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Xuanhe Zhao

Contact Info

room 1-310D

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


  • 2009


  • 2008


  • 2006


  • 2003

    Tianjin University


Research Interests

  • Design of soft materials that possess unprecedented properties.
  • Large deformation, instability, fracture, fatigue, adhesion, multiple-field coupling.
  • 3D printing of soft materials, active materials, biomaterials.
  • Bioadhesives, hydrogels, ferromagnetic soft materials.
  • Medical devices, bioelectronics, soft robotics, antifouling, water treatment.


Xuanhe Zhao is an associate professor in mechanical engineering at MIT. The mission of Zhao Lab at MIT is to advance science and technology on the interfaces between humans and machines for addressing grand societal challenges in health, sustainability, education and joy of living; by integrating expertise in solid mechanics, soft materials, active materials, medical devices, bioelectronics, 3D printing and theoretical modeling. Dr. Zhao is the recipient of the early career award and young investigator award from National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Society of Engineering Science, American Vacuum Society, Adhesion Society, Materials Today, Journal of Applied Mechanics, and Extreme Mechanics Letters. He held the Hunt Faculty Scholar at Duke University, and the d'Arbeloff Career Development Chair and Noyce Career Development Professor at MIT. He was selected as a highly cited researcher by Web of Science in 2018. 

Honors + Awards

  • 01/2020, Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award, ASME
  • 11/2018, Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher 2018
  • 09/2018, Materials Today Rising Star Award
  • 07/2017, Young Investigator Medal, Society of Engineering Science
  • 02/2017, Young Scientist Award, The Adhesion Society
  • 12/2015, Extreme Mechanics Letters Young Investigator Award, Elsevier
  • 07/2015, Robert N. Noyce Career Development Professorship, MIT
  • 02/2015, Journal of Applied Mechanics Award, ASME
  • 07/2014, d'Arbeloff Career Development Chair, MIT
  • 07/2014, Hunt Faculty Scholar, Duke University
  • 04/2014, Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award, Office of Naval Research
  • 02/2014, Arthur K. Doolittle Award, ACS Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Division
  • 09/2013, US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, National Academy of Engineering
  • 12/2012, Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, National Science Foundation
  • 11/2012, Early Career Researchers Award, AVS Biomaterial Interfaces Division
  • 11/2011, Haythornthwaite Research Initiation Award, ASME Applied Mechanics Division
  • 03/2008, AAM Founder’s Prize, American Academy of Mechanics


  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Materials Research Society
  • American Physical Society

Professional Service

  • 2019-present, Associate Editor, Science Advances
  • 2015-present, Associate Editor in Chief, Acta Mechanica Sinica
  • 2015-present, Editorial Board, Scientific Reports
  • 2013-present, Editorial Board, International Journal of Applied Mechanics
  • 2013-2014, Editor, Journal Club of
  • 2013-2014, Chair of Technical Committee on Soft Material, ASME
  • 2012-2013, Vice Chair of Technical Committee on Soft Material, ASME
  • 2011-2012, Secretary of Technical Committee on Soft Material, ASME

MIT Service

  • 2014, 2015, Faculty Search Committee (Ad Hoc member), Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
  • 2014-present, Graduate Admissions Committee, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
  • 2014-present, MMEC Seminar Committee, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
  • 2016-present, SMSD Seminar Committee, School of Engineering. MIT


  • 2.075 Mechanics of Soft Materials
  • 2.002 Mechanics and Materials II
  • 2.01 Elements of Structures
  • 2.02A Engineering Materials: Properties and Applications