Randall Erb

Associate Professor,  Mechanical and Industrial Engineering



  • 306 DA
  • 617.373.4649


  • 227 EC
  • 617.373.6582

Research Focus

Structure/property relationships in composites and ceramics, magnetic manipulation, colloidal physics


  • PhD, Duke University, 2009

Honors & Awards

  • 2017 Outstanding Translational Research Award

Research Overview

Structure/property relationships in composites and ceramics, magnetic manipulation, colloidal physics

Selected Research Projects

  • Battery Electrode Technologies
    • – Principal Investigator, Rogers Corporation
  • Composite and Ceramic Manufacturing Technologies
    • – Principal Investigator, Raytheon Corporation
  • SBIR – Ultralight Wearable Cooling Systems
    • – Co-Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation

Selected Publications

  • Zando, Robert B., Mesgarnejad, Ataollah, Pan, Chunzhou, Shefelbine, Sandra J., Karma, Alain, Erb, Randall M. (2021). Enhanced toughness in ceramic-reinforced polymer composites with herringbone architectures. Composites Science and Technology, 204,108513. 10.1016/J.COMPSCITECH.2020.108513
  • A. Gurijala, R.B. Zando, J.L. Faust, J.R. Barber, L. Zhang, R.M. Erb, Castable and Printable Dielectric Composites Exhibiting High Thermal Conductivity via Percolation-Enabled Phonon Transport, Matter, 2(4), 2020, 1015-1024
  • J.L. Faust, G.A. Winter, M.L. Minus, R.M. Erb Polypropylene Crystallization at an Alumina Interface Using Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 543, 2019, 9-16
  • L. Li, R.M. Erb, J. Wang, J. Wang, Y.M. Chiang Fabrication of Low‐Tortuosity Ultrahigh‐Area‐Capacity Battery Electrodes Through Magnetic Alignment of Emulsion‐Based Slurries, Advanced Energy Materials, 9(2), 2019, 1802472
  • R.M. Erb, J.J. Martin, R. Soheilian, C. Pan, J.R. Barber Actuating Soft Matter with Magnetic Torque, Advanced Functional Materials, 26(22), 2016, 3859-3880
  • J.S. Sander, R.M. Erb, L. Li, A. Gurijala, Y.-M. Chiang High-Performance Battery Electrodes via Magnetic Templating, Nature Energy, 1, 2016, 16099
  • J.J. Martin, B.E. Fiore, R.M. Erb, Designing Bioinspired Composite Reinforcement Architectures Via 3D Magnetic Printing, Nature Communications, 6, 2015, 8641
  • R.M. Erb, R.L. Libanori, N. Rothfuchs, A.R. Studart Composites Reinforced in Three Dimensions by Using Low Magnetic Fields, Science, 335, 2012, 199-204


Oct 21, 2021

Using Magnetic Force During 3D Printing at the Microscale

MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb is using a magnetic field during the 3D printing process to create strong complex ceramic designs that can be used in everything from circuit boards to hypersonic airplanes. How magnets and 3D printers can make materials for hypersonic planes Main photo: Masters student Dan Braconnier, works on researchers in the […]

Anvesh Gurijala working in lab


Jun 14, 2021

Using Reclaimed Materials, Spinoff Produces Strong, Light Carbon Fibers

The spinoff company Boston Materials, founded by alumni Michael Segal, E’16, Anvesh Gurijala, E’16, PhD’21, and MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb, uses 100% reclaimed materials to create a new type of carbon fiber that is sturdy enough to protect airplanes from lightning strikes but is light, tough, and as smooth as velvet.

Randall Erb


May 20, 2021

Using Magnetic Fields to Align 3D Printed Composite Materials

MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb was awarded a patent for creating a method for “Direct write three-dimensional printing of aligned composite materials”.

student who works in the mechanical engineering lab

Spotlight Story

May 13, 2021

Creating Synthetic Bone Graft Materials

Biochemistry student Morgan Pfaff is working with MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb and Post-Doctoral Researcher Jessica Faust to create synthetic materials for bone graft applications. She’s building better bones while encouraging diversity in science Main photo: Morgan Pfaff, who studies biochemistry, conducts biomaterial research for bone graft applications in Egan Research Center. Pfaff recently received […]

KRI building


May 12, 2021

Fostering Innovation through Collaboration

In recent years, the Kostas Research Institute located at the Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts, added an Expeditionary Cyber & Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lab—the first of its kind in the United States. Ongoing renovations also added 30,000 square feet of entrepreneurial space—the Venture Creation Center, furthering innovation opportunities for engineering faculty, students, and alumni.

Randall Erb


Nov 13, 2020

Manufacturing Thermal Interfaces

MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb was awarded a patent for developing “Methods for the manufacture of thermal interfaces, thermal interfaces, and articles comprising the same”.

Jessica Faust

Spotlight Story

Oct 02, 2020

PhD Spotlight: Jessica Faust, PhD’20 – Mechanical Engineering

Advised by Associate Professor Randall Erb, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Early in her academic journey as a community college student, Jessica Faust was selected for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in summer of 2010, working as a research assistant in mechanical design at Northeastern’s College of Engineering Center for High-Rate […]

Randall Erb


Jul 09, 2020

Using Magnetic Fields to Reinforce 3D Printing

MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb was awarded a patent for “Additive manufacturing of discontinuous fiber composites using magnetic fields.”

Randall Erb


Jun 22, 2020

Using Magnetic Fields to Produce Porous Articles

MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb was awarded a patent for “Magnetic field alignment of emulsions to produce porous articles.”

Randall Erb


Mar 27, 2020

3D Mineralization Printer

MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb was awarded a patent for “Three dimensional mineralization printer.”

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