Virginia Tech®home

Raffaella De Vita, Ph.D.

  • Associate Department Head
De Vita Raffaela
335 Kelly Hall
325 Stanger St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Research Areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomechanics
  • Solid mechanics

Research Interests

  • Reproductive mechanics
  • Ligament and tendon mechanics
  • Nonlinear elasticity and viscoelasticity
  • Experimental and theoretical solid mechanics


  • University of Pittsburgh: Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, 2005
  • University of Pittsburgh: M.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2003
  • University of Naples II: Laurea, Mathematics, 2000

Awards, Honors, and Service

  • Sally Bohland Award for Exceptional Leadership in Access and Inclusion, Virginia Tech, 2021 
  • Elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), 2021
  • Elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2019
  • Excellence in Access and Inclusion Award, 2019
  • Visiting Professorship, La Sapienza, Rome, 2018
  • Leader in Teaching, BEAM department, 2018
  • College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Teaching, 2017
  • Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence, Virginia Tech, 2017
  • Visiting Professorship, La Sapienza, Rome, 2016
  • JBME Editors' Choice paper, 2015 Premio Progreditur Marcianise, 2015
  • Paper in Highlights of Smart Materials and Structures, 2014
  • Liviu Librescu Faculty Prize, 2014
  • College of Engineering Faculty Fellow, 2014-2017
  • College of Engineering Award for Outreach Excellence, 2014
  • 20 under 40 ASEE Prism Magazine, 2014
  • PECASE Award, 2012
  • Excellence in Access and Inclusion Award, Virginia Tech, 2013
  • Scholar of the Week, Virginia Tech, August 27, 2012
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2012
  • NSF CBET Award Achievement, 2012
  • Paper in Highlights of Smart Materials and Structures, 2011
  • American Society of Biomechanics President's Award, 2006
  • Laurea cum Laude in Mathematics, 2000


Recent Publications

Huntington,* A., Abramowitch, S., Moalli, P., De Vita, R., Strain Induced in the Vagina by Smooth Muscle Contractions, Acta Biomaterialia, 129: 178-187, 2021.

McGuire,* J., Monclova,* J., Coariti-Salzar, A., Stine, C., Toussaint Jr., K., Munson, J., Dillard, D., De Vita, R., Tear Propagation in Vaginal Tissue Under Inflation, Acta Biomaterialia, 127: 193-204, 2021.

Donaldson,* K., Huntington,* A., De Vita, R., Mechanics of Uterosacral Ligaments: Current Knowledge, Existing Gaps, and Future Directions, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 49: 1788-1804, 2021.

Pack,* E., Stewart, J., Rhoads, M., Knight, J., De Vita, R., Clark-Deener, S., Schmale III, D. G., Quantification of Zearalenone and Alpha-zearalenol in Swine Liver and Reproductive Tissues Using GC-MS, Toxicon: X, 8: 100058, 2020.

Pack,* E., Stewart, J., Rhoads, M., Knight, J., Clark-Deener, S., Schmale, D., De Vita, R., Effects of Short-term Moderate ZEN Consumption on Uterosacral Ligament Elasticity in Pubertal Gilts, Research in Veterinary Science, 133: 202-209, 2020.

Burks,* G., Singh, M., De Vita, R., Johnson, B., Leonessa, A., Effect of Mechanical Properties on the Dynamics of Self-oscillating Synthetic Vocal Folds, Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, 143: 021001, 2020.

Bezek, L. B., Cauchi, M. P., De Vita, R., Foerst,  J. R., Williams, C. B., 3D Printing Tissue-Mimicking Materials for Realistic Transseptal Puncture Models, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 110: 103971, 2020.

Huntington,* A., Donaldson,* K., De Vita, R., Contractile Properties of Vaginal Tissue, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 142: 08081, 2020.

Pack,* E., Dubik,* J., Snyder,* W., Simon, A., Clark, S., De Vita, R., Biaxial Stress Relaxation of Vaginal Tissue in Pubertal Gilts, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering,142: 031002,  2020.

Burks,* G., De Vita, R., Leonessa, A., Characterization of Continuous Elastic Parameters of Porcine Vocal Folds, Journal of Voice, 34: 1-8, 2020.