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Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Renee Zhao

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Ruike Renee Zhao is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University where she directs the Soft Intelligent Materials Laboratory. Renee received her BS degree from Xi'an Jiaotong University in 2012, and her MS and PhD degrees from Brown University in 2014 and 2016, respectively. She was a postdoc associate at MIT during 2016-2018 prior to her appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The Ohio State University from 2018 to 2021.
Renee’s research concerns the development of stimuli-responsive soft composites for multifunctional robotic systems with integrated shape-changing, assembling, sensing, and navigation. By combining mechanics, polymer engineering, and advanced material manufacturing techniques, the functional soft composites enable applications in soft robotics, miniaturized biomedical devices, flexible electronics, deployable and morphing structures.
Renee is a recipient of the 2022 ASME Henry Hess Early Career Publication Award, 2022 ASME Pi Tau Sigma Gold Medal, 2021 ASME Applied Mechanics Division Journal of Applied Mechanics Award, 2020 NSF Career Award, and 2018 ASME Applied Mechanics Division Haythornthwaite Research Initiation Award.


Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering (2018)
PhD, Brown University, Mechanical Engineering, Solid Mechanics (2016)
MS, Brown University, Mechanical Engineering (2014)
BS, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Mechanical Engineering (2012)