Brian P. Tighe

Associate Professor
Process & Energy Department
Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime, and Material Engineering
TU Delft

What we do: We model the deformation and flow of soft solids and complex fluids, which include materials like foams, emulsions, suspensions, and granular media. We are particularly interested in solids that are barely rigid and flows that easily arrest. Developing accurate and predictive models of these materials is practically important because they appear in many natural and industrial settings. They also raise fundamental questions about the origins of rigidity and the consequences of disorder.

Recent highlights:

  • Julia, Karsten, and Dion each presented their work at the 2017 APS March Meeting.
  • Nonlocal elasticity near jamming. Karsten's paper in Physical Review Letters shows that marginal solids near the jamming transition are actually nonlocal. In a "normal" (local) solid, elasticity is described by a relation between stresses and strains. But as a material approaches (un)jamming, there is an additional and increasingly important contribution from gradients of the stress and/or strain.
  • Beyond linear elasticity: Jammed solids at finite shear strain and rate. Julia's recent article in Soft Matter clarifies when soft solids like foams and emulsions obey Hooke's law, and when viscous and plastic dissipation become important.
  • Mapping the jamming transition of bidisperse mixtures. Dion and Daniel have fully mapped out the position of the jamming transition in bidisperse mixtures. Surprising results include the presence of not one but two local minima, and a region where adding small particles can significantly stiffen a packing.

Disclaimer: If you found this page with a search engine, you may be wondering whether I'm the Brian Tighe with all the knives. I'm not.

Office: New P&E Building, Rm 250
Tel: +31 (0)15 27 81103
Email: b.p.tighe (at)

Mail: Delft University of Technology
Process & Energy Laboratory
Leeghwaterstraat 39
2628 CB Delft
The Netherlands