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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
  • Weiqiang Wang, Haijie Ren and Rui Zhang#, Symmetry Breaking of Self-Propelled Topological Defects in Thin-Film Active Chiral Nematics, Phys. Rev. Lett. 132, 038301 (2024).
  • ​Chung Wing Chan, Daihui Wu, Kaiyao Qiao, Kin Long Fong, Zhiyu Yang, Yilong Han and Rui Zhang#, Chiral Active Particles are Sensitive Reporters to Environmental Geometry, Nat. Commun. 15, 1406 (2024).
  • Xinyu Wang, Jinghua Jiang, Juan Chen, Asilehan Zhawure, Wentao Tang, Chenhui Peng# and Rui Zhang#, Moiré Effect Enables Versatile Design of Topological Defects in Nematic Liquid Crystals, Nat. Commun. 15, 1655 (2024).
  • Haijie Ren, Weiqiang Wang, Wentao Tang and Rui Zhang#, Machine Eye for Defects: Machine Learning-Based Solution to Identify and Characterize Topological Defects in Textured Images of Nematic Materials, Phys. Rev. Research, in press (2024).
  • Yulu Huang, Weiqiang Wang, Jonathan K. Whitmer and Rui Zhang#, Structures, Thermodynamics and Dynamics of Topological Defects in Gay-Berne Nematic Liquid Crystals, Soft Matter 19, 483-496 (2023).
  • 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, Nature Materials 20, 875-882 (2021).
  • Rui Zhang, Ali Mozaffari, and Juan J. de Pablo, Towards Autonomous Materials from Active Liquid Crystals, Nature Reviews Materials 6, 437-453 (2021).
  • 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).
  • 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, Samaneh Farokhirad, Taehun Lee and Joel Koplik, Multiscale liquid drop impact on wettable and textured surfaces, Phys. Fluids 26, 082003 (2014).
  • Rui Zhang and Joel Koplik, Separation of Nanoparticles by Flow past a Patterned Substrate, Phys. Rev. E 85, 026314 (2012).

# corresponding author

Full Publication List [HKUST Scholarly Publications]