The mercury constitutive model predicting the strain and stress in the target vessel plays a central role in improving the lifetime prediction and future target designs of the mercury targets at the Spallation Neutron Source. We leverage the experiment strain data collected over multiple years to improve the mercury constitutive model through a combination of large scale simulations of the target behavior and the use of machine learning tools for parameter estimation. We present two interdisciplinary approaches for surrogate-based model calibration of expensive simulations using evolutionary neural networks and sparse polynomial expansions. The newly calibrated simulations achieve 7% average improvement on the prediction accuracy and 8% reduction in mean absolute error compared to previously reported reference parameters, with some individual sensors experiencing up to 30% improvement. The calibrated simulations can aid in fatigue analysis to estimate the mercury target lifetime, which reduces abrupt failure and saves tremendous amount of costs.