Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start
PhD Student

Joseph Pace

Research Interests

The mechanical behavior of the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, is influenced by environmental factors such as relative humidity and damage from solar exposure as well as by cosmetic treatments. These conditions alter hydration levels in the stratum corneum, causing the stratum corneum to contract and expand and to change in stiffness. Contraction of the stratum corneum from dehydration results in the uncomfortable perception of skin tightness, which is mediated by cutaneous mechanoreceptors and corresponding neurons positioned at varying depths beneath the skin surface. 

Finite element simulations of the skin suggest that strains from stratum corneum contraction propagate into the underlying layers of skin at depths that would stimulate a response from the sensory neurons that innervate the cutaneous mechanoreceptors. I am interested in utilizing finite element models of the skin to further elucidate the mechanics of perception, which could be informative for designing more comfortable cosmetic treatments and products that adhere to the skin.


Ph.D. Stanford University, Mechanical Engineering, in progress
M.S. Stanford University, Mechanical Engineering, 2019
B.S. Brigham Young University, Mechanical Engineering, 2017



Durand Building, Rm. 111