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Haythornthwaite Foundation Research Initiation Grant advances Zhao’s research

Ruike ZhaoRuike ZhaoAssistant Professor Ruike Zhao is one of four recipients of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Applied Mechanics Division 2018 Haythornthwaite Foundation Research Initiation Grant. Bestowed in recognition of excellence in theoretical and applied mechanics research, the grant provides early-career faculty funding in support of their research objectives.

Zhao, who joined the department this semester, conducts research in the areas of bioengineering; design, materials and manufacturing; and micro- and nanotechnology.

Her current research project on the development of magnetic-responsive soft materials will benefit from the grant. Project applications include soft robotics, flexible electronics and biomedical devices. A total of $20,000 will be used by Zhao for the purchase of specialized laboratory equipment in support of the project, which proposes to combine an experimental approach with theoretical and numerical methods to investigate the macroscopic response of magnetically active soft material under external stimulation.

“These studies will enable the fundamental understanding of coupled mechano-magnetic interaction of magnetic-responsive soft materials and facilitate the rational material, structure and stimulation design for reliable functional smart devices,” said Zhao.

The grant was announced at ASME’s International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition in Pittsburgh on November 13.

Zhao joined The Ohio State University from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was a postdoctoral associate. She earned her PhD and master’s degree from Brown University, and her bachelor’s degree from Xi’an Jiaotong University.