​​​​Zhao Qin, PhD

Recent Grants:

  • MIT-UNIPI grant (Co-PI, ‘Development of Nanocomposite Piezoelectric Materials for Cochlear Sensory-Neural Stimulation’)
  • MIT-UNIPI Seed grant (Co-PI, ‘Assessing the Effect of Biota on Coastal Rock Surfaces: a Quantitative Approach’)
  • MIT-CHINA Seed grant (Co-PI, ‘Interfacial Engineering for Thermal Management in Nanoelectronics and Biological Materials’)
  • NSF XSEDE supercomputing (Co-PI, ‘Bottom-up Materiomics Study of Hierarchical Protein Materials’)
  • NVIDIA GPU Seed Grant



  • Best paper award in Journal of Applied Mechanics (ASME) for the paper “Bioinspired Graphene Nanogut” among papers published during 2012~2013.
  • Outstanding Paper Award, ASME Global Congress on Nano Engineering for Medicine and Biology, Boston, MA, 2013
  • Chinese Government Award For Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad, 2011, NY, 2011
  • Scholarship, BioNanotechnology Summer Institute, UIUC, IL, 2011
  • Finalist, Student Award “Y. C. Fung student paper on biomechanics, biophysics and biomateriomics”, EMI Annual Conference, Northeastern University, MA, 2011
  • Best Paper Award, International Journal of Applied Mechanics (Imperial College Press) 2010
  • NSF fellowship, short course “Mechanics of Soft Materials”, Chicago, IL, 2010
  • Schoettler Graduate Fellowship, Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT, 2010
  • SAMSUNG Scholarship, Tsinghua University, China, 2007
  • 2nd Rank National Scholarship, Tsinghua University, China, 2003

Selected Publications:

  • Zhao Qin, Gang Seob Jung, Min Jeong Kang, Markus J. Buehler (2017), The mechanics and design of light-weight three-dimensional graphene assembly, Science Advances, Vol 3, paper #: e1601536
  • Yanlei Wang, Zhao Qin, Markus J. Buehler, Zhiping Xu (2016), Intercalated Water Layers Promote Thermal Dissipation at Bio-Nano Interfaces, Nature Communications, Vol 7, paper #: 7, 12854
  • Shanshan Wang, Zhao Qin, Gang Seob Jung, Francisco J. Martin-Martinez, Kristine Zhang, Markus J. Buehler, Jamie H. Warner (2016), Atomically Sharp Crack Tip Propagation in Monolayer MoS2, ACS Nano, Vol 10, pp 9831–9839
  • Shengjie Ling, Qiang Zhang, David L. Kaplan, Fiorenzo Omenetto, Markus J. Buehler and Zhao Qin (2016), Printing of stretchable silk membranes for strain measurements, Lab on a Chip, Vol 16, pp. 2459-2466
  • Zhao Qin, Brett Compton, Jennifer A. Lewis and Markus J. Buehler (2015), Structural optimization of 3D-printed synthetic spider webs for high strength, Nature Communications, Vol 6, paper #: 7038
  • Zhao Qin and Markus J. Buehler (2015), Nonlinear Viscous Water at Nanoporous Two-Dimensional Interfaces Resists High-Speed Flow through Cooperativity, Nano Letters, Vol 15, pp 3939–3944
  • Zhao Qin, Michael Taylor, Mary Hwang, Katia Bertoldi and Markus J. Buehler (2014), Effect of wrinkles on the surface area of graphene: toward the design of nanoelectronics, Nano Letters, Vol 14, pp. 6520–6525
  • Zhao Qin, and Markus J. Buehler (2014), Molecular mechanics of mussel adhesion proteins, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Vol 62, pp. 19-30
  • Zhao Qin, and Markus J. Buehler (2013), Impact tolerance in mussel thread networks by heterogeneous material distribution, Nature Communications, Vol 4, paper #: 2187
  • Zhao Qin, and Markus J. Buehler (2013), Webs measure up, Nature Materials, Vol 12 (3), pp. 185-187
  • Zhao Qin, Markus J. Buehler (2010). Molecular Dynamics Simulation of the alpha-Helix to beta-Sheet Transition in Coiled Protein Filaments: Evidence for a Critical Filament Length Scale, Physical Review Letters, Vol. 104(19), paper #: 198304

​Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

77 Massachusetts Ave Rm 1-239

Cambridge, MA 02139

Email: qinzhao[@]mit.edu

I have been working on nano and biological materials for a total of eight years, focusing on their structural and chemical characteristics, as well as mechanical and biological functions. I have developed and utilized various computational tools that are powerful in revealing mechanisms of material behaviors, applied in a bottom-up approach.

I have a strong passion for materials designs and innovations which I believe will become a driving force to facilitate new applications of advanced manufacturing. I have been keeping working toward the goal, which is shown by that I published 40+ peer-reviewed papers on the topic. Many of these works appeared in journals with good impacts. I have presented my results in many conferences. More details can be found in my Research page and CVBesides research, I love teaching, which is another essential component for educating young minds. I believe teaching has the most important goal to maximize the students’ potential and enthusiasm in learning, which is what I learnt when I teach as a teaching fellow for the undergraduate class in MIT.