IAM - Computational Materials Science
Dr.  Nikolay Garabedian

Dr. Nikolay Garabedian

Focus Areas


• Traceable lateral force calibration techniques for AFM and tribometry across all scales

• Quantifying, locating, and following asperity scale wear within macroscale contact areas

• End-to-end design, evaluation and application of laboratory measurement equipment

Data Science

• Full digitalization and data management of scientific lab activities for the age of data science

• Ontology development for experimentalists

• Machine learning analysis techniques for experimental tribology and material science

Material Science

In-situ XRD of copper under tribological loads analyzed via machine learning

• Metals tribology and microstructural evolution of critical industrially-relevant components

In-situ observations of transfer film dynamics (DLCs or PTFE nanocomposites)


Currently a posdoctoral researcher, Nick Garabedian earned his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware in 2019, where he worked in Dr. David Burris' materials tribology lab. His current research interests lie at the intersection of linked data engineering, material science, experimental nanotribology and machine learning. The end goal of this research path is to promote improved tribomaterial design and frictional control by linking our understanding of the molecular origins of friction to more practical macroscale tribological systems. Because his scientific work is inherently multidisciplinary, and the experimental protocols for low-force experiments he has established have shown useful in various fields outside of tribology, in the past, Nick has collaborated on a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from wind turbine reliability to tissue engineering (full list is included in CV below).

Outside the lab, photography, and especially, nature travel photography is Nick's passion. Capturing the full dynamics of every scene demands scrutinizing appreciation of of the objects in view. These are the moments when he gets truly fascinated with natural science and dare him to be even more dedicated in his research.

Nikolay Garabedian Full CV (23 October, 2020)

Google Scholar


University of Delaware

Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering,

Advisor: David Burris, PhD


Newark, DE, USA

Union College

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Hon.),

Economics Minor


Schenectady, NY, USA


Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship Jan 2021 – Dec 2022
Goethe Institut German Language Fellowship Sep – Dec 2020
Robert W. Gore Fellowship Sep 2018 – May 2019
Philadelphia STLE Scholarship July 2018
Elmer E. Klaus Fellowship May 2018
Gold Poster Presentation Award May 2018
Professional Development Award March 2018
Poster Presentation Award May 2015



Traceable Lateral Force Calibration (TLFC) for Atomic Force Microscopy, Arnab Bhattacharjee (co-lead author), Nikolay T. Garabedian (co-lead author), Christopher L. Evans, David L. Burris, Tribology Letters, 2020, 68:111, DOI: 10.1007/s11249-020-01349-y

Integrated QCM-microtribometry: friction of single-crystal MoS2 and gold from µm/s to m/s, Brian P Borovsky (co-lead author), Nikolay T Garabedian (co-lead author), Gabriel R McAndrews, Raymond J Wieser, David L Burris, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 201911 (43), 40961-40969 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b15764

Durability of Poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene) (PEDOT) films on metallic substrates for bioelectronics and the dominant role of relative shear strength, Jing Qu, Nikolay T Garabedian, David L Burris, David C Martin, Journal of Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 2019, 100, pp 103376, DOI: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2019.103376
Quantifying, locating, and following asperity scale wear within macroscale contact areas, Nikolay T Garabedian, Arnab Bhattacharjee, Martin N. Webster, Gary L. Hunter, Peter W. Jacobs, Andrew R. Konicek, David L. Burris, Tribology Letters, 2019, 67:89, DOI: 10.1007/s11249-019-1203-6
Spatial patterning of molecular cues and vascular cells in fully integrated hydrogel channels via interfacial bioorthogonal crosslinking, Kevin. T. Dicker, Axel. C. Moore, Nikolay T. Garabedian, Han Zhang, Samuel L. Scinto, Robert E. Akins, David L. Burris, Joseph M. Fox, and Xinqiao Jia, ACS Appl. Mater. Interface, 2019, 11 (18), 16402-16411, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b04383
Mechanical and compositional characterization of thick tribofilms formed from silicon- and oxygen-containing hydrogenated amorphous carbon, J.B. McClimon, A.C. Lang, Z. Milne, N.T. Garabedian, A.C. Moore, J. Hilbert, F. Mangolini, J.R. Lukes, D.L. Burris, M.L. Taheri, J. Fontaine, R.W. Carpick, Tribology Letters, 2019, 67(2), DOI: 10.1007/s11249-019-1155-x
AFM at the macroscale: methods to fabricate and calibrate probes for millinewton force measurements, Nikolay T Garabedian, Harman S Khare, Robert W Carpick, David L Burris, Tribology Letters, 2019 67: 21, DOI: 10.1007/s11249-019-1134-2

The cause of premature wind turbine bearing failures: overloading or underloading?, Nikolay T Garabedian, Benjamin J Gould, Gary L Doll, David L Burris, Tribology Transactions, 61:5, 850-860, 2018, DOI: 10.1080/10402004.2018.1433345

2020 Wilbur Deutsch Memorial Award, STLE Awards Committee, May 2020

Editor’s Choice paper in Tribology & Lubrication Technology, July 2018, pp 60-74

Exploiting feedstock diversity to tune the chemical and tribological properties of lignin-inspired polymer coatings, Jillian A Emerson, Nikolay T Garabedian, Axel C Moore, David L Burris, Eric M Furst, Thomas H Epps III, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng.20186 (5), pp 6856–6866, DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.8b00667
Unexpected tribological synergy in polymer blend coatings: leveraging phase separation to isolate domain size effects and reduce friction, Jillian A Emerson, Nikolay T Garabedian, Axel C Moore, David L Burris, Eric M Furst, Thomas H Epps III, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces2017, 9 (39), pp 34480–34488, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b10170