Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar


Magnetic Soft Composites with Integrated Multiphysics Responses


Dr. Ruike (Renee) Zhao


The Ohio State University, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 2:00:00 PM



Dr. Jerry Qi


Magnetic soft composites are a type of stimuli-responsive materials that can generate large deformation and locomotion under external magnetic fields. They have recently attracted great interest due to the increasing demand for programmable materials that can be easily controlled to achieve complex functionalities for untethered morphing and reconfigurable structures. In particular, these composites are considered to be competitive candidates for developing soft robots as biomedical devices for drug delivery and minimally invasive surgeries for two major reasons. The magnetic untethered control offers a safe and effective operation method for biomedical applications, which typically require remote actuation in enclosed and confined spaces, separates the power source and controller from the device, making miniaturized robots possible. However, it is still a great challenge to design and fabricate high performance multifunctional magnetic soft composites for advanced engineering applications, due to the lack of design guidance on materials, fabrication, and stimulation control. In this talk, a mechanics-guided methodology is first introduced to achieve structures with precise actuation control for multifunctionality of magnetic soft composites. This methodology is then used to guide the design for a few novel applications, including symmetry-breaking actuation for soft robots, magnetic shape memory polymers for untethered shape morphing and locking, and magnetic origami robots for functional deformation and locomotion. At the end of this talk, future directions in fundamental research and novel applications of magnetic soft composites will be discussed.


Ruike Renee Zhao is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of 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 concerns the fundamental science and the development of stimuli-responsive polymeric soft composites for soft robotic systems with integrated multifunctionality including shape-changing, locomotion, and navigation. By combining mechanics, polymer engineering, and advanced material manufacturing techniques, the functional soft composite systems will enable biomedical applications with a focus on developing miniaturized biomedical devices for minimally invasive surgeries. Renee is a recipient of the ASME Haythornthwaite Research Initiation Award in 2018 and the NSF Career Award in 2020.


Please join via bluejeans