The extensive research activities at the Center for Advanced Research in the Engineering Sciences (CARES) have perhaps been most widely recognized for significant contributions to the problems associated with the aging civilian and military, aircraft and rotorcraft fleets. The studies in the discipline of mechanics of solids, structures, and materials, have been major thrust areas and involve the analysis and synthesis of low-mass structures, keeping in mind their strength, stiffness, stability, toughness, damage tolerance, longevity, and optimal life-cycle costs. Self-adaptivity and smartness of structures is also of importance.

A fundamental focus is placed on developing innovative computational methods for mechanical and aerospace engineering problems, for the near-real-time simulation of various physical phenomena of relevance in fluids, solids, structures, transport processes, and engineered materials, etc., at various length and time scales. Emphasis is placed on a diverse array of spatial discrtetization techniques, such as the weighted residual and weak solution methods, finite-difference methods, finite volume methods, finite element methods, boundary element methods, spectral methods, and the new class of meshless methods in general, and the Meshless Local Petrov-Galerkin ( MLPG) method in particular.

Multiple length scale problems involving the interplay of quantum mechanics-molecular dynamics-mesomechanics-and continuum mechanics, are of particular interest. Multi-physics problems, involving the interplay between the mechanical, electrical, chemical, thermal, and optical fields are subjects of inquiry. Also, multi-time-scale problems involving the interaction of systems governed by fast time scales, with systems governed by slower time scales, are of emerging importance in computational nano-meso-macro engineering. The study of engineered materials involves both structural as well as functional materials, with emphasis on their (nano-micro) structure-property (stength, stiffness, fracture-toughness) relationships. Metals (encompassing elastic, elastoplastic, viscoplastic, and creep behavior at large strains), high temperature ceramics, multi-functional and smart materials, fiber-reinforced composite materials, and nano-structured materials are objects of study. Nature-inspired functional and structural materials are of growing importance.

The Center for Aerospace Research and Education's multidisciplinary vision encompasses an array of emerging science & engineering fields; where as, many of CARE's researchers are also in collaboration with UCI's Center for Computational Modeling in Information Technology, and the Center for Systems Engineering in Biotechnology.