General Seminar: Dr Yunlan (Emma) Zhang, University of Oxford, "How to Use Architected Materials to Enable Novel Properties?"

Yunlan ‘Emma’ Zhang, Ph.D.
Yunlan ‘Emma’ Zhang, Ph.D.

Date: Wednesday 18 May 2022 14:00 - 15:00

Location: SEMS Seminar Room and MS Team

Register at: eventbrite

How to Use Architected Materials to Enable Novel Properties

Yunlan ‘Emma’ Zhang, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Engineering and Science

University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Imagine repairing damage to your car by applying heat, or retrofitting buildings and bridges in hours instead of weeks, or deploying extra-terrestrial habitats autonomously. These ideas may seem science fiction, but are achievable with architected materials. Architected materials can exhibit extraordinary and unusual properties. These materials typically consist of periodic unit cells. By tailoring the features of the unit cells, we can enable novel properties like superelasticity, negative Poisson's ratio, negative thermal expansion, and more. These special properties mean we can address grand challenges in civil engineering in new ways. In this seminar, I will describe the development of one class of architected materials known as Analogs for Shape Memory Alloys (ASMAs). I will walk through my development of a methodology for creating ASMAs that exhibit temperature-induced shape recovery after large deformations, a property known as shape memory effect. During this process, the ASMAs dissipate energy but remain elastic, another special property known as superelasticity. Next, inspired by the hydration-induced shape recovery of feathers, I will show how ASMA-spring systems can exhibit shape recovery. Following this, real-world applications of such materials in civil engineering and other environments will be discussed.

Biography: Yunlan Zhang is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Engineering Science. She received her PhD and MS degrees in civil engineering from Purdue University in 2019, and her BS in civil engineering from The Ohio State University in 2012. Her research interests include architected materials, deployable structures, and bioinspired materials. She combines her knowledge of structures and materials to create novel structures with applications with that range in scale from microscopic medical devices to infrastructure retrofits. She enjoys working with students just as much as conducting research.

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