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Faculty Profiles

Qiang Zhu

Assoc Prof, Structural Engineering

Ocean engineering, biomechanics.

Professor Zhu’s research interest is in interdisciplinary investigations that combine offshore engineering and biomechanics. Correspondingly, his research includes two parts: (1) To apply established and well-tested theoretical and numerical tools in the field of civil/offshore engineering to study structural and fluid-structure interaction problems in biomechanics; (2) To utilize knowledge gathered from the structure vs. function of living creatures for biomimetic studies of novel mechanical, civil, and offshore structures. His current research focus are on mechanics of skeleton-reinforced biomembranes (including cell membrane and fish fins), flow energy harvester based on flapping foils, and fluid/structural modeling of floating wind turbines.

Capsule Bio:

After completing his PhD, Professor Zhu had worked as a postdoctoral researcher and a research engineer at MIT before joining UCSD. Zhu has published a variety of papers on his work involving fluid-structure dynamics problems.


  • Ph.D., Applied Mechanics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (2000)
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China (1993)


  • NSF CAREER Award (2009)

Selected Publications:
  • Shoele, K. and Zhu, Q. Leading edge strengthening and the propulsion performance of flexible ray fins. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. Accepted.
  • Peng, Z., Asaro, R.J., and Zhu, Q. Multiscale modeling of erythrocytes in Stokes flow. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 686: 299-337, 2011.
  • Zhu, Q. Optimal frequency for flow energy harvesting of a flapping foil. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 675: 495-517, 2011.
  • Shoele, K. & Zhu, Q. Flow-induced vibrations of a deformable ring. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 650: 343-362, 2010.
  • Zhu, Q. & Peng, Z. Mode coupling and flow energy harvesting by a flapping foil. Physics of Fluids 21: 033601, 2009
  • Zhu, Q. & Shoele, K. Propulsion performance of a skeleton-strengthened fin. Journal of Experimental Biology 211(13): 2087-2100, 2008.
  • Zhu,Q. & Asaro, R. Spectrin folding vs. unfolding reactions and RBC membrane stiffness. Biophysical Journal 94(7): 2529-2545, 2008.
  • Zhu, Q. Numerical simulation of a flapping foil with chordwise or spanwise flexibility. AIAA Journal 45(10): 2448-2457, 2007.
  • Zhu, Q., Vera, C., Asaro, R., Sche, P., & Sung, A.L.P. A hybrid model for erythrocyte membrane: a single unit of protein network coupled with lipid bilayer. Biophysical Journal 93(2): 386-400, 2007.

Qiang Zhu
Office Phone:
Institute Affiliation:
Charles Lee Powell Structural Research Laboratories

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