SoCal Solids Conference 2023

The SoCal Solids Conference will be held at the University of Southern California (USC) on Saturday, September 30, 2023 from 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM. A dinner reception will follow at The Lab Gastropub across campus (3500 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007). We encourage all students and early professionals to share research and avail networking opportunities for collaborative efforts. The conference is free! Ten (10) lightning talks are reserved for early career faculty and postdocs, four of which for non-R1 and postdoc scholars. Twenty-plus (20+) lightning talks are open to all researchers.
Mission: The conference is aimed at facilitating the exchange of ideas, and collaboration amongst mechanics research groups throughout southern California and beyond. The day consists of three keynotes and three rounds of multiple "lightning talks."
Organizers:  Paul Plucinsky (USC), Qiming Wang (USC), Lihua Jin (UCLA), M. Khalid Jawed (UCLA), and Shengqiang Cai (UCSD)
Cost: FREE
Location: The Forum (TCC 450) - 3607 Trousdale Parkway #450, Los Angeles, CA, 90089
Parking: To park in the Downey Way Parking Structure, enter through the Watt Way Gate on Exposition Blvd. Parking rates are $20/day and collected at Pay-By-Plate (PBP) stations.
Sponsors: This event is sponsored by NSF Award #2308624, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and the USC Viterbi Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.
Accessibility: We encourage everyone to participate in the programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation, have questions about the physical access, and/or require materials in an alternate format, please contact Victoria Sevilla ( It is requested that individuals requiring accommodations or auxiliary aids such as sign language interpreters and alternative format materials notify us at least 7 days prior to the event. Every reasonable effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations in an effective and timely manner.

Professor of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

University of Southern California



University of California, Santa Barbara


Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

University of California, Berkeley


  • 9:00 AM - Registration & Breakfast
  • 10:00 AM - Plenary: Assad Oberai
    • Conditional Generative Algorithms in Mechanics
  • 11:00 AM - Lightning Talks
  • 12:00 PM - Lunch
  • 1:00 PM - Plenary: Megan Valentine
    • Using 3D Printing to Make Nature-Inspired Polymer Foams
  • 2:00 PM - Lightning Talks
  • 3:00 PM - Coffee Break
  • 3:30 PM - Plenary: Grace Gu
    • Asymmetry is All You Need: Mapping New Pathways in Material Design and Optimization
  • 4:30 PM - Lightning Talks
  • 6:00 PM - OPTIONAL: Reception at The Lab Gastropub
The Forum (TCC 450): 3607 Trousdale Parkway #450, Los Angeles, CA, 90089


"Lightning Talks" are short, 5-6 min presentations. Ten (10) lightning talks are reserved early career faculty and postdocs, four of which are for non-R1 and postdoc scholars. Twenty (20) lightning talks are open to all researchers. 


SoCal Solids Plenary Assad Oberai
SoCal Solids Plenary Megan Valentine
SoCal Solids Plenary Grace Gu
SoCal Solids Lightning Talk Presentation
SoCal Solids Lightning Talk Presentation
SoCal Solids Lightning Talk Presentation

Published on August 14th, 2023

Last updated on October 2nd, 2023