Former Group Members


Yenny Chandra

Yenny holds a B. Eng (2007) in Engineering mechanics from the University of Texas at Austin and a M.S. (2009) in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She graduated from Rice with a Ph.D. in 2013. Her research focused on the characterization of stability of thin curved structures with particular emphasis on algorithms for transient analysis.

Yenny is currently working as an Engineer at 2H Offshore Inc.


Zhenjia Gao

Zhenjia holds a B.S (2004) in Engineering Physics from Tsinghua University and MS degrees (2009) in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University. Her research at Rice University (Ph.D. awarded in 2014)  focused on computational damage models for the analysis of hybrid masonry structural systems.

Zhenjia is currently working as an Engineer at ABS.


Tao Jin

Tao Jin holds B.S. and M.S.degrees in Civil Engineering from Tongji University (Shanghai, China). He successfully defended his PhD in 2016. His doctoral research focused on the constitutive modeling and optimization of hydrogels with application to heart valve tissue engineering scaffolds.

Tao is now a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Lab.


Yang Zhou

Yang graduated with a Ph.D. from Rice University. His research focused on the analysis of curved structures exhibiting instabilities under quasi static or transient loading. His contributions span from analytical solutions to computational formulations. Yang also holds a B. Eng from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), Wuhan, China.

Yang is currently a software engineer at Bloomberg.


Walter Chang

Walter graduated with a B.Eng from Rice University and then obtained an M.S. from Stanford University. He is currently a designer at Degenkolb Engineers, in San Francisco.

David Mutis

David graduated with an M.S in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University. His thesis focused on characterizing the influence of various imperfections on the instability and yielding of pipes.


Mihaela Nistor

Mihaela graduated with a Ph.D. from Rice University. Her research focused on the stability analysis of thermomechanically coupled curved structures.

Mihaela also holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Civil Engineering (Bucharest, Romania).


Lijun Zhang

Lijun graduated with an M.S from Rice University. His thesis focused on the development of a  topology optimization method for patterned composites with application to the design of  materials that mimic biological tissue.

Lijun holds B.S and M.S. degrees from Wuhan University, China and a Ph.D in Engineering Mechanics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Prior to joining our group, he also contributed to the Three Gorges Dam project as part of the R&D group.


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