Current research in the group focuses on the effects of microstructure in heterogeneous materials, nanoscale deformation, continuum representations of atomistic systems, and fracture. Research projects emphasize both high-performance computational modeling using finite elements and molecular dynamics as well as experimental characterization using laser interferometry and novel digital diagnostics. Using novel micromechanical models, the computations strive to outline microstructural designs that may improve the performance of composites in applications in which mechanisms such as shear banding and fracture play important roles. Another research thrust is the development of equivalent continuum (EC) representations for atomistic deformation events. This direction leads to the multiscale characterization of material behavior “from the ground up”, beginning with atomistic models. The experimental part of Dr. Zhou’s research uses an intermediate-to-high strain rate material test facility which includes a split Hopkinson pressure bar apparatus, a tension bar apparatus, and a combined torsion-tension/torsion-compression bar apparatus.