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 07, 2022

A Lab Accident Might Lead to New Frontier in Electronics Design

A mistake made by MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb and Jason Bice, PhD’22, in the lab, might lead to an entirely new class of ceramic materials.


Sep 20, 2022

Northeastern in Top 100 Universities with U.S. Utility Patents

For the seventh consecutive year, Northeastern University has appeared in the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) list of Top 100 Universities that were granted U.S. utility patents in 2021, cementing it as a world leader in academia and research.

Safa Jamali


Jul 14, 2022

Jamali Awarded Young Investigator Grant for Army Research on Colloidal Crystals

Safa Jamali, assistant professor, mechanical and industrial engineering (MIE), has been awarded a $360K, three-year grant from the Army Research Office Young Investigator Program for research on the synthetic creation of colloidal structures for new materials. Jamali studies computational rheology—the science of how complex fluids flow—and uses modeling to examine the underlying structures that soft […]


Feb 04, 2022

Announcing Spring 2022 PEAK Experiences Awardees

Several engineering students and science students mentored by COE faculty are recipients of Northeastern’s Spring 2022 PEAK Experiences Awards.


Dec 02, 2021

MIE Alums Featured in Forbes 30 Under 30

Mechanical engineering alums Anvesh Gurijala, E’16, and Michael Segal, E’16, were featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 2022: Manufacturing & Industry. The two are co-founders of Boston Materials with Associate Professor Randall Erb. Related news: Using Reclaimed Materials, Spinoff Produces Strong, Light Carbon Fibers


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.

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.

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