society
  • SigmaXi - The Scientific Research Society