Peng Zhang


Peng  Zhang


Assistant Professor


Mechanical Engineering

Email Address:


(931) 372-3323


Brown Hall (BRWN) 329

Research Interests

  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Experimental fluid and solid mechanics
  • Fluid-structure interactions
  • Multi-functional materials
  • Optimal design

Educational Background:

  • Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, 2016
  • M.S., Mathematics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, 2014
  • B.S., Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China, 2011

Selected Publications:

Multifunctional materials

  • Zhang P., Ohanian O., Porfiri M., 2022: “Spiropyran-functionalized photochromic nylon webbings for long-term ultraviolet light sensing”, Journal of Applied Physics, 132(6), 064504. (Cover image of the issue)
  • Zhang P., Carrillo Segura S., Boldini A., Di Trolio P., Ohanian O., Porfiri M., 2021: “A photochromic nylon webbing for ultra-violet light sensing”, Smart Materials and Structures, 30, 085015.
  • Zhang P., Porfiri M., 2022: “Modeling the actuation of curved ionic polymer metal composites”, Smart Materials and Structures, 31, 035013.

Fluid-structure interactions

  • Zhang P., Carretto A., Porfiri M., 2020: “Simultaneous digital image correlation/particle image velocimetry to unfold fluid-structure interaction during air-backed impact”, Journal of Fluids and Structures, 95, 102980.
  • Zhang P., Rosen M., Peterson S., Porfiri M., 2018: “An information-theoretic approach to study fluid-structure interactions”, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 848, 968-986.
  • Carrillo Segura S., Zhang P., Porfiri M., 2022: “Three-dimensional exact solution of free vibrations of a simply supported rectangular plate in contact with a fluid”, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 534, 117007.

Aerodynamics of road vehicles

  • Zhang P., Vo A.-V., Laefer D., Porfiri M., 2021: “Integrated evolutionary algorithms/computational fluid dynamics for drag reduction in highway design”, Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 27(3), 04021025.

Hydrodynamic of fish swimming

  • Porfiri M., Zhang P., Peterson S., 2022: “Hydrodynamic model of fish orientation in a channel flow”, eLife, 11, e75225.
  • Zhang P., Krasner E., Peterson S., Porfiri M., 2019: “An information-theoretic study of fish swimming in the wake of a pitching airfoil”, Physica D, 396, 35-46.
  • Mwaffo V., Zhang P., Romero Cruz S., Porfiri M., 2017: “Zebrafish swimming in the flow: a particle image velocimetry study”, PeerJ, 5, e4041.