Kai A. James


Dr. James’ research interests are in the areas of computational mechanics and multidisciplinary design optimization, with a particular focus on problems involving complex, nonlinear structures and mechanisms. He is especially interested in developing novel algorithms that leverage high-fidelity computational models and numerical optimization methods. Some of his major research projects include aerostructural optimization of electric aircraft wings, design optimization of self-actuating morphable structures containing active materials, and generative adversarial neural networks for design automation.  Beyond his technical interests, Dr. James is also passionate about increasing diversity in the STEM fields through outreach to economically disadvantaged students and underrepresented minorities

  • NCSA Faculty Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, 2021
  • Scott White Aerospace Engineering Fellow Award, University of Illinois, Grainger College of Engineering, 2020
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2018
  • AIAA Teacher of the Year, University of Illinois, Department of Aerospace Engineering, 2017