Primary Appointment Department of Mechanical Engineering
Education Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder
Additional Affiliations Department of Biomedical Engineering
Division of Materials Science & Engineering
Honors and Awards ASME Fellow, 2018
NSF CAREER Award, 2010
DARPA Young Faculty Award, 2007
Research Areas Mechanical behavior of soft biological tissue * Cardiovascular mechanics * Multi-scale modeling of biological composites * Micro- and nano- mechanics of thin film devices
Professor Zhang’s research focuses on understanding the mechanical behavior of soft biological tissues and composites at multi-scale using both experimental techniques and advanced computational modeling. Her research integrates the knowledge in biology, nonlinear solid mechanics, and finite element modeling, especially of complex materials and constitutive behavior. Professor Zhang believes that the interplay between fundamental analysis and clinical application will provide the greatest gains. Through her research, she hopes to provide insights on understanding the relationship between microscopic biological processes and changes in macroscopic tissue mechanics due to diseases, and help the development of diagnostic, therapeutic, and pharmaceutical techniques. Her research interest also lies in the mechanical characterization and multi-scale modeling of micro- and nano-electromechanical systems.
Professor Zhang’s current research projects are in the characterization of the biomechanical behavior of native and engineered blood vessels using an integrative approach of mechanical testing combined with multi-scale modeling, understanding of the inelastic deformation mechanisms in micro- and nano-electromechanical systems and relations of these behaviors to design, analysis, and device performance.