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Brendan O'Toole, Ph.D.

Director of Mendenhall Innovation Program
Director of Center for Materials and Structures
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Office: TBE-A 219
Mail Code: 4027
Phone: 702-895-3885
Fax: 702-895-3936


Brendan O’Toole received a B.S. degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware. He has been an assistant and associate professor at UNLV and now is a professor who serves as chair of the mechanical engineering department. He is one of the three co-directors of the Center for Math, Science, and Engineering Education and has served as Director of the Center for Materials and Structures and the Mendenhall Innovation Program. O’Toole took two leaves from UNLV to serve as a research associate for the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and a senior research associate for the National Academies National Research Council. Both of these research positions were located at the Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD. Dr. O’Toole’s research has focused on the experimental characterization and computational simulation of advanced material systems subject to extreme loading conditions. He has been a principal investigator or co-PI on more than 60 projects with funding from DoD, Army, Navy, DoE, NASA, NSF, and private industry. O’Toole and his students have received more than 90 individual and team awards for design, education, research, and professional activities. A few highlights include the State of Nevada Professor of the Year, Tau Beta Pi McDonald Mentor Award, 18 Outstanding Professor Awards, Best Technical Paper at a SAMPE Symposium, FIRST Robotics Inspire Award, World Record (at the time) for fuel efficiency (3470 mpg) in the SAE Supermileage competition, and first Place in the collegiate class of the World Human Powered Vehicle Competition with a speed of 62 mph.

Areas of Expertise

Composites, Manufacturing, Mechanical testing, Mechanics, Stress analysis, Vehicle design

Unmanned Aerial Systems Expertise

  • Composite materials design & analysis
  • Composite fabrication
  • Resin infusion
  • Static/dynamic material characterization
  • Autonomous and R/C systems


  • B.S., University of Delaware
  • M.S., University of Delaware
  • Ph.D., University of Delaware

Additional Information

SEB Program Group: Center for Materials & Structures
SEB Lab Location: 2158/2160
SEB Lab Phone Number: 702-895-3885