Elham Sahraei is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She is the director of Electric Vehicle Safety Lab (EVSL). Her research is focused on mechanical safety of lithium-ion batteries under extreme loading conditions. Her current research is sponsored by automotive industry, FE software companies, state programs and Office of Naval Research. Prior to Temple, Dr. Sahraei was a Research Scientist at the Impact and Crashworthiness Lab of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the co-director of the MIT Battery Consortium, a multi-sponsor industrial program supported by major automotive and battery manufacturers. such as Mercedes Benz R&D North America, PSA Group, Jaguar Land-Rover, AVL, MuRata, LG Chem, and Boston Power. She has also been a co-investigator of multiple Ford-MIT Alliance projects, and a DOE project with National Renewable Energy Lab on safety of Li-Ion batteries. She earned her PhD degree from the George Washington University, her Masters from Sharif University of Technology, and her BSc from Isfahan University of Technology, and completed two years of post-doctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she became a Research Scientist afterwards. Besides characterization and modeling of Li-Ion batteries, her expertise includes full-scale vehicle crash analysis, occupant protection, and analysis of roadside safety structures.

Research Interests

  • Lithium-ion Batteries
    Structural Mechanics
    Occupant Protection
    Finite Element Modeling

Courses Taught




MEE 3301

Machine Theory and Design


MEE 4314

Impact and Crashworthiness


MEE 5117

Finite Element Analysis


MEE 5314

Impact and Crashworthiness


ENGR 2333

Mechanics of Solids


Selected Publications

  • Kisters, T., Gilaki, M., Nau, S., & Sahraei, E. (2022). Modeling of Dynamic Mechanical Response of Li-Ion cells with Homogenized Electrolyte-Solid Interactions. JOURNAL of ENERGY STORAGE, 49. doi: 10.1016/j.est.2022.104069

  • Keshavarzi, M.M., Gilaki, M., & Sahraei, E. (2022). Characterization of in-situ material properties of pouch lithium-ion batteries in tension from three-point bending tests. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL of MECHANICAL SCIENCES, 219. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmecsci.2022.107090

  • Song, Y., Gilaki, M., Keshavarzi, M.M., & Sahraei, E. (2022). A universal anisotropic model for a lithium-ion cylindrical cell validated under axial, lateral, and bending loads. ENERGY SCIENCE & ENGINEERING, 10(4), pp. 1431-1448. doi: 10.1002/ese3.1111

  • Gilaki, M., Song, Y., & Sahraei, E. (2022). Homogenized characterization of cylindrical Li-ion battery cells using elliptical approximation. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL of ENERGY RESEARCH, 46(5), pp. 5908-5923. doi: 10.1002/er.7531

  • Kisters, T., Keshavarzi, M., Kuder, J., & Sahraei, E. (2021). Effects of electrolyte, thickness, and casing stiffness on the dynamic response of lithium-ion battery cells. ENERGY REPORTS, 7, pp. 6451-6461. doi: 10.1016/j.egyr.2021.09.107

  • Kermani, G., Keshavarzi, M.M., & Sahraei, E. (2021). Deformation of lithium-ion batteries under axial loading: Analytical model and Representative Volume Element. Energy Reports, 7, pp. 2849-2861. doi: 10.1016/j.egyr.2021.05.015

  • Bulla, M., Kolling, S., & Sahraei, E. (2021). A material model for the orthotropic and viscous behavior of separators in lithium-ion batteries under high mechanical loads. Energies, 14(15). doi: 10.3390/en14154585

  • Gilaki, M., Walsh, R., & Sahraei, E. (2021). Model-Based Design of an Electric Bus Lithium-Ion Battery Pack. JOURNAL of ELECTROCHEMICAL ENERGY CONVERSION and STORAGE, 18(2). doi: 10.1115/1.4050337

  • Keshavarzi, M., Derakhshan, M., Gilaki, M., L'Eplattenier, P., Caldichoury, I., Soudbakhsh, D., Sahraei, E., & IEEE (2021). Coupled Electrochemical-Mechanical Modeling of Lithium-Ion Batteries Using Distributed Randle Circuit Model. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE on ELECTRICAL, COMPUTER and ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES (ICECET 2021), pp. 2148-2153. doi: 10.1109/ICECET52533.2021.9698796

  • Soudbakhsh, D., Gilaki, M., Lynch, W., Zhang, P., Choi, T., & Sahraei, E. (2020). Electrical response of mechanically damaged lithium-ion batteries. Energies, 13(17). doi: 10.3390/en13174284

  • Bulla, M., Kolling, S., & Sahraei, E. (2020). An experimental and computational study on the orthotropic failure of separators for lithium-ion batteries. Energies, 13(17). doi: 10.3390/en13174399

  • Stacy, A., Gilaki, M., Sahraei, E., & Soudbakhsh, D. (2020). Investigating the Effects of Mechanical Damage on Electrical Response of Li-Ion Pouch Cells. Proceedings of the American Control Conference, 2020-July, pp. 242-247. doi: 10.23919/ACC45564.2020.9147883

  • Sahraei, E., Gilaki, M., Lynch, W., Kirtley, J., & Soudbakhsh, D. (2019). Cycling Results of Mechanically Damaged Li-Ion Batteries. 2019 IEEE Electric Ship Technologies Symposium, ESTS 2019, pp. 226-230. doi: 10.1109/ESTS.2019.8847923

  • Kermani, G., Dixon, B., & Sahraei, E. (2019). Elliptical lithium-ion batteries: Transverse and axial loadings under wet/dry conditions. Energy Science and Engineering, 7(3), pp. 890-898. doi: 10.1002/ese3.318

  • Gilaki, M. & Sahraei, E. (2019). Effects of temperature on mechanical response of lithium ion batteries to external abusive loads. SAE Technical Papers, 2019-April(April). doi: 10.4271/2019-01-1002

  • Kermani, G. & Sahraei, E. (2019). Dynamic impact response of lithium-ion batteries, constitutive properties and failure model. RSC Adv, 9(5), pp. 2464-2473. England. doi: 10.1039/c8ra08898e

  • Li, W., Xia, Y., Chen, G.H., & Sahraei, E. (2018). Comparative study of mechanical-electrical-thermal responses of pouch, cylindrical, and prismatic lithium-ion cells under mechanical abuse. Science China Technological Sciences, 61(10), pp. 1472-1482. doi: 10.1007/s11431-017-9296-0

  • Dixon, B., Mason, A., & Sahraei, E. (2018). Effects of electrolyte, loading rate and location of indentation on mechanical integrity of li-ion pouch cells. Journal of Power Sources, 396, pp. 412-420. doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2018.06.042

  • Zhu, J., Zhang, X., Luo, H., & Sahraei, E. (2018). Investigation of the deformation mechanisms of lithium-ion battery components using in-situ micro tests. Applied Energy, 224, pp. 251-266. doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.05.007

  • Zhu, J., Li, W., Xia, Y., & Sahraei, E. (2018). Testing and modeling the mechanical properties of the granular materials of graphite anode. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 165(5), pp. A1160-A1168. doi: 10.1149/2.0141807jes

  • Luo, H., Zhu, J., Sahraei, E., & Xia, Y. (2018). Adhesion strength of the cathode in lithium-ion batteries under combined tension/shear loadings. RSC Advances, 8(8), pp. 3996-4005. doi: 10.1039/c7ra12382e

  • Kermani, G. & Sahraei, E. (2017). Review: Characterization and modeling of the mechanical properties of lithium-ion batteries. Energies, 10(11). doi: 10.3390/en10111730

  • Kisters, T., Sahraei, E., & Wierzbicki, T. (2017). Dynamic impact tests on lithium-ion cells. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 108, pp. 205-216. doi: 10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2017.04.025

  • Zhang, X., Zhu, J., & Sahraei, E. (2017). Degradation of battery separators under charge-discharge cycles. RSC Advances, 7(88), pp. 56099-56107. doi: 10.1039/c7ra11585g

  • Zhu, J., Zhang, X., Sahraei, E., & Wierzbicki, T. (2016). Deformation and failure mechanisms of 18650 battery cells under axial compression. Journal of Power Sources, 336, pp. 332-340. doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.10.064

  • Zhang, X., Sahraei, E., & Wang, K. (2016). Deformation and failure characteristics of four types of lithium-ion battery separators. Journal of Power Sources, 327, pp. 693-701. doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.07.078

  • Zhang, X., Sahraei, E., & Wang, K. (2016). Li-ion Battery Separators, Mechanical Integrity and Failure Mechanisms Leading to Soft and Hard Internal Shorts. Sci Rep, 6, p. 32578. England. doi: 10.1038/srep32578

  • Sahraei, E., Bosco, E., Dixon, B., & Lai, B. (2016). Microscale failure mechanisms leading to internal short circuit in Li-ion batteries under complex loading scenarios. Journal of Power Sources, 319, pp. 56-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.04.005

  • Sahraei, E., Kahn, M., Meier, J., & Wierzbicki, T. (2015). Modelling of cracks developed in lithium-ion cells under mechanical loading. RSC Advances, 5(98), pp. 80369-80380. doi: 10.1039/c5ra17865g

  • Xia, Y., Wierzbicki, T., Sahraei, E., & Zhang, X. (2014). Damage of cells and battery packs due to ground impact. Journal of Power Sources, 267, pp. 78-97. doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.05.078

  • Sahraei, E., Digges, K., Marzougui, D., & Roddis, K. (2014). High strength steels, stiffness of vehicle front-end structure, and risk of injury to rear seat occupants. Accid Anal Prev, 66, pp. 43-54. England. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2014.01.004

  • Sahraei, E., Meier, J., & Wierzbicki, T. (2014). Characterizing and modeling mechanical properties and onset of short circuit for three types of lithium-ion pouch cells. Journal of Power Sources, 247, pp. 503-516. doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.08.056

  • Wierzbicki, T. & Sahraei, E. (2013). Homogenized mechanical properties for the jellyroll of cylindrical Lithium-ion cells. Journal of Power Sources, 241, pp. 467-476. doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.04.135

  • Sahraei, E., Digges, K., & Marzougui, D. (2013). Effects of vehicle front-end stiffness on rear seat dummies in NCAP and FMVSS208 tests. Traffic Inj Prev, 14(6), pp. 602-606. England. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2012.742516

  • Sahraei, E., Campbell, J., & Wierzbicki, T. (2012). Modeling and short circuit detection of 18650 Li-ion cells under mechanical abuse conditions. Journal of Power Sources, 220, pp. 360-372. doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.07.057

  • Sahraei, E., Hill, R., & Wierzbicki, T. (2012). Calibration and finite element simulation of pouch lithium-ion batteries for mechanical integrity. Journal of Power Sources, 201, pp. 307-321. doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2011.10.094

  • Soudbakhsh, D., Sahraei, E., Shirin, M.B., Farahmand, F., Tahmasebi, M.N., & Parnianpour, M. (2011). Diagnosing anterior cruciate ligament injuries using a knee arthrometer: Design, fabrication, and clinical evaluation. Biomedical Engineering - Applications, Basis and Communications, 23(3), pp. 181-192. doi: 10.4015/S1016237211002517

  • Sahraei, E., Hill, R., & Wierzbicki, T. (2010). Modeling of lithium-ion batteries for crash safety. Global Powertrain Congress 2010, GPC 2010 TROY - Proceedings, 59, pp. 1-42.

  • Sahraei, E., Wierzbicki, T., Hill, R., & Luo, M. (2010). Crash safety of lithium-ion batteries towards development of a computational model. SAE Technical Papers. doi: 10.4271/2010-01-1078

  • Sahraei, E., Digges, K., & Marzougui, D. (2010). Reduced protection for belted occupants in rear seats relative to front seats of new model year vehicles. Ann Adv Automot Med, 54, pp. 149-158. United States. Retrieved from

  • Esfahani, E.S., Soudbakhsh, D., & Digges, K. (2009). NCAP star rating and safety of rear seat occupant. Proceedings of the ASME Summer Bioengineering Conference 2009, SBC2009(PART B), pp. 1097-1098. doi: 10.1115/SBC2009-206582

  • Sahraei, E., Soudbakhsh, D., & Digges, K. (2009). Protection of Rear Seat Occupants in Frontal Crashes, Controlling for Occupant and Crash Characteristics. SAE Technical Papers, 2009-November(November). doi: 10.4271/2009-22-0003

  • Sahraei, E., Soudbakhsh, D., & Digges, K. (2009). Protection of rear seat occupants in frontal crashes, controlling for occupant and crash characteristics. Stapp Car Crash J, 53, pp. 75-91. United States. doi: 10.4271/2009-22-0003

  • Esfahani, E.S., Darvish, K., Parnianpour, M., & Bateni, A. (2006). Reducing occupant injury in frontal crashes for a low-floor city bus. Transportation 2005, 2006, pp. 113-120.

  • Esfahani, E.S., Darvish, K., & Parnianpour, M. (2005). Assessment of head injury in a low-floor citybus in frontal crash. Proceedings of the 2005 Summer Bioengineering Conference, 2005, pp. 1616-1617.