Dr. Yingjun 'Irene' Zhao joined the Gas Dynamics Laboratory (GDL) at the Applied Research Laboratories in August of 2021 as a postdoctoral fellow. Her current research at GDL includes expanding the data collection methods for characterizing material degradation of components under hypersonic flow, as well as adopting machine learning techniques to develop nonlinear flight control models for maintaining structural integrity. Prior to joining ARL:UT, she was an ORISE (Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education) postdoctoral fellow holding a dual appointment in the Naval Medical Center San Diego and the Department of Structural Engineering at University of California, San Diego. She was the team lead on developing both testing and analysis methods for designing adaptive ankle braces that enhance human muscle kinematics. Dr. Zhao earned her Ph.D. in Mechatronics from Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on developing nanocomposite thin film sensors for spatial damage localization on lightweight structures. Her research interests include smart materials and sensor development, structural health monitoring and damage prognosis, as well as high-speed aerodynamics and control.
- Ph.D., Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, Mechatronics - Institute of Structural Lightweight Design, May 2018.
- M.S., University of California, Davis, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, June 2015.
- M.S., University of California, Davis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, December 2011.
- B.S., University of California, Davis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, September 2009.
- The University of Texas at Austin, Applied Research Laboratories, Austin, Texas, U.S.A. Postdoctoral Fellow, 2021-present.
- Naval Medical Center San Diego / University of California, San Diego, Department of Structural Engineering, ORISE Postdoctoral Fellow, 2019-2021
- Johannes Kepler University Linz, Institute of Structural Lightweight Design, Research Fellow, 2014-2018
- University of California, Davis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Graduate Research Assistant, 2009-2014