Wenjie Xia


Associate Professor [AER E]


2245 Howe
537 Bissell Rd.
Ames, IA 50011-1096


Research Website

Xia Research Group


Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, 2016

Interest Areas

  • Multiscale Modeling
  • Mechanics of Materials and Structures
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Polymers and Nanocomposites
  • Soft Matter
  • Biological and Bioinspired Materials
  • Machine Learning & Data-Driven Modeling

Awards and Honors

  • NSF CAREER Award, 2023
  • ACS PMSE Young Investigator Award, 2023
  • Advanced Materials Rising Star, 2023
  • MSDE Emerging Investigator, 2023
  • NDSU College of Engineering Early Career Research Excellence Award, 2022
  • ND-ACES Early Career Faculty Award, 2021
  • NIST-MML Accolade for Technical Excellence, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2019
  • MGI-CHiMaD (Materials Genome Initiative – Center for Hierarchical Materials Design) Fellowship, 2016
  • APS Frank J. Padden Award Finalist, 2016
  • Best Paper Award, Midwest Mechanics and Materials (Mid. Mech. Mat.) Workshop, 2016
  • Walter Murphy Fellowship, Northwestern University, 2011
  • CWRU Crag J. Miller Award for “Outstanding Academic Achievement”, 2011

Academic Highlights

Dr. Xia’s research focuses on understanding the complex behaviors of hierarchical structural materials via bottom-up multiscale modeling and data-driven approaches. Dr. Xia’s research endeavors have been supported by multiple federal/state/local funding agencies, including NSF, ONR, ARO, DOE, NASA, etc. Dr. Xia has authored over 90 peer-reviewed papers in prestigious journals in computational materials and nanoscale sciences, including Matter, Science Advances, ACS Nano, Nano Letters, Advanced Materials, etc. Dr. Xia has received multiple honors and awards, including the NSF CAREER Award, ACS PMSE Young Investigator Award, MSDE Emerging Investigator, MGI-CHiMaD Fellowship, and Walter P. Murphy Fellowship. His research has been recognized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) through the NIST-MML Accolade for Technical Excellence “for leading the development of a new multiscale modeling approach for glass-forming polymer materials”.


For the full list of publications, please see Dr. Xia’s Google Scholar profile. 

Selected Publications (over 90 peer-reviewed journal articles; 1 book edited; 5 book chapters; h-index = 29) 

  1. Y. Liao, Z. Li, L. Chen, A.B. Croll, W. Xia, “Crumpling Defective Graphene Sheets”, Nano Letters, 2023, 23(8), 3637-3644. (Cover Article)
  2. S.A. Tolba, W. Xia, “Molecular Insights into the Hydration of Zwitterionic Polymers”, Molecular Systems Design & Engineering, 2023, 8, 1040-1048. 
  3. X. Zheng, Y. Guo, J. Douglas, W. Xia, “Competing Effects of Cohesive Energy and Cross-link Density on the Segmental Dynamics and Mechanical Properties of Cross-linked Polymers”, Macromolecules, 2022, 55(22), 9990-10004.
  4. A. Croll, Y. Liao, Z. Li, W. Jayawardana, T. Elder, W. Xia, “Sticky Crumpled Matter”, Matter, 2022, 5(6), 1792-1805. (Cover Article)
  5. A. Alesadi, Z. Cao, Z. Li, S. Zhang, H. Zhao, X. Gu, W. Xia, “Machine Learning Prediction of Glass Transition Temperature of Conjugated Polymers from Chemical Structure”, Cell Reports Physical Science, 2022, 3, 10091.
  6. Z. Li, Y. Liao, Y. Zhang, Yida Zhang, W. Xia, “Microstructure and Dynamics of Nanocellulose Films: Insights into the Deformational Behavior”, Extreme Mechanics Letters, 2022, 50, 101519.
  7. S. Ghazanfari, H.M.N. Fasial, K. Katti, D. Katti, W. Xia, “A Coarse-Grained Model for the Mechanical Behavior of Na-Montmorillonite Clay”, Langmuir, 2022, 38(16), 4859-4869. (Cover Article)
  8. S. Zhang, A. Alesadi, M. Selivanova, K-L. Chen, G. Freychet, L. Galuska, Y.-H. Cheng, P. B. Onge, M. U. Ocheje, G. Ma, Z. Qian, S. Dhakal, Z. Ahmed, Y-C. Chiu, S. Rondeau-Gagné, W. Xia, X. Gu, “Molecular Origin of Strain-Induced Chain Alignment in PDPP-based Semiconducting Polymers”, Advanced Functional Materials, 2021, 31(21), 2100161.
  9. Y. Liao, Z. Li, F. Fatima, W. Xia, “Size-Dependent Structural Behaviors of Crumpled Graphene Sheets”, Carbon, 2021, 174, 148-157. 
  10. A. Alesadi, W. Xia, “Understanding the Role of Cohesive Interaction in Mechanical Behavior of a Glassy Polymer”, Macromolecules, 2020, 53(7), 2754-2763.
  11. W. Xia, N. Hansoge, W.-S. Xu, F. Phelan, S. Keten, J. F. Douglas, “Energy Renormalization for Coarse-Graining Polymers Having Different Segmental Structures”, Science Advances, 2019, 5(4), eaav4683.
  12. W. Xia, T. Lan, “Interfacial Dynamics Governs the Mechanical Properties of Glassy Polymer Thin Films”, Macromolecules, 2019, 52(17), 6547-6554.
  13. W. Xia, V.F. Lara, S. Keten, J. Douglas, “Structure and Dynamics of a Graphene Melt”, ACS Nano, 2018, 12(6), 5427-5435.
  14. W. Xia, X. Qin, Y. Zhang, R. Sinko, S. Keten, “Achieving Enhanced Interfacial Adhesion and Dispersion in Cellulose Nanocomposites via Amorphous Interfaces”, Macromolecules, 2018, 51(24), 10304-10311. 
  15. W. Xia, J. Song, J. Cheol, D. Hsu, F. Phelan, J. Douglas, S. Keten, “Energy-Renormalization for Achieving Temperature Transferable Coarse-Graining of Polymer Dynamics”, Macromolecules, 2017, 50(21), 8787-8796.


W. Xia, L. Ruiz Pestana, “Fundamentals of Multiscale Modeling of Structural Materials”, Edited by W. Xia, L. Ruiz Pestana, Elsevier Inc. 2023, ISBN: 9780128230213.

Primary Strategic Research Area

Advanced Materials & Manufacturing