Juner Zhu, PhD


0. Short Bio

Dr. Juner Zhu joined the faculty of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Northeastern University as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in August 2022. Before that, he was a Research Scientist working jointly in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering at MIT. He received his Ph.D. degree from MIT Mechanical Engineering in 2019. His thesis entitled “Mechanical Failure of Lithium-ion Batteries” provided a comprehensive study on the mechanical modeling of battery component materials, porous electrodes, and cells. He has published over 30 journal articles with half of them on batteries. Based on these efforts, Juner co-developed the 2020-2022 phase of the MIT Industrial Battery Consortium and is acting as the Executive Director working with eight world-leading companies in the areas of EV, battery, and consumer electronics. During his postdoctoral career, Juner extended his research interests into multiphysics modeling with data-driven methods, including inverse methods, PDE-constrained optimization, and physics-informed surrogate models. Juner has considerable industrial experience from his work as a materials engineer at Ford Motor Company and as a battery analyst at Apple. He got his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tsinghua University, where he graduated with the top honor (the Top Grade Fellowship, equivalent to the Presidential Award in some US universities) for Tsinghua graduate students in 2015. In 2022, Juner was Awarded the Haythornthwaite Foundation Research Initiation Grant by the Applied Mechanics Division (AMD) of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME). In the same year, he co-founded the Center for Battery Sustainability, a joint research program between Northeastern and MIT supported by the industry.

I. Education

Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, May 2019
Thesis: Mechanical Failure of Lithium-ion Batteries, advised by Prof. Tomasz Wierzbicki

M.S., Tsinghua University, Mechanical Engineering (Graduation with Top Honor), July 2015
Thesis: Modeling the Strain-rate Dependent Yielding and Fracture of High Strength Steels, advised by Profs. Yong Xia and Qing Zhou

B.S., Tsinghua University, School of Vehicles and Mobility (Graduation with Honor), July 2012

II. Employment history

5. Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, August 2022 -

4. promoted to Research Scientist, MIT, in collaboration with Professors Tomasz Wierzbicki and Martin Z. Bazant, June 2021 - August 2022

3. Postdoctoral Associate, MIT, Mechanical Engineering (worked with Tomasz Wierzbicki) & Chemical Engineering (worked with Martin Z. Bazant), July 2019 - May 2021

2. Battery Analyst, Apple, Battery Product Design Team, June-August 2018

1. Research Engineer, Ford Motor Company Research and Innovation Center (RIC), Material Manufacturing, July-August 2016

III. Honors & Awards

  • Haythornthwaite Foundation Research Initiation Award, Division of Applied Mechanics, American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), 2022

  • MMM10 Travel Award. 10th International Conference of Multiscale Materials Modeling, 2022

  • Best Paper Award in the MIT A+B Applied Energy Symposium, 2021

  • Most-Watched Video Presentation in “Frontiers in Mechanics of Materials”, The 57th Annual Technical Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science, 2020

  • Battery Safety Young Researcher Award, Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage, 2020

  • Award for Outstanding Self-finance Students Abroad, 2019

  • Keck Travel Award in Thermal Sciences, MIT Mechanical Engineering, 2019

  • Outstanding Oral Presentation, Society of Automotive Engineers, 2018

  • Outstanding Graduate Student, Beijing, 2015

  • Top Grade Fellowship, Tsinghua University, 2014

  • National Fellowship, Tsinghua University, 2014

  • Best Bachelor’s Thesis Award, Tsinghua University, 2012

  • Top Prize of the Challenge Cup with the Tsinghua Formula Students team, Tsinghua University, 2012

IV. Academic geneology

Lineage of PhD advisors in Applied Mechanics

  1. Tytus Maksymilian Huber [1872-1950, co-formulated the "Maxwell–Huber–Hencky–von Mises theory," probably the foundation of the plasticity area]

  2. Wacław Olszak [D.Sc.: 1937, Technical University of Warsaw]

  3. Piotr Perzyna [Ph.D., D.Sc.: 1959, Institute of Fundamental Technological Research Polish Academy of Sciences, thesis title: "Fale naprężenia w ośrodkach niesprężystych." (Stress waves in inelastic media in English)]

  4. Tomasz Wierzbicki [Ph.D.: 1965, Institute of Fundamental Technological Research Polish Academy of Sciences, thesis title: "Dynamika sztywno-lepko-plastycznych płyt kołowych" (Dynamics of rigid-visco-plastic circular plates in English), received in 1974 the Tytus Maksymilian Huber award, the highest distintion in Mechanics in Poland ]

  5. Juner Zhu [PhD: 2019, MIT, thesis title: "Mechanical failure of lithium-ion batteries"]

V. Academic community services

Conference organizers

  • Symposium "Data-Driven Approaches for Complex Multiphysics Systems, Structures, and Materials." In the SES 2022 Annual Technical Meeting, to be held at Texas A&M, October 16-19, 2022

  • Minisymposium “Data-Driven Approaches for Multiscale and/or Multiphysics Systems” in the USNC/TAM 2022 conference, to be held in Austin, TX, June 19-24, 2022

  • Minisymposium “Large Deformation and Failure of Lithium-Ion Batteries” in the USNC/TAM 2022 conference, to be held in Austin, TX, June 19-24, 2022

  • Six Consecutive Meetings of the Battery Consortium. 1) June 19, 2018, Coventry, Jaguar-Land Rover, UK; 2) November 9, 2018, MIT, Cambridge, MA, U.S.; 3) June 20, 2019, Eco Polytechnics, Paris, France. 4) November 12-13, 2019, MIT, Cambridge, MA, U.S.; 5) June 18, 2020, virtual meeting; 6) November 20, 2020, virtual meeting

  • Symposium of Impact Mechanics and Crash Protection, 2017. Beijing, China.

Journal reviewers

  • Mechanics

International Journal of Solids and Structures, Mechanics of Materials, Experimental Mechanics, International Journal of Plasticity, International Journal of Impact Engineering, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Engineering Fracture Analysis, SN Applied Sciences, Composite Part B

  • Electrochemistry

Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Current Opinion in Electrochemistry, Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry, Electrochimica Acta

  • Energy Materials

Joule, Advanced Materials, Advanced Energy Materials, Applied Energy, Energy Technology, Acta Materialia, Journal of Power Sources, Journal of Energy Storage, Energy Storage Materials, Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage, International Journal of Energy Research, Materials, Cell Reports Physical Science

  • Computation

Nature Computational Science, Advanced Intelligent Systems, Advanced Theory and Simulations