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

  • 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

Baah-Dwomoh,* A., De Vita, R., Effect of Repeated Biaxial Loads on the Creep Properties of Cardinal Ligaments, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 74:128-141, 2017.

De Vita, R., Grange, R., Nardinocchi, P., Teresi, L., Mathematical Model for Isometric and Isotonic Muscle Contractions, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 425:1-10, 2017.

Baah-Dwomoh,* A., McGuire,* J., Tan,* T., De Vita, R., Mechanical Properties of Female Reproductive Organs and Supportive Connective Tissues: A Review of the Current State of Knowledge, Applied Mechanics Reviews, 68:060801, 2016.

Tan,* T., Cholewa, N. W., Case, S. W., De Vita, R., Micro-structural and Biaxial Creep Properties of the Swine Uterosacral-cardinal Ligament Complex, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 44:3225-3237, 2016.

Kwansa,* A. L., De Vita, R., Freeman, J. W., Tensile Mechanical Properties of Collagen Type I Microfibrils and its Enzymatic Crosslinks, Biophysical Chemistry, 214-215:1-10, 2016.

Webster,* M. R., Socha, J. J., Teresi, L., Nardinocchi, P., De Vita, R., Structure of Tracheae and the Functional Implications for Collapse in the American Cockroach, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 10:066011, 2015.

Guo,* Z., Freeman, J. W., Barrett, J. B., De Vita, R., Quantification of Strain Induced Damage in Medial Collateral Ligaments, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 137:071011, 1-6, 2015.

Tan,* T., De Vita, R., A Structural Constitutive Model for Smooth Muscle Contraction in Biological Tissues, International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics, 75:46-53, 2015.

Tan,* T., Davis,* F., Gruber, D. D., Massengill, J. C., Robertson, J. L., De Vita, R., Histo-mechanical Properties of Swine Uterosacral and Cardinal Ligaments, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 42, 129-137, 2015.

Becker,* W. R., De Vita, R., Biaxial Mechanical Properties of Swine Uterosacral and Cardinal Ligaments, Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 14:549-560, 2015.