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ZHANG Rui 張銳
PhD, City University of New York
Assistant Professor
FULL CV | Personal Home Page
Tel 2358 5734
Email ruizhang
Office Room 4460
Prof. ZHANG, Rui obtained a BS degree in physics in 2007 from the Department of Physics at Fudan University, China. Before he joined the Department of Physics at HKUST in 2020 as a PI, he worked with Liew Family Professor Juan J. de Pablo, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, the University of Chicago in the United States, where he collaborated with Horace B. Horton Professor Margaret Gardel’s group on actin filaments, an important type of biopolymers. Prior to his postdoc experience at the University of Chicago, he did his PhD with Prof. Joel Koplik on nano fluids simulations from 2009 to 2013 at the Benjamin Levich Institute and the Department of Physics at the City College, a senior flagship college in the City University of New York system. During his PhD, he also collaborated with Prof. Taehun Lee’s group on droplet impact simulations.


Prof. Zhang has a broad interest in Computational Soft Matter Physics, with a focus on biologically relevant systems, such as biopolymers and bacteria suspensions. The overarching goal of his research group is to understand emerging phenomena in nature and borrow the wisdom to design biomimetic materials to help tackle human’s grand challenges in energy, health, and environments. Specifically, his group strives to develop theoretical frameworks and multiscale simulation tools, including molecular dynamics and computational fluid dynamics, to understand the complex dynamical phenomena in a wide range of soft matter and biophysical systems. His group is closely working with world-leading experimentalists to test model predictions, interpret new observations, and further design synthetic materials for practical applications. His current research interests include active matter, liquid crystals, multiphase and porous materials, and mechanical metamaterials. He is also interested in applying machine learning for certain materials design problems.

Research Areas
  • Micro/Nano-fluidics
  • Liquid Crystals
  • Active Matter
  • Polymer Physics
  • Complex Fluids
  • Mechanical Metamaterials
Representative Publications
  • Rui Zhang*, Steven Redford*, Paul Ruijrok, Nitin Kumar, Ali Mozaffari, Sasha Zemsky, Aaron Dinner, Vincenzo Vitelli, Zev Bryant, Margaret Gardel and Juan J. de Pablo, Structuring Stress for Active Materials Control, in revision, arXiv:1912.01630. (* equal contribution).
  • Rui Zhang*, Ali Mozaffari*, and Juan J. de Pablo, Towards Autonomous Materials from Active Liquid Crystals, in revision.
  • Tadej Emersic*, Rui Zhang*, Ziga Kos*, Simon Copar*, Natan Osterman, Juan J. de Pablo and Uros Tkalec, Sculpting phase-separated orientational domains in non-equilibrium anisotropic fluids, Science Advances5, eaav4283 (2019).
  • Andrey Sokolov*, Ali Mozaffari*, Rui Zhang*, Juan J. de Pablo and Alexey Snezhko, Emergence of radial tree of elastic bands in active nematics, Phys. Rev. X 9(3), 031014 (2019).
  • Rui Zhang*, Nitin Kumar*, Jennifer Ross, Margaret L. Gardel and Juan J. de Pablo, Interplay of Structure, Elasticity and Dynamics in Actin-Based Nematic Materials, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,115 (2) E124-E133 (2018).
  • Nitin Kumar*, Rui Zhang*, Juan J. de Pablo and Margaret L. Gardel, Tunable Structure and Dynamics of Active Liquid Crystals, Science Advances 4 (10), eaat7779 (2018).
  • Hadi Ramezani-Dakhel, Monirosadat Sadati, Rui Zhang, Mohammad Rahimi, Khia Kurtenbach, Benoit Roux and Juan J. de Pablo, Water Flux-Induced Reorientation of Liquid Crystals, ACS Central Science3(12), 1345 (2017). 
  • Rui Zhang, Ye Zhou, Mohammad Rahimi and Juan J. de Pablo, Dynamic structure of active nematic shells, Nature Communications 7, 13483 (2016).
  • Rui Zhang, Ye Zhou, Jose A. Martinez-Gonzalez, Juan P. Hernandez-Ortiz, Nicholas L. Abbott and Juan J. de Pablo, Controlled deformation of vesicles by flexible structured media, Science Advances 2 (8), e1600978 (2016). 
  • Rui Zhang, Tyler Roberts, Igor Aranson and Juan J. de Pablo, Lattice Boltzmann simulation of asymmetric flow in nematic liquid crystals with finite anchoring, J. Chem. Phys144, 084905 (2016).
  • Rui Zhang, Samaneh Farokhirad, Taehun Lee and Joel Koplik, Multiscale liquid drop impact on wettable and textured surfaces, Phys. Fluids 26, 082003 (2014).
  • Joel Koplik and Rui Zhang, Nanodrop Impact on Solid Surfaces, Phys. Fluids 25, 022003 (2013). 
  • Rui Zhang and Joel Koplik, Separation of Nanoparticles by Flow past a Patterned Substrate, Phys. Rev. E 85, 026314 (2012).
Full Publication List [HKUST Scholarly Publications]
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS