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Robert J. Asaro

Professor, Structural Engineering

Composite design and manufacturing technologies for large scale structures and marine applications as well as the deformation, fracture and fatigue of high temperature intermetallics.

Professor Asaro designs and manufactures large-scale composite structures. He is particularly interested in the use is these structures for marine applications such as new pilings to make piers stronger and safer. His pilings are made from molded hollow tubes of advanced composite materials including glass fiber and vinyl ester resin. Recycled plastic sheaths the tubes and provides an abrasion resistant outer surface. The structural composite materials are strong, lightweight, and immune from seaworm attack. They are also highly corrosion resistant.. Asaro's research interests also include the bulk processing of high Tc-BSCCo superconductors.

Capsule Bio:

Prior to joining UCSD in 1989, Robert Aaro was an associate professor at Brown University. Asaro also worked as a research scientist at Ford Motor Company and the U.S. Naval Radiological Laboratory. Asaro is a member of the American Society of Metals, the Physics and Chemistry of Solids Committee, and the Materials Research Society. He is a two-time recipient of the NSF Creativity Award (1983, 1989). In 1991, Asaro was awarded the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society/Materials Information Society C.H. Matthewson Gold Medal.


  • B.S., Materials Science, Stanford University (1967)
  • M.S., Materials Science, Stanford University (1969)
  • Ph.D., Materials Science, Stanford University (1972)


  • Ph.D. Awarded with Distinction
  • Phi Eta Sigma
  • NSF Trainee
  • ASTM Student Award for 1972
  • National Welding Society Scholarship, AIME
  • NSF Special Creativity Award, 1983
  • NSF Special Creativity Award, 1989
  • TMS/ASM C.H. Matthewson Gold Medal Winner, 1991

Selected Publications:

  • Dao, M., Asaro, R.J., and Alley, D., (1998). "Fire Degradation and Failure Prediction of Fiber Composites Under Compressive Loading," U.S. Coast Guard position paper vis-à-vis the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
  • Dao, M., Asaro, R.J., and Alley, D., (1998). "Development in the Fire Safety Assessment of Composite Materials on High Speed Craft as Regulated by the IMO High Speed Craft Code," To appear in Fire Safety of Materials, 43rd International SAMPE Symposium.
  • Dao, M., Gu, P., Maewal, A., and Asaro, R.J., (1997). "A Micromechanical Study of Residual Stresses in Functionally Graded Materials," Acta Materialia, Vol. 45-8, pp. 3265-3276.
  • Gu, P., and Asaro, R.J., (1997). "Crack Deflection in Functionally Graded Materials," International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol. 34, No. 24, pp. 3085-3098.
  • Zhu, Y.T., Lowe, T.C., and Asaro, R.J., (1997). "Assessment of the Theoretical Basis of the Rule of Additivity for the Nucleation Incubation Time During Continuous Cooling," Journal of Applied Physics, Vol.82, No. 3, AIP, pp. 1129-1137.
  • Asaro, R.J., and Dao, M., (1997). "Fire Degradation of Fiber Composites," Marine Technology, Vol. 34, pp. 197-210.
  • Kad, B.K., Schoenfeld, S.E., Asaro, R.J., McKamey, C.G., and Sikka, V.K., (1997). “Deformation Textures in Fe3Al Alloys: An Assessment of Dominant Slip System Activity in the 900° - 1300° K Temperature Range of Hot Working," Acta Materialia, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 1333-1350.
  • Gu, P., Yang, W., Shiho, C.F., and Asaro, R.J., (1997). "Failure of a Thin Film Due to Inclusions on the Interface," International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol.34, No. 8, pp. 949-967.
  • Dao, M., Kad, B.K., and Asaro, R.J., (1997). "Mechanism of Intense Shear Failure in Ni3Al Single Crystals," Philosophical Magazine. A, Vol. 75-2, pp. 443-459.
  • Kad, B.K. & Asaro, R.J., (1997). "Apparent Hall-Petch Effects in Polycrystalline Lamellar TiAl", Philosophical Magazine A, Vol. 75, No. 1, pp. 87-104.

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Institute Affiliations:
Charles Lee Powell Structural Research Laboratories