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David Dillard, Ph.D.

Adhesive and Sealant Science Professor
Genderless Silhouette
219-A Norris Hall
495 Old Turner St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Research Areas

  • Solid mechanics

Research Interests

David Dillard has worked extensively in the field of adhesive bonding, having experience in structural adhesives for aerospace, automotive, and infrastructure applications; adhesives and coatings for microelectronic applications; pressure sensitive adhesives; elastomeric adhesives and sealants; and polymeric membranes. He has authored or co-authored over 185-refereed publications and regularly teaches courses in adhesion science, polymer viscoelasticity, and sustainable energy solutions.

His research involves developing test methods and predictive models for understanding and estimating the performance and durability of polymeric materials, adhesives and bonded joints, using the principles of fracture mechanics and viscoelasticity. Over the past several years he has become active in applying these concepts to sustainable energy products including proton exchange membrane fuel cells and solar photovoltaic applications.


  • 1981: Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Tech
  • 1978: M.S., Engineering Mechanics, University of Missouri-Rolla
  • 1976: B.S., Engineering Mechanics, University of Missouri-Rolla

Awards, Honors, and Service

  • 2019: Garth L. Wilkes Interdisciplinary Faculty Scholar
  • 2015: Elected ASME Fellow, American Society for Mechanical Engineers
  • 2013: Wake Medal, Society for Adhesion and Adhesives, The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
  • 2011: Dean's Award for Excellence in Research
  • 2010: Adhesion Society’s Award for Excellence in Adhesion Science
  • 2008: Professional Degree (awarded to distinguished alumnus), Missouri University of Science & Technology
  • 2006: Adhesive and Sealant Science Professorshipconveyed through endowment supplied by the Adhesive and Sealant Council.
  • 2005: Best Paper Award for the Advanced Composite Materials and Systems Track of the Society for Experimental Mechanics
  • 2004: Robert L. Patrick Fellow of the Adhesion Society.
  • 2002: Dean's Award for Excellence in Research

Recent Publications

Joseph A. Rittenhouse; Roshelle Wijeratne; Edward B Orler; David A. Dillard; Robert Moore; Raffaella De Vita,  Effect of Local Areal Density and Fiber Orientation on the Deformation of Thermomechanical Bonds in Nonwoven Fabric, Journal of Polymer Engineering & Science, 59, 2019, 311-322.

Bikramjit Mukherjee, Romesh C. Batra, David A. Dillard, On preferential debonding during demolding of a sandwiched elastomeric layer using cohesive zone model, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 170, 2019, 123-141.

Qian Li, Romesh C. Batra, Ian Graham, David A. Dillard, Examining T-peel Specimens Bond Length Effects: Experimental and Numerical Explorations of Transitions to Self-Similar Debonding, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 180-181, 2019, 72-83.

Shantanu R. Ranade, Youliang Guan, Robert B. Moore, John G. Dillard, Romesh C. Batra, David A. Dillard, Characterizing fracture performance and the interaction of propagating cracks with locally weakened interfaces in adhesive joints, International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives, 82, 2018, 196-205.

Ahmad R. Mojdehi, Douglas P. Holmes, David A. Dillard, Revisiting the Generalized Scaling Law for Adhesion: Role of Compliance and Extension to Progressive Failure, Soft Matter, 13, 2017, 7529 – 7536;  DOI: 0.1039/C7SM01098B.

Ahmad R. Mojdehi, Douglas P. Holmes, David A. Dillard, Friction of Extensible Strips: an Extended Shear Lag Model with Experimental Evaluation, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 124, 2017, 125-134,

Md Shahriar K Khandaker, Daniel M. Dudek, Eric P. Beers, David A. Dillard, “Expression, Crosslinking and Developing Modulus Master Curves of Recombinant Resilin”, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 69, 2017, 385–394.

Bikramjit Mukherjee, Romesh C. Batra, and David A. Dillard, “Effect of confinement and interfacial adhesion on peeling of a flexible plate from an elastomeric layer”, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 110-111, 385-403, 2017.  DOI: 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2016.09.004.

Bikramjit Mukherjee, Romesh C. Batra, and David A. Dillard, “Edge Debonding in Peeling of a Thin Flexible Plate From an Elastomer Layer: A Cohesive Zone Model Analysis”, Journal of Applied Mechanics, 84 (2), 2016, 021003-1-10, doi:10.1115/1.4034988.

Ahmad R. Mojdehi, Behrouz Tavakol, Wesley Royston, David A. Dillard, and Douglas P. Holmes,  “Buckling of an elastica partially embedded in a granular medium”, Extreme Mechanics Letters, 9, 237-244, 2016. doi:10.1016/j.eml.2016.03.022. (One of five most downloaded articles for Extreme Mechanics Letters in 2016.)