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Qiang Zhu

Professor, 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.

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Charles Lee Powell Structural Research Laboratories