Yang group members Room Phone Email
Principal investigator
Shu Yang 203 LRSM 215-898-9645
PhD Students
Steven Cheng 216 LRSM 215-898-5276
Yuchong (Arden) Gao 204 LRSM 215-898-5276
Jason Christopher Jolly 222 LRSM 215-898-5276
Heesuk Jung 222 LRSM 215-898-5276
Jiaqi Liu 204 LRSM 215-898-5276
So Hee Nah 222 LRSM 215-898-5276
Yuchen Wang 204 LRSM 215-898-5276
Master Students    
Alexandro Herrera 216 LRSM 215-898-5276
Alex Parivar 216 LRSM 215-898-5276
Tanmay Singh 216 LRSM 215-898-5276
Wei Xu 216 LRSM 215-898-5276
Postdoc Fellows      
Pui Cheun (Wallace) Hui 216 LRSM 215-898-5276
Lishua Jin 222 LRSM 215-898-5276
Mingzhu Liu 204 LRSM 215-898-5276
Jing Li 216 LRSM 215-898-5276
Young-Joo Lee 216 LRSM 215-898-5276
Go to Alumni      


Labs: LRSM 212, 214 (215-898-5053), 215, 217, 234 (215-898-6254)

Offices: LRSM 204 (215-898-5138), 216, and 220 (215-898-5276)



Professor Shu Yang

Shu Yang

Contact Information


206 LRSM, 3231 Walnut Street

University of Pennsylvania

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Tel: 215-898-9645
Fax: 215-573-2128

twitter: @SYang_UPenn




Ph.D., Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University, 1999 (Academic tree: Chemistry)
M.S., Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University, 1997
B.S., Materials Science, Fudan University, China, 1992


Positions Held

2013.7-present, Professor, Materials Science and Engineering; Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UPenn

2009.7-2013.6, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering; Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UPenn

2004.1-2009.6, Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Materials Innovation, Materials Science and Engineering; Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UPenn

1999.7-2003.12, Member of Technical Staff, Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies


2017-present, Deputy Director, Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM), National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at UPenn

2005-2011, LRSM IRG 1 co-leader, “IRG 1 – Filamentous Networks & Structured Gels”

2015-present, Director, Center for Analyzing Evolved Structures as Optimized Products: Science and Engineering for the Human Habitat (AESOP)

2016-present, REACT /ACT 1 co-leader, NSF funded Research and Education in Active Coatings Technologies (REACT), a Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE)

2017, Executive Committee, Penn Health-Tech: Center for Health, Devices, and Technology (PHT)


2013-present, Members-at-Large, Division of Polymeric Materials Science & Engineering (PMSE), American Chemical Society (ACS)

2017-present, ACS/PMSE Fellow Committee

2017-2021, Board member, International Liquid Crystal Elastomer Conference (ILCEC)

2010, Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall 2010 meeting co-chair (with Ana Claudia Arias, Robert Cook, Clemens Heske)


2018-present, Associate Editor, Science Advances

2019-current, Scientific Editor, Materials Horizon
2017-present, Associate Editor, Polymer Reviews

2019-present, Editorial Board Member, Journal of the Royal Society Interface

2017-2019, Editorial Board Member, Polymers

2009-2015, Advisory Board member, Nanoscale



2019-2020, Fellow, Drexel University’s Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES at Drexel®) Program, a national leadership development program designed to advance senior women faculty in academic engineering, computer science, and other STEM fields into effective institutional leadership roles within their schools and universities

2018, Fellow, Division of Soft Matter (DSOFT), American Physical Society (APS), "For contributions to the geometric design and controlled assembly of soft matter".

2018, Fellow, Division of Polymeric Materials Science & Engineering (PMSE), American Chemical Society (ACS), “For dedicated service to the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering and pioneering the synthesis and fabrication of responsive nano- and micro structured soft materials”

2017, Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)

2015, recipient of the 2015-16 George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research for "pioneering the synthesis and fabrication of responsive nano- and micro-structured soft materials."

2014, Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

2012, Arthur K. Doolittle Award from the American Chemical Society, Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering (PMSE) for the paper entitled "Understanding pattern transformation mechanisms in different responsive hydrogel membranes."

2011, Invited speaker at Japan-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (Japan).

2011, Invited speaker, Youth Leadership Forum, The 12th Fudan University World Alumni Conference

2005-2011, LRSM IRG-1 Thrust co-leader, “Filamentous Networks & Structured Gels”        

2006, NSF/DMR CAREER award

2006-2008, 3M Non-tenured faculty award

2004, TR100 (now TR 35) as one of the world’s top young innovators under age of 35 selected by MIT Technology Review

2004, ACS Presidential Award for IUPAC 40th Anniversary Symposium on Macromolecules

2004, Selected to German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (Germany) by National Academy of Engineering

2003, Bell Labs team for the Technical Insights’ Excellence in Research Award on “Microfluidics in Photonics” selected by Frost and Sullivan

2002, Selected to Frontiers of Engineering Symposium by National Academy of Engineering (NAE) as one of the top 100 young engineers

2001, Unilever Student Award in Polymer Science and Engineering from American Chemical Society (ACS)

1999, ICI Student Award in Applied Polymer Science from American Chemical Society (ACS)


Steven Cheng

HeesukI received my B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Rutgers University in New Brunswick in 2018. I joined the Shu Yang group in September 2018 as a PhD student. My research interests include using kirigami structures and utilizing assembly of nanostructures in surface treatments for water harvesting and in self-cooling structures and using kirigami structures with biocompatible polymers for drug delivering and wound healing applications.





Yuchong (Arden) Gao

I graduated from Beihang University, Beijing, China with a B.E. degree majored in Materials Science and Engineering in 2016. I joined the Yang group as a Master student in February 2017 and continue as a Ph.D. student after receiving my M.S. degree from University of Pennsylvania. Taking advantage of varies of fabrication techniques I've learned here, my researches mainly focuses on the fabrication of complex micro/nanostructures using different functional soft materials (UV-crosslinkable polymers, hydrogels, liquid crystal elastomers), study their structure-property relationship, and their actuation behaviors for applications such as soft robots, biomimetic materials, and biomedical sensing.

Pui Cheun (Wallace) Hui

I received BS in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 2008, working with Prof. Farhan Rana on terahertz biomolecule detection and Prof. Alex Gaeta on nonlinear optics. I received PhD in the Laboratory of Nanoscale Optics of Prof. Marko Loncar in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University in 2014, where I developed a nanophotonic platform for studying the nonlinear cavity optomechanics and the Casimir effect. My entry into the realm of biomedical optics was supported by the Croucher Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research, where I developed multimode waveguide-based computational coherent imaging techniques under the guidance of Profs. Brett Bouma and Martin Villiger at Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. I am currently a Research Fellow at the Boston Keratoprosthesis Lab at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/ Schepens Eye Research Institute, and a Visiting Scholar at Prof. Shu Yang's group at University of Pennsylvania. My current research direction lies in developing technologies for ophthalmic diagnosis and therapies through advances in photonics, optical imaging, and nanofabrication. Some of my main thrusts is on facilitating optical intraocular pressure monitoring in patients through artificial corneal and intraocular implants for glaucoma management, and developing programmable bio-sensing platforms for ophthalmic applications.

Alexandro Herrer

I graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA with a B.S. degree majoring in Materials Science and Engineering in the spring of 2019. In the fall of 2019, I joined University of Pennsylvania’s incoming 2021 master’s class for Material Science and Engineering. During my 2nd semester in Spring 2020, I joined Professor Yang’s lab group and worked under one of the PhD students as a non-thesis option with independent study. I chose this to still be able to get experience in the lab and collaborate with other graduate students while taking courses for my master’s degree requirements. My research interests include fabrication of devices, drug delivery, biomaterials and biocompatible polymers, and projects that overall have potential to heavily benefit future lives/


Lishuai Jin

I received my B.S. degree in Applied Mechanics and Ph. D. degree in Solid Mechanics from Tianjin University, China in 2014 and 2020, respectively.  Before I joined Prof. Yang's group in September 2020, I was a visiting student in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard, from 2017 to 2020. My research interest focuses on the instability of soft materials and architected structures as well as the design and fabrication of mechanical metamaterials and soft robots.




Jason Christopher Jolly

I received my B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Anna University, India in 2015 and an M.S.E. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. I joined the Shu Yang Group in late 2015. Taking design cues from nature, art philosophies such as Origami and Kirigami and drawing from my undergraduate mechanical engineering training, I work towards realizing multi-scale, functional material-structure-property systems and architectures with applications in adhesion, drug delivery, cosmetics, radiative cooling and EMI shielding.



Heesuk Jung

I received my B.S. degree in MaterialHeesuks Science and Engineering from Yonsei University in 2010 and M.S. degree from Seoul National University in 2012. After graduation, I have worked as a research scientist in Photo-electronic Hybrids Research Center at Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Republic of Korea. I joined Prof. Shu Yang’s group in August 2017. My research interest is synthesis of inorganic nanomaterials and their application for optoelectronic devices.






Young-Joo Lee

I received my B.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Seoul National University, South Korea in 2011 and 2017, respectively. From 2017 to 2018, I was a postdoctoral researcher in Soft Robotics Research Center in Seoul National University. I joined Penn in October 2018. My research focuses on shape reconfigurable materials including origami, kirigami, and mechanical metamaterials for applying stretchable electronics and soft robotics.




Jing Li

I received my B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wuhan University, Chin in 2013 and Ph.D degree in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering from City University of Hong Kong in 2018. I joined Prof. Shu Yang’s group in December 2018. My research interest is to design multiscale structures with tailored interfacial properties and explore their applications in water harvesting, heat transfer, and fluidic devices.




Jiaqi Liu

I received my B.S. degree in Material Chemistry from Fudan University, China in 2016. My research interests includes templating topological defects in 2D and self-assembly of liquid cryatal microdroplets.








Mingzhu Liu

I received my B.S. degree in Polymer Physics from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), P.R. China in 2015, and Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the Chemistry department of New York University in 2020. My dissertation research focuses on the field of colloidal soft materials supervised by Professor Marcus Weck. The overall idea is customizing the polymeric colloidal particles (diameter around one micrometer) as building units for assembling colloidal superstructures in a programmable manner. I joined the Yang group as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2020. My current research focuses on developing new colloidal materials towards applications in biosensors, actuators, optical materials, safety coatings, and more. You can find more about my work here.


So Hee Nah

I received my B.S. degree in Physics Education from Seoul National University, South Korea in 2019. My research interest focuses on synthesis and assembly of colloidal nanoparticles, molecularly imprinted polymers, photonic crystals, and their potential applications in biosensors, soft actuators, and drug delivery.







Alex Parivar

I  received my B.Sc. in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in Spring 2019. I was fortunate to receive the guidance of Prof. Albert Yee and Prof. Catherine Loudon as I worked on anti-microbial nanostructures, nanopatterning, and bio-inspired replication of microstructures for bed bug entrapment. Currently, I am studying for my Masters, where I focus on hydrogels, adhesion, and surface structure for wound dressing applications. Further interests include multi-scale structure-properties characterization and computer science and engineering.



Tanmay Singh

I  graduated from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India with a B.S. degree in Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering in 2019. I joined Prof. Yang's group in October 2019. I am a second-year master's student in Materials science and Engineering with an interest in the Nanofabrication, integration, and modification of Ceramic and polymeric materials, for energy and actuation applications. My previous research experiences include Dielectric/Piezoelectric material synthesis, anti-friction coatings,  nanoparticles for sensing applications, and I am currently working on polymer/piezoelectric composite based actuation systems for possible MEMS and soft robotic applications.


Yuchen Wang

I  received B.E. in Materials Science and Engineering from Central South University(CSU) in China (2016) and M.S.E in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Pennsylvania (2018). I joined Prof. Yang’s group in December 2016. My research interests are the synthesis of metallic nanoparticles, control of their assemblies, the resulting optical properties and potential applications in wearable and biomedical sensors. 



Wei Xu (with Kevin Turner)

I  received my B.S. degree in material physics from Nanjing University, China. I am a master's student in Material Science and Engineering here. I joined Prof. Yang's in November, 2019. My research interest focuses on the porous polymer materials and their applications in adhesion and soft robotics.






PhD degree awarded
Name Date Current Position Contact
Zhiwei Liao 12/2019    
Hye-Na Kim 12/2018 Intel  
Gaoxiang Wu 12/2016 Dow Chemical  
Yu Xia 5/2016 Postdoc, Princeton Univ.  
Elaine Lee 6/2015 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  
Jie Li 8/2013 Thin Film Electronics  
Chi-Mon Chen 8/2013 Intel  
Apiradee Honglawan 12/2012    
Xuelian Zhu 5/2011 Principal Engineer, Global Foundries  
Yongan Xu 11/2009 Advisory Engineer/Scientist-Dev, IBM  
Dinesh Chandra 8/2009 Scientist, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co  
Marla McConnell 8/2009 US Patent Office  
Jamie Ford 3/2009 Staff, UPenn
Ying Zhang 9/2008 Sr. Research Scientist, Organic and Biochemical Technologies, Corning Inc.  
Master degree awarded      
Name Date Current Position Contact
Haihuan Wang 5/2020 PhD, George Washington University  
Xincheng Zha 5/2020    
Rui Yin 5/2019 PhD student, University of Pennsylvania
Vidyanand Wagh 5/2019 Test Engineer, Global Foundries  
Sipiao Peng 5/2019    
Evan Dolling 6/2018    
Xinyue Zhang 5/2017 PhD student, Cornell Univ.  
Xinhang Shen 5/2017 PhD student, New York University  
Philip Nega 5/2017    
Huseyin Kaya 12/2016 PhD student, Penn State Univ.  
Kaiyang Yin 5/2016 PhD student, Dartmouth College  
Bo Cao 5/2015 PhD student, University of Washington  
Sachin Deshpande 5/2015    
Minquan Wang 5/2015    
Yubo Zhao 5/2015    
Qiyi Chen 5/2014 PhD student, Case Western Reserve  
Kyudong (Ryan) Noh 5/2014    
Chenbo Wang 5/2014 PhD student, University of Texas A & M  
Yongwei Zheng 5/2014 PhD student, Materials Sci & Eng., Drexel University  
John Farrell 5/2011 Associate Product Development Engineer, Acushnet Company  
Chang-Lung (John) Chiang 5/2011    
Chien-Lin (Johnny) Lai 5/2011 photolithography manufacturing engineer, TDK  
Cheng-Hsin Lu 5/2010    
Shih-Chieh Cheng 5/2009    
Yung-Ta Sung 5/2009    
Chia-Tai Lin 12/2008 TSMC R&D, Taiwan  
Feng-Mei Huang 12/2008    
Yu Yang 12/2008    
Miriam Berdichevsky 9/2007    
Jin Seok Seo 8/2007 Kum-Gang Korea Chemical Company  
Yu-Tun Shen 5/2007    
Chi-Wei Lo 5/2006 Applied Materials  
Kuang-Sheng Hong 5/2005    
Postdoc Fellows      
Name Date Current Position  
Se-Um Kim 11/2019 Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT)  
Wei-liang Chen 8/2019 Merck  
Xu Zhang 6/2019 Staff Engineer, ams AG  
Hyesung Cho 10/2018 KIST  
Weerapha Panatdasirisuk 6/2018 Postdoc fellow, Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC)  
Francesca Serra 10/2016 Assist. Prof., Dept of Physics, Johns Hopkins Univ.  
Younghyun Cho 2/2016 Assistant Prof., Dept. of Energy Systems, Soon Chun Hyang University  
Dengteng Ge 11/2015 Faculty, Dong Hua University  
Yigil Cho 9/2015 Samsung Electronics  
Mohamed Amine Gharbi 7/2014 Assist Prof., Dept. of Physics, UMass Boston  
Su Yeon Lee 9/2014 Senior scientist, Korean Research Institute of Chemical Technology  
Yudi Rahmawan 8/2013 Professor, Surya University, Indonesia  
Raghuraman G. Karunakaran 12/2010    
Guan-quan Liang 5/2010 Staff, University of Pittsburgh  
Rong Dong 1/2010 Senior scientist, Colgate-Palmolive  
Krishnacharya Khare 9/2009 Assoc. Prof., Dept of Physics, IIT Kanpur, India  
Yue Cui 10/2008 Assist. Prof. Peking Univ.  
Murat Guvendiren 6/2008 Assist. Prof., New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)  
Pei-Chun Lin 7/2007 Prof., Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taiwan  
Tongxin Wang 3/2007 Assoc. Prof., Howard Univ.  
Jun Hyuk Moon 1/2007 Prof., Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Sogang University, Korea  
Shuhui Qin 4/2006 Sr. Development Chemist, Henkel Adhesives  
Undergraduate Students (REU)    
Name Stay School from Notable mention
Alex Senko 6/-8/2012 Cornell Univ.  
Yonghoon Choi 6/-8/2011 UNIST (S Korea)  
Justin Deng 6/-8/2010 Cornell Univ.  
Priya Balasubramanian 6/-8/2010 Duke Univ. 'best all-around' presentation in the NBIC/REU program
Kelvin Wong 6/-8/2010 UPenn  
Stephanie Ezeoba 6/-8/2009 Bryn Mawr College  
Tammer Ghaly 6/-8/2009 Johns Hopkins Univ.  
Junhao Zhou 6/-8/2008 Bard College  
Jason Reed 2007, 2008 & 2009 Cornell Univ. E.W. Plummer award for best paper in Physics in LRSM/REU program
Billy Yau 6/-8/2006 Cornell Univ.  
Joshua S. Moskowitz 6/-8/2005 Cornell Univ. E.W. Plummer award for best paper in Engineering in LRSM/REU program
Zachary Samuels 6/-8/2004 Cornell Univ. E.W. Plummer award for best paper in Engineering in LRSM/REU program