Yong Zhu

Andrew A. Adams Distinguished Professor, Director of Mechanical Research

  • 919-513-7735
  • Engineering Building III (EB3) 3238
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Dr. Zhu’s long-term goal is to advance nanoscience and nanotechnology by improving the understanding of nanoscale material behavior and exploring the applications of nanomaterials.

At the graduate level, Dr. Zhu teaches Micro/Nano electromechanical Systems (MAE 536) for students interested in the fundamentals and the applications of micro/nano sensors and actuators. His lecture style course includes guest lecturers from industry and academia, and concludes with final projects of teams of 2 to 3 students in which the teams, based on the class material, propose and design micro/nano transducers for their intended applications, and study related scientific issues. Dr. Zhu also teaches Advanced Solid Mechanics (MAE 541), which teaches elasticity theory leading to solution of practical engineering problems concerned with stress and deformation analysis.

Dr. Zhu’s graduate students are self-motivated; they like both experimental and theoretical work, and tend to enjoy intellectually challenging, multi-disciplinary problems. The research they conduct in Dr. Zhu’s lab advances a major engineering frontier that may eventually lead to important new discoveries in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

At the undergraduate level, Dr. Zhu teaches Solid Mechanics (MAE 214) and Strength of Mechanical Components (MAE 316). Both of these classes are taught following standard practices but he also includes in his lectures examples taken from his work on nano/micro devices.

See also Dr. Zhu’s ResearcherID site and his Google Scholar link below.

Outside of work, Dr. Zhu enjoys travel and sports like basketball, swimming, and ping-pong.


Ph.D. 2005

Mechanical Engineering

Northwestern University

M.S. 2001

Mechanical Engineering

Northwestern University

B.S. 1999

Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering

University of Science and Technology of China

Research Description

Dr. Zhu is interested in MEMS/NEMS design, fabrication and characterization; mechanics and materials issues in nanostructures and thin films; and flexible and stretchable electronics. Dr. Zhu is currently 1) developing micro/nano electromechanical transducers (NEMS/MEMS), 2) studying mechanical, electrical, and thermal inter-relations at the nanoscale, and 3) developing flexible and stretchable electronics for wearable and robotics applications.

Honors and Awards

  • James R. Rice Medal, Society of Engineering Science, 2021
  • A. J. Durelli Award, Society of Experimental Mechanics, 2021
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, 2020
  • ASME/Pi Tau Sigma Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award, 2019
  • ASME Fellow, 2017
  • Eshelby Mechanics Award, 2016
  • University Faculty Scholar, 2015
  • MAE Outstanding Research Award, 2015
  • Alcoa Foundation Engineering Research Achievement Award (College of Engineering), 2015
  • ASME Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award, 2015
  • Best Wearable Material/Component Development Award at IDTechEx Wearable USA, 2015
  • Society of Experimental Mechanics Young Investigator Lecture Award, 2013
  • Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, 2012
  • Best Poster Award, Gordon Research Conference on Thin Films and Small Scale Mechanical Behavior, 2006


Boundary curvature guided programmable shape-morphing kirigami sheets
Hong, Y., Chi, Y., Wu, S., Li, Y., Zhu, Y., & Yin, J. (2022), NATURE COMMUNICATIONS. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-28187-x
Direct measurement of rate-dependent mode I and mode II traction-separation laws for cohesive zone modeling of laminated glass
Poblete, F. R., Mondal, K., Ma, Y., Dickey, M. D., Genzer, J., & Zhu, Y. (2022), COMPOSITE STRUCTURES. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compstruct.2021.114759
Evoked Tactile Feedback and Control Scheme on Functional Utility of Prosthetic Hand
Vargas, L., Huang, H., Zhu, Y., & Hu, X. (2022), IEEE ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION LETTERS. https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2021.3139147
Integrating charge mobility, stability and stretchability within conjugated polymer films for stretchable multifunctional sensors
Son, S. Y., Lee, G., Wang, H., Samson, S., Wei, Q., Zhu, Y., & You, W. (2022), NATURE COMMUNICATIONS. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30361-0
Object Recognition via Evoked Sensory Feedback during Control of a Prosthetic Hand
Vargas, L., Huang, H., Zhu, Y., & Hu, X. (2022), IEEE ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION LETTERS. https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2021.3122897
Soft electrothermal actuators using silver nanowire heaters (vol 9, pg 3797, 2017)
Yao, S., Cui, J., Cui, Z., & Zhu, Y. (2022, May 5), NANOSCALE. https://doi.org/10.1039/d2nr90086f
Ultrasoft Porous 3D Conductive Dry Electrodes for Electrophysiological Sensing and Myoelectric Control
Yao, S., Zhou, W., Hinson, R., Dong, P., Wu, S., Ives, J., … Zhu, Y. (2022, May 16), ADVANCED MATERIALS TECHNOLOGIES. https://doi.org/10.1002/admt.202101637
A Biaxially Stretchable and Self-Sensing Textile Heater Using Silver Nanowire Composite
Wu, S., Cui, Z., Baker, G. L., Mahendran, S., Xie, Z., & Zhu, Y. (2021), ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c17651
Achieving High-Resolution Electrohydrodynamic Printing of Nanowires on Elastomeric Substrates through Surface Modification
Ren, P., Liu, Y., Song, R., O'Connor, B., Dong, J., & Zhu, Y. (2021), ACS APPLIED ELECTRONIC MATERIALS, 3(1), 192–202. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaelm.0c00747
Closed-loop control of a prosthetic finger via evoked proprioceptive information
Vargas, L., Huang, H., Zhu, Y., & Hu, X. (2021), JOURNAL OF NEURAL ENGINEERING. https://doi.org/10.1088/1741-2552/ac3c9e

View all publications via NC State Libraries

View publications on Google Scholar


SCH: A Personalized Wearable Rehabilitation Sensing System for Stroke Survivors
National Institutes of Health (NIH)(9/17/21 - 8/31/22)
A Wearable Sensing System for Continuous Assessment of Outcomes of Orthotic Hand Users in Real-World Settings
US Dept. of Defense (DOD)(5/01/21 - 4/30/23)
PFI-TT: Stretchable Strain Sensors for Real-Time Joint Angle Tracking in Sports
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/01/21 - 7/31/23)
FMRG: Future Eco Manufacturing of Soft Electronics
National Science Foundation (NSF)(1/01/22 - 12/31/25)
Development of an In-Situ Testing Laboratory for Research and Education of Very High Temperature Reactor Materials
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(10/01/20 - 9/30/22)
Plant-Aid: A Data Driven and Sensor Integrated Platform to Monitor Emerging Plant Diseases
Game-Changing Research Incentive Program for Plant Sciences (GRIP4PSI)(2/17/20 - 6/30/23)
Cover-2: Safety-as-a-Service
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/01/20 - 9/30/21)
Collaborative Research: Investigating the Strain-Rate and Time-Dependent Plasticity and Mechanical Properties of Metal Nanowires
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/01/19 - 7/31/23)
Collaborative Research: Strength and Brittle-to-Ductile Transition of Silicon Nanowires at Elevated Temperatures
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/18 - 8/31/22)
SNM: Printing and Integration of Metal Nanowires and Organic Semiconductors for Large-Area Stretchable Electronics and Sensors
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/01/17 - 6/30/22)