Professional Appointments

Postdoctoral Teaching Specialist, Sibley School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, 2019 - present

Visiting Lecturer, Sibley School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Summer 2020

Data Science Intern, Research Computing Services, Northwestern University, Summer 2018

Lecturer (EXCEL Summer Program), McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University


Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2012-2018

B.S. Mech. Eng. / Mat'l Sci., University of California, Berkeley, 2008-2012

  • 3.97 GPA, Highest Honors
  • Department Citation Recipient

Journal Publications

M. Ford, O. Balogun, J.M. Papadopoulos. Stress analysis and stability of the bicycle wheel. (in preparation)

M. Ford, O. Balogun. Mechanistic reduced-order model for the strength of the bicycle wheel. (in preparation)

M. Ford, P. Peng, O. Balogun. Acoustic Modal Testing of Bicycle Rims, Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation, 2018 (37) 16 (accepted manuscript, electronic supporting material, read online)

X. Wei, M. Ford, R. A. Soler-Crespo, H. D. Espinosa. A new Monte Carlo model for predicting the mechanical properties of fiber yarns, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids vol. 84, pp. 325-335. (2015).

Ahn, X. Chen, Z. Zhang, M. Ford, D. Rosenmann, I. W. Jung, C. Sun, and O. Balogun. Dynamic near-field optical interaction between oscillating nanomechanical structures, Scientific Reports 5, 10058 (2015)

A. M. Beese, M. Ford, et. al. Key Factors Limiting Carbon Nanotube Yarn Strength: Exploring Processing-Structure-Property Relationships, ACS Nano, 2014 (8) 11. pp. 11454-11466

Conference Presentations

M. Ford, H. Ritz, E. M. Fisher, "Motivation, self-efficacy, and student engagement in intermediate mechanical engineering courses", ASEE's Virtual Conference (2020).

M. Ford, H. Ritz, B. Finio, E. M. Fisher, "Multiple Choice Learning Assessments for Intermediate Mechanical Engineering Courses: Insights from Think-Aloud Interviews", ASEE's Virtual Conference (2020).

M. Ford and O. Balogun, "Analytical Model for the Radial Strength and Collapse of the Bicycle Wheel", International Cycling Safety Conference 2017, Davis, CA.

M. Ford, J.M. Papadopoulos, and O. Balogun, "Buckling of the bicycle wheel", Proceedings of the 2016 Bicycle and Motorcycle Dynamics Conference.

M. Ford, O. Balogun, "Buckling and collapse of the bicycle wheel", 24th International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Montreal, CA, August 2016.

F.S. Alleyne, M. Ford, R. Gronsky, T.-T. Yen, A.P. Pisano. "Silver Precipitation in Energy-Scavenging Aluminum Nitride Resonators," TechConnect World Conference and Expo 2012.

A. Almaguer, R. Tangsombatvisit, M. Ford, S. Chen, N. Ray, L. Pruitt, "Building Engineers and Mentors: A Model for Student-Led Engineering Outreach," ASEE Annual Conference, 2011.

Teaching Experience

Cornell University

MAE 3270: Mechanics of Engineering Materials - Summer 2020 (instructor)

  • Taught online during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • I developed several hands-on lab activities for students to complete at home.

Northwestern University

EXCEL: Engineering Analysis 1 - Summer 2015/2016/2017 (instructor)

  • Developed and taught original course on numerical methods with MATLAB
  • Created lesson plans based on large, publicly-available datasets

Engineering Analysis 3 - Spring 2017 (Head TA, lecturer, curriculum dev.)

  • Developed and taught special topic modules with guest lectures and lab activities

ME 398: Engineering Design - Fall 2017/Winter 2018 (TA, guest lecturer)

ME 398: Engineering Design - Winter/Spring 2014 (teaching assistant)

Engineering Analysis 2 - Winter 2015 (guest lecturer)

U.C. Berkeley

Berkeley Engineers and Mentors - STEM teaching seminar (instructor)

Professional Development

Teaching Certificate - Searle Center, Northwestern University

Mentored Discussions of Teaching - Searle Center, Northwestern University


Motivation, self-efficacy, and student engagement in engineering undergraduates

  • Studying the relationship between motivational constructs and learning behaviors in mechanical engineering students across time and course context.

Hands-on mechanical engineering labs to support student agency

  • Developed hands-on lab activities for remote instruction during Summer 2020.
  • Developing and evaluating collaborative experimental design activity for Fall 2020

Reinventing the Wheel: Stress Analysis, Stability, and Optimization of the Bicycle Wheel - PhD Thesis

  • Developing a theoretical understanding of the mechanics of tension-spoked wheels through continuum modeling, reduced-order models, finite-element simulations, and laboratory experiments.

Multi-scale modeling of carbon nanotube yarns

  • Developed multiscale probabilistic failure model for composite yarns.
  • Designed and analyzed atomistic simulations and contributed to LAMMPS codebase.

Dynamic near-field optical scanning microscopy

  • Designed and conducted experiments on transduction of nanoscale resonators.
  • Developed Monte-Carlo model to predict displacement resolution and noise sensitivity.

Characterization of ion-implanted piezoceramics - Undergrad researcher - with Fatima Alleyne (Ph.D) and Prof. Ronald Gronsky

  • Modeled behavior of ion-beam implanted silver in piezoelectric devices
  • Prepared cross-sectional samples for transmission electron microscopy


Acoustic characterization of bicycle rims - Mentor to Patrick Peng (M.S.)

  • Developed a facile method for measuring independent bending/torsion stiffness parameters of bicycle rims with complex cross-sections using only a smartphone and signal processing software.
  • Resulted in an article in the Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation.

Stress measurement in thin films using picosecond ultrasonics - Mentor to Chris Korabik

  • Project funded by Northwestern MRSEC REU program.
  • Taught the student mechanical design, experiment design, and signal processing.
  • Improved a technique for isolating Brillouin oscillations in transparent films using the ultrafast pump-probe technique.

Multi-axial strain device for 2D materials - Mentor to Shuqing Zhang (M.S.)

  • Taught the student CAD modeling, 3D printing, and general product development skills.
  • Developed a device for applying biaxial, uniaxial, and mixed strain states to thin samples.

Work and non-profit experience

The Recyclery Collective - Board member 2015-present, Secretary 2016-2018, Treasurer 2018-present

  • Non-profit org. that brings bicycles and skills to people in need of cheap, reliable transportation

Research Computing Services, Northwestern Univ. - Data Science Intern - Summer 2018

  • Organized and analyzed participation data from a Massively-Open Online Course (MOOC)
  • Used a variety of tools including Python/Pandas and SQL with multiple data formats

Audi AG - Engineering intern - May 2011 - August 2011

  • Analyzed sheet metal manufacturing processes and material bonding technologies
  • Developed non-destructive testing method for sheet metal mechanical properties

Awards and recognitions

NSF Graduate Fellowship, 2014-2017

Ryan Fellowship, 2012-2014

Best short presentation, Mechanics of the Bicycle Wheel, Midwest Mechanics of Materials and Structures Workshop, 2016

Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research, awarded by Professor Jan Achenbach, 2016 William Procter Prize recipient

Department Citation, U.C. Berkeley Department of Mechanical Engineering, highest honor given to graduating senior by the department

Cal Alumni Association Leadership Scholarship

Professional Societies

Member, American Society for Engineering Education

Member, Pi Tau Sigma, the Mechanical Engineering Honor Society

Member, Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society