Huan Zhao, Guarini


What do you consider your hometown?

Although I came to the US during my high school years in California, I still consider my hometown to be Shenzhen, a beautiful modern city in southern China.

Where did you earn your undergraduate degree and what was it in?

I earned my undergraduate degree at UC Davis, majoring in mechanical engineering.

What is your graduate degree in?

Material science and engineering.

What is your area of research? What inspired you to pursue this research?

My area of research focuses on piezoelectric materials and metamaterial design, utilizing advanced manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing, along with computational modeling tools like finite element analysis.

As a mechanical engineer, I have always been fascinated by complex, engineered architectures. During the initial stage of my PhD studies, I was intrigued by mechanical metamaterials, which feature not only intricate structures, but also unique mechanical properties that natural materials cannot match. By chance, I became involved in a project related to piezoelectric materials and discovered that metamaterials could significantly enhance their performance. This realization made me become interested in exploring the synergy between these two areas. With deeper investigation, I recognized their substantial potential—both individually and in combination—which could lead to impactful advancements in the field. This prospect truly excites me and motivates my research.

What does it mean to you to be one of the Graduate School Poster Session winners?

Being recognized as one of the Graduate School Poster Session winners is a significant honor for me. This award acknowledges my dedication to my research and highlights the importance of effectively communicating complex topics in an accessible manner. This win is a meaningful recognition of my efforts and provides a boost to my confidence as I advance in my field.

Why did you choose Dartmouth for your degree?br>

I chose Dartmouth for my degree because of its outstanding reputation in research and academic excellence. The faculty at Dartmouth, who are leaders in their fields, offer invaluable opportunities to engage closely with them. Moreover, Dartmouth has a collaborative and supportive community and environment, which is greatly beneficial to my academic and personal growth.

What do you like best about Dartmouth?

What I appreciate most about Dartmouth is its serene and natural environment. Coming from big cities like Los Angeles and Shenzhen, I've found the quiet, small-town setting ideal for PhD research. The peacefulness here enhances my focus and productivity, which is ideal for my academic pursuits.