Ruike (Renee) Zhao is currently an Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The Ohio State University. She received her PhD degree in solid mechanics from Brown University in 2016. She was a postdoc associate at MIT during 2016-2018 prior to joining OSU in August 2018. Her research is focused on the mechanics-guided design of functional soft composite with integrated multiphysics responses. Renee is a recipient of the NSF Career Award (2020) and the ASME Haythornthwaite Research Initiation Award (2018).

Degrees and Trainings

  • 2016-2018   Postdoc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States 
  • 2016 Ph.D., Brown University, Providence, RI, United States
  • 2014 M.S.,   Brown University, Providence, RI, United States
  • 2012 B.S.,   Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China


  • Mechanics and of Advanced manufacturing of soft materials
  • Soft robotics
  • Biomechanics
  • Bioengineering


The Zhao group has specialized expertise in finite element analysis, mechanics-guided material and structural design, and advanced manufacturing of functional soft composites. The objective of the research is to provide guidance to develop advanced materials and structures, aiming for the design of innovative functional devices and systems.