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Orion Kafka (Fed)

Mechanical Engineering Researcher

Dr. Orion Landauer Kafka is staff researcher specializing in solid mechanics in the Applied Chemicals and Materials Division of the Material Measurement Laboratory (MML) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado.

I am broadly interested in both computational and experimental mechanics, specifically for solids. My PhD work at Northwestern University (defended late 2019) explored development of new computational methods and integrating computational and experimental data to understand the deformation behavior of metals mostly using x-ray computed tomography and computational crystal plasticity (CP), including integration of CP with a new reduced order modeling method developed in parallel, which enables orders-of-magnitude decrease in computation expense. The new method was termed crystal plasticity self-consistent clustering analysis and first applied to fatigue prediction in NiTi [1,2]. The primary application of this work, after demonstration with NiTi, was on additively manufactured metals [3, 4].

At NIST, I started with an NRC associateship mostly focusing on x-ray computed tomography to quantify fatigue and fracture defect sensitivity in additively manufactured metals, while also looking at other microstructural features, see e.g. [5]. Fatigue and fracture are to open challenges severely limiting broader application of these advanced manufacturing techniques. Through this broadly collaborative work, we have published papers (see below) and had extensive interaction with industry stakeholders, shaping both our research and progress in the broader AM industry.

Most recently, I have been working on fundamental measurements for high-resolution vat photopolymer printing of hydrogels for biological applications. Techniques include atomic force microscopy, X-ray CT, and optical coherence tomography.

I am always interested in exploring new topics, especially those where my expertise (and models) could be helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested.

My twin brother, Alexander Landauer, is also in MML (in Gaithersburg, MD). We are often mistaken upon visual inspection, so this is mostly here as warning.


[1] Zeliang Liu, Orion L. Kafka, Cheng Yu, Wing Kam Liu. “Data-driven self-consistent clustering analysis of heterogeneous materials with crystal plasticity.” Advances in Computational Plasticity – Book in the Honor of the 70th Birthday of Roger Owen. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-60885-3_11.

[2] Orion L. Kafka, Cheng Yu, Modesar Shakoor, Zeliang Liu, Gregory J. Wagner, Wing Kam Liu. “Data-driven mechanistic modeling of influence of microstructure on high-cycle fatigue life of nickel titanium.” JOM. DOI: 10.1007/s11837-018-2868-2.

[3] Orion L. Kafka, Kevontrez K. Jones, Cheng Yu, Puikei Cheng, Wing Kam Liu, Image-based multiscale modeling with spatially varying microstructures from experiments: demonstration with additively manufactured metal in fatigue and fracture.” Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, DOI: 10.1016/j.jmps.2021.104350.

[4] Orion L. Kafka, Cheng Yu, Puikei Cheng, Sarah J. Wolff, Jennifer L. Bennett, Edward J. Garboczi, Jian Cao, Xianghui Xiao, Wing Kam Liu, "X-ray computed tomography analysis of pore deformation in IN718 made with directed energy deposition via in-situ tensile testing." International Journal of Solids and Structures. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmps.2021.104350.

[5] Orion L. Kafka, Jake Benzing, Nicholas Derimow, Philipp Schumacher, Lucas Koepke, Chad Beamer, Donald Godfrey, Nikolas Hrabe, "Effects of as-built surface with varying number of contour passes on high-cycle fatigue behavior of additively manufactured nickel alloy 718." International Journal of Fatigue. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijfatigue.2023.107872



2023 PEAR Technical Accolade

2023 MML Postdoc Fellow Accolade

2023 NIST Bronze Metal Award


Created March 19, 2020, Updated May 28, 2024