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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

  • Biomaterials
  • 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 195-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

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.)

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.

David A. Dillard, Bikramjit Mukherjee, Romesh C. Batra, Preetika Karnal, & Joelle Frechette, A Review of Winkler’s Foundation and its Profound Influence on Adhesion and Soft Matter Applications, Soft Matter, 14, 2018, 3669--3683, DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02062G.

Ivan Q. Vu, Linsey B. Bass, Christopher B. Williams, David A. Dillard, Characterizing the effect of print orientation on interface integrity of multi-Material Jetting additive manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing, 22, 2018, 447-461,

Nicholas A. Meisel, David A. Dillard, Christopher B. Williams, Impact of material concentration and distribution on composite parts manufactured via multi-material jetting, Rapid Prototyping Journal, 24 (5), 2018, 872-879,

Bikramjit Mukherjee, Romesh C. Batra, David A. Dillard, On preferential debonding during demolding of a sandwiched elastomeric layer, 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. 

Alexander P. Haring, Manjot Singh, Miharu Koh, Ellen Cesewski, David A. Dillard, Zhenyu Kong, Blake N. Johnson, Real-time characterization of hydrogel viscoelastic properties and sol-gel phase transitions using cantilever sensors, Journal of Rheology, 64, 837-850, 2020. doi: 10.1122/8.0000009.

Qian Li, David A. Dillard, Romesh C. Batra, Investigating Kearsley-Type Instabilities in Finite Deformations of Transversely Isotropic, Incompressible Hyperelastic Materials, International Journal of Solids & Structures, 196-197, 2020, 171-178.

W. Douglas Hartley, John McCann, Scott Davis, Tom Hocker, Somasekhar Bobba, Nikhil Verghese, Devendra Bajaj, Hang Z. Yu, David A. Dillard, Characterizing Overmolded Hybrid Composite Adhesion near Mode I Fracture Conditions , Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, In press 2020,

Matthew D. Swift, Cole B. Haverkamp, Christopher J. Stabile, Dohgyu Hwang, Raymond H. Plaut, Kevin T. Turner, David A. Dillard, and Michael D. Bartlett, “Active Membranes on Rigidity Tunable Foundations for Programmable, Rapidly Switchable Adhesion”, Advanced Materials Technology, 2020,