Dr. Ran Tao is a guest researcher working in the Security Technologies Group of the Materials Measurement Laboratory (MML) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Her research experience includes structural and dynamics characterization of polymeric materials, nanocomposites, fiber-reinforced hierarchical composites, small molecular glass forming liquids, complex fluids, etc. She specializes in using advanced rheological techniques and thermal analysis tools to address different materials science challenges.
Dr. Tao is currently working on the Metrologies for Non-linear Materials in Impact Mitigation project. Her research mainly focuses on two areas: 1. New metrologies development to assess the flow field and energy dissipation in impact mitigating materials; 2. Structure-property relationship investigation on complex fluids and soft materials for use in protective applications. Dr. Tao also researches on ballistic witness materials, as part of the Materials and Systems for Protection Against Penetrating and Blunt Force Phenomena project. In this effort, she has developed a lab-scale rheological protocol to measure the effects of strain and strain rate of backing materials for body armor testing. Her current research on this topic focuses on thermophysical characterization of those materials.