News


(November 2022) PhD student Yingqi Jia won 2nd place in ASME CONCAM (Committee on Computing and Applied Mechanics) Student Poster Competition at AMSE IMECE 2022 (International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition 2022). Congratulations!

(November 2022) PhD student Zhi Zhao won 2nd place in NSF Research Poster Competition at AMSE IMECE 2022 (International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition 2022). Congratulations!

(October 2022) Prof. Zhang was selected for the Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This new project will work to design, fabricate, and validate next-generation biomaterials and robots with programmable behaviors. See CEE news.

(September 2022) Prof. Zhang is one of four faculty scholars selected by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for the 2022-2023 academic year to advance academic research on risk management and preparedness. See CEE news.

(June 2022) Prof. Zhang was selected to the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent in Spring 2022.

(June 2022) PhD student Joshua won the distinguished SURGE Fellowship (2022-2026). Congratulations!

(May 2022) Prof. Zhang serves as the editor of the special issue of the Engineering Structures (Impact factor: 4.471). The topic of this Special Issue is Additively Manufactured Structures. The submission is welcome until December 31, 2022.

(March 2022) PhD student Zhi Zhao won the distinguished Loh Kwan Chen Fellowship (2022-2023). Congratulations!

(March 2022) Our paper “Multimaterial stress-constrained topology optimization with multiple distinct yield criteria” is accepted in Extreme Mechanics Letters (R. Kundu, W. Li, and X. S. Zhang).

(March 2022) Our paper “Digital synthesis of free-form multimaterial structures for realization of arbitrary programmed mechanical responses” is accepted in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (W. Li, F. Wang, O. Sigmund, and X. S. Zhang). See Illinois News Bureau, UIUC Campus News, TechiLive, News Azi, News8Plus, NewsTime, TechXplore, and Bioengineer.

(January 2022) Prof. Zhang was selected to the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent in Fall 2021.

(December 2021) Prof. Zhang won the 2022 Journal of Applied Mechanics Award, ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). The award is conferred by the Applied Mechanics Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to honor the best paper which has been published in the Journal of Applied Mechanics during the two calendar years immediately preceding the year of the award. See News.

(December 2021) Prof. Zhang has been selected as an Honor Member of Chi Epsilon – National Civil Engineering Honor Society. The honor member is an individual who is recognized for making outstanding contributions to the field of civil engineering.

(November 2021) Prof. Zhang was invited to deliver a distinguished lecture, ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) CONCAM (Committee on Computing and Applied Mechanics), on Computational Mechanics. The lecture topic is “Programmable soft metastructures via multi-material topology optimization”. The distinguished lecture took place at the ASME IMECE (International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition).

(November 2021) Prof. Zhang serves as the editor of the second issue of the newsletter of International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (ISSMO). See Newsletter.

(August 2021) Prof. Zhang receives the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) EAGER Award in the program of Mechanics of Materials and Structures. The title of the new project is “Integrating Fracture Nucleation and Propagation into Optimization: Towards Materials with Optimal Fracture Properties”.

(August 2021) Prof. Zhang is creating a new course, Theory and Creation of Structure, with William Baker, consulting partner of SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP), in Fall 2021. See Course Descriptions.


(August 2021) Our paper “Topology optimization of hard-magnetic soft materials” is accepted in Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids (Z. Zhao and X. S. Zhang).

(July 2021) Our paper “A comprehensive review of educational articles on structural and multidisciplinary optimization” is accepted in Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (C. Wang, Z. Zhao, M. Zhou, O. Sigmund, and X. S. Zhang).

(July 2021) PhD student Zhi Zhao won the Best Student Poster award in USNCCM16 (16th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics). Congratulations!
(July 2021) Prof. Zhang serves as the Review Editor of "Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization". Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (SMO) is at the converging frontier of design, engineering, simulation, additive manufacturing, AI and digital-twins. SMO is the official journal of the International Society of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (ISSMO). Impact factor: 4.542 (2020).

(June 2021) Prof. Zhang is elected as the vice-chair of USACM (U. S. Association for Computational Mechanics), Technical Thrust Area (TTA) on Large Scale Structural Systems and Optimal Design.

(June 2021) Prof. Zhang is organizing a series of ISSMO (International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization) virtual female networking events, where 6 panelists sharing their success stories, career paths, career development advice, and work-life balance during WCSMO14 (14th World Congress of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization). Sign up HERE.


(June 2021) Our paper “Additive manufacturing of topology-optimized graded porous structures: An experimental study” is published in JOM (Z. Zhao and X. S. Zhang).(Link)


(June 2021) Our paper “Design of composite structures with programmable elastic responses under finite deformations” is published in Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids (W. Li, F. Wang, O. Sigmund, and X. S. Zhang).(Link)


(May 2021) Prof. Zhang was selected to the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent in Spring 2021.

(April 2021) Prof. Zhang has been selected as Fellow of NSF (National Science Foundation) CMMI’s Game Changer Academies.

(January 2021) The 9th (thematic) TOP Webinar (Topology Optimization Webinar) on "Data-driven Approaches in Topology Optimization (DATO)" is hosted by Prof. Wei Chen (Northwestern University) and Prof. Shelly Zhang on January 26, 2021. See the Program and Webinar Recording.


(January 2021) Prof. Zhang receives the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. This new project entitled "CAREER: Programming Multi-functional Responses into Civil Structures via Topology Optimization," will explore multi-material and multi-physics topology optimization to create and enable civil structures with a variety of unique and tunable multi-functionalities. See CEE news.


(December 2020) Our paper “Graded porous structure design via a multi-material topology optimization approach” is accepted in Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (Z. Zhao and X. S. Zhang).



(October 2020) Our paper “Topology optimization of fiber-reinforced hyperelastic structures under large deformations” is accepted in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering (X. S. Zhang, H. Chi, and Z. Zhao).



(October 2020) Prof. Zhang serves as the editor of the inaugural newsletter of International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (ISSMO). See Newsletter.



(September 2020) Prof. Zhang was selected to the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent in Summer 2020.



(July 2020) Our paper “Paved guideway topology optimization for pedestrian traffic under Nash equilibrium” is accepted in Journal of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (X. S. Zhang, W. Li, and Y. Ouyang). (Link)



(May 2020) Prof. Zhang serves on the Early Career Special Committee of the International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (ISSMO).



(May 2020) Prof. Zhang serves as the Event Officier in Female Researchers Group (FRG) of U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM).



(May 2020) Prof. Zhang was selected to the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent in Spring 2020.



(May 2020) Prof. Zhang serves on the Organizing Committee of 16th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics (USNCCM) to be held on July 25-29, 2021.



(March 2020) Our group works on the UIUC-Carle Health Covid PPE project and led the design team for the N95 mask and face shield. See College news, CEE news, and media coverage.



(March 2020) Our lab works on a new project on guideway optimization considering pedestrians’ behavior for Quad Day Traffic Management at UIUC. See CEE news article.



(Feburary 2020) Prof. Zhang teams up with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to use topology optimization to design novel openings for lightweight beams for Campus Instructional Facility project at UIUC. See here for details.



(February 2020) Prof. Zhang delivered an invited seminar at the symposium “Leveraging Materials in Topology Optimization” at 2020 TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society) Congress, San Diego, CA, 2020.



(Feburary 2020) Our paper “Topology optimization with many right-hand sides using mirror descent stochastic approximation—reduction from many to a single sample” is published in Journal of Applied Mechanics (X. S. Zhang, E. de Sturler, and A. Shapiro). (Link)



(Feburary 2020) Our paper “Adaptive multi-material topology optimization with hyperelastic materials under large deformations: A virtual element approach” is published in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering (X. S. Zhang, H. Chi, and G. H. Paulino). (Link)



(Feburary 2020) Our paper “Efficient multi-material continuum topology optimization considering hyperelasticity: achieving local feature control through regional constraints” is published in Mechanics Research Communications (X. S. Zhang and H. Chi). (Link)



(September 2019) Prof. Zhang delivered an invited lecture at Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering at University of Minnesota.



(July 2019) Prof. Zhang delivered a keynote lecture at 15th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics.



(April 2019) Prof. Zhang delivered an invited lecture at School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech.



(May 2019) Prof. Zhang has been named Faculty Fellow by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) with fellowship funding. This project will explore design optimization of next-generation, patient-specific implant scaffold at scale. News.


(September 2019) Prof. Zhang was invited to attend roundtable at the Sandia National Lab.



(March 2019) Prof. Zhang wins the institutional-wide Best Ph.D. Thesis award at Georgia Tech from the Sigma Xi science and engineering honor society. News.



(March 2019) Prof. Zhang receives 2019 ASCE ExCEEd Faculty Fellowship. The award is given to faculty who commits to improving CEE education and includes a fellowship to attend an annual teaching workshop hosted by ASCE.



(January 2019) Prof. Zhang has started at the CEE Department at the University of Illinois as an Assistant Professor. She is pursuing the research on design optimization and additive manufacturing and is accepting applications for her research group.



(December 2018) Dr. Zhang was selected for the 2018 Best PhD Thesis Award by the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech.



(September 2018) Dr. Zhang joins the CEE Department at the University of Illinois as an Adjunct Assistant Professor. She will be teaching Structural Analysis (CEE 470) in Spring 2019.



(April 2018) Shelly will join the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as an Assistant Professor in January 2019.