Welcome to the Dynamic Smart Structures and Energy Harvesting Laboratory in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at UNSW Sydney.

The lab is led by Dr Liya Zhao and focuses on investigating dynamic, smart structures and intelligent systems with a comprehensive combination of both theoretical and experimental methodologies. 

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Liya Zhao, PhD

Senior Lecturer, ARC DECRA Fellow

School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

University of New South Wales

Ainsworth Building J17, 301B

Sydney 2052 NSW Australia

Email: liya.zhao2@unsw.edu.au

Dr Liya Zhao is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney). She is the recipient of the ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) for 2021-2024. She received her BEng in Civil Engineering from Tongji University in 2009, and her PhD in Structures and Mechanics from Nanyang Technological University Singapore in Dec 2015. After that, she worked as a Research Fellow at Nanyang Technological University Singapore. She moved to the University of Technology Sydney in 2017 as a Lecturer and became a Senior Lecturer in 2021. She joined UNSW Sydney as a Senior Lecturer in 2022.

Her research interests include nonlinear dynamics, kinetic energy harvesting, smart materials and structures, vibration suppression, electromechanical modelling, aerodynamics, and piezoelectric devices. 

About me

Education

Dec. 2015     Ph.D. in Structures & Mechanics, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Jun. 2009      B.Eng. in Civil Engineering, Tongji University, China 

Academic Experience

03/2022-Present             Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales, Australia

07/2021-03/2022            Senior Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

10/2017-06/2021            Lecturer (Assistant Professor), University of Technology Sydney, Australia

02/2016-09/2017            Research Fellow, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

08/2015-01/2016            Project Officer, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

08/2011-05/2015            Research Assistant, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Research Interests

   - Nonlinear Dynamics, Vibration Suppression

  • Structural/material/geometric/aerodynamic nonlinearity

  • Multifunctional systems for energy harvesting and vibration suppression

   - Kinetic Energy Harvesting

  • Nonlinear adaptive structures for 1) small-scale wind energy harvesting with aeroelastic instabilities 2) broadband vibration energy harvesting 

  • Advanced power extraction interfaces for energy conversion enhancement

  • Human motion energy harvesting; biosensing

  • Wave energy harvesting

  - Smart Materials and Structures

  • Adaptive devices for energy harvesting, vibration suppression, actuating and sensing

  • Electromechanically coupled adaptive structures with smart materials (piezoelectric / flexoelectric / triboelectric / electret mechanisms)

   - Integrated Self-Powered Wireless Sensor Networks/Active Tags

  • Sustainable physiological monitoring with self-powered body sensor networks

  • Sustainable smart environmental/structural health monitoring

  • Sustainable object tracking

Grants

Chief Investigator

Sole CI: "Low-frequency vibration test platform", UNSW MME RIS, 2022, AUD 25,000

Sole CI: UNSW Start-Up Grant, 2022, AUD 30,000

Sole CI: “Metastructures for Simultaneous Vibration Suppression and Energy Harvesting”, ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), Liya Zhao, 2022-2024, AUD 425,775

Lead CI: “Generating Electricity during Sound Absorption: Novel Acoustic Metastructures for Simultaneous Structure-borne Noise Attenuation and Energy Harvesting”, Blue Sky Grant, University of Technology Sydney, 2019, AUD 15,000

Sole CI: “Small-scale energy harvesting with smart materials and structures”, Seed Grant, University of Technology Sydney, 2018, AUD 20,000

Co-CI: Defence Innovation Network PhD Scholarship, 2021-2023, AUD 100,500

Co-CI: Teaching Grant “Integrating online assessments for mechanical and mechatronic engineering”, University of Technology Sydney, FEIT,  2018, AUD 5,000

Nanyang Engineering Doctoral Scholarship (NEDS) Award, Nanyang Technological University, 2011-2012, SGD 6,000

Participated in

“Broadband energy harvesting optimized for shipboard intelligent wireless sensor and actuator networks”, Office of Naval Research Global, USA, Aug 2013 – Jul 2015, SGD 47,040. Principal Investigator: Prof Yaowen Yang, Nanyang Technological University Singapore. 

“Small scale energy harvesting” (M4081328), NTU Research Initiative, Aug 2013 – Jul 2016, SGD 180,000. Principal Investigator: Prof Yaowen Yang, Nanyang Technological University Singapore.