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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

  • 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

Bezeka, 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: 1039712020, 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. 

McGuire,* J. A., Crandall,* C. L., Abramowitch, S., De Vita, R., Inflation and Rupture of Vaginal Tissue, Interface Focus, 9: 20190029, 2019.

Routzong, M. R., Moalli, P. A., Maiti, S., De Vita, R., Abramowitch, S. D., Novel Simulations to Determine the Impact of Superficial Perineal Structures on Vaginal Delivery, Interface Focus, 9: 20190011, 2019.

De Vita, R., Nardinocchi, P., Teresi, L., Diffusion Driven Stress Relaxation of Gels Under Incremental Planar Extensions, Mechanics of Materials, 134:106-114, 2019.

McGuire,* J. A., Abramowitch, S., Maiti, S., De Vita, R., Swine Vagina Under Biaxial Loading: An Investigation of Large Deformations and Tears, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 141: 041003 2019.

Rittenhouse,* J.A., Wijeratne,* R.S., Orler, E.B., Dillard, D.A., Moore, R.B., De Vita, R., Effect of Areal Density and Fiber Orientation on Deformation of Thermomechanical Bonds in a Nonwoven Fabric, Polymer Engineering and Science, 59:311-322, 2019.

Huntington,* A., Rizzuto,* E., Abramowitch, S., Del Prete, Z., De Vita, R.,  Anisotropy of the Passive and Active Rat Vagina Under Biaxial Loading, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 47:272-281, 2019.