Berger, Edward James

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University

Contact Information

PO Box 400233
351 McCormick Rd., Thornton Hall, Rm. A122
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Telephone: 434-924-6326

Research Interests

Pedagogy and Engineering Education; Friction and Interface Mechanics; Biomechanics

Research Description

Pedagogy and Engineering Education

The pedagogy and engineering education work has focused on web 2.0 tools and interventions and their value in higher education courses. Branded as HigherEd 2.0, we began the work in 2006, when blogs and podcasts were just emerging as consumer-friendly technologies. Since then, this class of tools has been rebranded as “social media”, and my team has developed a set of best practices in the use of blog and video in higher education settings (specifically engineering education). This research started around 2006 and continues today.

Friction and Interface Mechanics

Our work has focuses largely on computational models, both high-order and low-order, for contact and interface phenomenon. We have used boundary element methods, finite element methods, and low-order phenomenological models to describe various conditions of contact in multiple applications. We are right now working on a “generalized” FEM approach to interface modeling. The work is of keen interest to the aircraft engine industry as well as the nuclear weapons establishment. The work has been funded by both industry and government sources.


Our biomechanics work has focused largely on using AFM indentation experiments to characterize mechanical properties of soft biomaterials. We have developed a number of experimental techniques and data processes procedures to extract both elastic and viscoelastic information about materials with modulus in the <10 kPa range. This work stemmed from the expertise my group developed in modeling contact and interface phenomena at the macro-scale.

Selected Publications