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Photo of Joseph T. Maestas


      Joseph T. Maestas

        Doctoral Candidate
        Applied Mathematics & Statistics
        Colorado School of Mines
        Golden, CO 80401




I am a current PhD candidate in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at the Colorado School of Mines. I graduated from CSM in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in Engineering and then received my M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2013. In my research, I study the numerical simulation of long-range blast wave propagation. Specifically, I am looking at the propagation of shock waves in littoral ocean waveguides. Seafloors are often dispersive and absorb wave energy through internal particle friction. Also, they are capable of supporting shear waves with a wide range of speeds, from low shear speeds found in muds to high shear speeds found in oceanic bedrock. These effects play a profound role in the devolution of shock into acoustic waves and must be accounted for in numerical models. The real challenge with these numerical models is maintaining enough accuracy to describe the physics fully while being efficient enough to simulated propagation over hundreds or thousands of meters.
During the majority of my career at CSM, I have been interning with Applied Research Associates. While at ARA, I've taken on a number of different projects and responsibilities including modeling, designing, fabricating, and testing shock tube apparatuses, designing and testing an ultrasonic bioaerosol detection device, and generating finite element meshes of penetrating warhead trigger devices. The internship has provided me with a solid background in testing and safety procedures, model-based design, and project management.


  • Ph.D. Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Colorado School of Mines, Completed August 2015
  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, May 2013
  • B.S. Engineering (Mechanical Specialty), Colorado School of Mines, May 2011


Research Interests

  • Nonlinear waves
  • Shock propagation
  • Elastic wave propagation and modeling
  • High performance computing
  • Underwater acoustics
  • Numerical modeling methods including finite volume methods, boundary element methods, finite element methods, and discrete element methods