Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

* Extensive knowledge in Solid Mechanics, Materials Characterization (Polymers, Metals, Ceramics), Failure Analysis (Fracture and Fatigue), Tribology, MEMS, Micro-fabrication.
* 5+ years’ experience in commercial FEA packages (ABAQUS, ANSYS) of linear/non-linear structural, thermal and fluidic simulations for complex device design and manufacturing process development.
* Published 20+ peer-reviewed papers on prestigious journals and conference proceedings.
* Highly motivated and fast learning team member with good communication skills.

Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
PhD, Mechanical Engineering, 2012 (GPA: 3.99/4).
Thesis: “Viscoelastic Characterization and Modeling of PDMS Micropillars for Cellular Force Measurement Applications”
Best PhD Thesis in Department of Mechanical Engineering

Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
MS, Material Science and Engineering, 2006.
BS, Mechanical Engineering and Automation, 2003.

Western Digital, San Jose, CA, USA.
Staff Engineer Mechanical Design, Jul. 2013 – Present
Department of Mechanical Systems, HDA Analysis Team.
Advanced numerical simulation of Hard disk drive (HDD) for both personal and enterprise applications using ANSYS APDL and WorkBench.
– Design and optimization of Best-in-class (BIC) actuator dynamic, operational shock and vibration performance.
– Develop next-generation Micro Dual-stage Actuators for higher capacity drives.
– Develop new simulation techniques to assess and optimize the tooling for drive assembly process.
– Conduct mechanical related failure analysis (FA) to identify the root cause and provide solutions.

Medtronic, Inc., Mounds View, MN, USA.
R&D Engineer Consultant, Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM), Oct. 2012 – Apr. 2013
Provide numerical modeling support for a variety of medical devices and manufacturing process development
1. Developed a general procedure to characterize the elastic/hyperelastic and viscoelastic properties of common polymers used in medical devices. Evaluated their effects on the critical component performance during the device life time. The outcomes included effectively improved simulation accuracy and ultimately minimize the gap with experiments.
a) Impact of plastic housing complex modulus in the fatigue life of feed-through wires under cyclic loadings.
b) Relaxation of seal contact pressure and creep in surrounding plastic components during 10 years.
c) Weld strength of coils and failure prediction of lead/catheter during aggressive tensile and bending tests.

2. Modeled the superelastic behavior of shape memory alloy (Nitinol) components using ABAQUS user materials, and processed batch data using Python scripts. The reliability of the device under user conditions was successfully evaluated.

3. Studied the various punch designs for the progressive sheet metal forming process to improve the cosmetic appearance and patient comfort. The model was further used to optimize the process without costly and time-consuming tooling cycles.

4. Simulated the molten solder flow and heat transfer using ANSYS CFX to optimize the copper trace design for laser soldering of circuit board. An insight physical understanding of the process was established (including the surface tension, contact angle, gravity force).

Entegris, Inc., Burlington, MA, USA.
Material Analysis
Intern, July 2011 ~ August 2011
1. Created a database for the adhesion property of various industrial plastics to the DLC coated injection molds.
2. Independently learned the operation of a universal mechanical tester for wear and scratch testing.
3. Prepared an operation manual and application notes of the tester for documentation and training purpose.

Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Research Assistant, Laboratory for Microsystems Technology (LMST), 2007~Present.
* Advisor: Dr. Xin Zhang
* Lead researcher in projects related to the mechanical testing, materials characterization and modeling of polymer-based transducers and ceramic thin films.

1. Viscoelastic Characterization and Modeling of PDMS Micropillars for Cellular Force Measurement.
a) Developed theoretical models and experimental methodologies to comprehensively characterize the viscoelastic properties of PDMS in both time domain (relaxation modulus) and frequency domain (complex modulus) using advanced nanoindentation techniques.
b) Developed an enhanced viscoelastic Timoshenko beam formula to investigate the effects of loading rate and pillar aspect ratio on the cellular contraction force calculation.
c) Constructed 3D micropillar model (in ABAQUS) and simulated the cardiac myocyte contraction force in the frequency domain by incorporating the Fourier series expression of cellular contraction and complex modulus of PDMS material.

2. Fabricated the conducting polymer trilayer actuator, and developed a multilayer bending model to optimize the actuator work density.

3. Enhanced the electrical response (dielectric constant) of PDMS through incorporation of conducting polymer nanowires, while maintaining the desirable mechanical flexibility.

4. Developed Silicon Oxycarbide thin films via magnetron sputtering, minimized residual stress and enhanced mechanical properties from a thorough study of the effects of carbon content and post thermal annealing.

Teaching Assistant, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
* Mechanics of Materials (ME305), Spring 2009.
* Engineering Mechanics (EK301), Fall 2008.
* Engineering Computation with Matlab (EK127), Fall 2006~Spring 2008.

Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Research Assistant, Key Laboratory for Advanced Manufacturing, 2003~2006.
Dissertation: Thixotropic Die Casting and Process Control of Semi-solid Aluminum Alloys.

CITIC Dicastal Wheel Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Qinhuangdao, China.
Mechanical Engineer Intern, 2002~2003.
* Mold Temperature Control System for the Low Pressure Die Casting of Aluminum Alloy Wheels.
– Designed a mold temperature control system using Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).
– Obtained real-time monitoring of the mold temperature, and regulation of cooling system.

* Mechanics of Material
– Young’s modulus, hardness, residual stress, thermal stress.
Viscoelasticity in time and frequency domains (stress relaxation, creep, complex modulus).
– Fatigue and fracture, wear rate, scratch resistance.

* Material Characterization
– Mechanical: Nanoindenter, Universal mechanical tester, Rockwell hardness.
– Electrical: Impedance analyzer, LCR meter, Four point probe.
– Micro structure: SEM/EDS, AFM, FTIR, UV-Visible, Zygo, XRD, Ellipsometer.

* Microfabrication
– Thin film deposition (PVD, Sputtering, Electroplating), Photolithography,
– Soft lithography, Wet/dry etching, Thermal annealing.

* Computer Application
– CAD: Solidworks (certified CSWP), AutoCAD.
– Math: MATLAB, Mathematica, Maple.
– OS: Windows, Linux.

* Languages
– Chinese: Native proficiency.
– English: Professional working proficiency.

Certified SolidWorks Professional (CSWP), Jun. 2013
Professional Development: Materials for Medical Devices, Feb. 2013.
Abaqus Training: Fracture & Failure, Coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian (CEL), Nov. 2012.

1. Best PhD Thesis, May 2013.
Boston University, Department of Mechanical Engineering
2. Graduate Student Fellowship, Jul. 2012.
NSF CMMI Engineering Research and Innovation Conference
3. Graduate Teaching Fellow Scholarship, Sep. 2006 – May 2009.
Boston University, Department of Mechanical Engineering


  1. Yiling Qiu, Ahmad F Bayomy, Marcus V Gomez, Michael Bauer, Ping Du, Yanfei Yang, Xin Zhang, Ronglih Liao. “A role for matrix stiffness in the regulation of cardiac side population cell function”. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2015. [Link]
  2. Jian Dong, Ping Du, Xin Zhang. ”Measurements of the Young’s modulus and residual stresses of sputtered silicon oxynitride film using micro-structures”. Thin Solid Films, 545, 414–418, 2013. [Link]
  3. Ping Du, Xi Lin, Xin Zhang. ”Tunable electrical and mechanical responses of PDMS and conducting polymer nanowire composites”. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 46 , 195303, 2013. [Link]
  4. Ping Du, Chen Cheng, Hongbing Lu and Xin Zhang. ”Investigation of cellular contraction forces in the frequency domain using a PDMS micropillar based force transducer”. Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 22, 44-53, 2013. [Link]
  5. Ping Du, Xiaoning Wang, I-Kuan Lin, and Xin Zhang. ”Effects of composition and thermal annealing on the mechanical properties of silicon oxycarbide films”. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 176, 90-98, 2012. [Link]
  6. Ping Du, Xiaoyu Zheng, I-Kuan Lin, and Xin Zhang. ”Effect of loading rates on cellular force measurements by polymer micropillar based transducers”. Applied Physics Letters, 99, 083701, 2011. [Link]
  7. Ping Du, I-Kuan Lin, Hongbing Lu, and Xin Zhang. “Extension of beam theory for polymer bio-transducers with low aspect ratios and viscoelastic characteristics”. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 20, 095016, 2010. [Link]
  8. Ping Du, Xi Lin, and Xin Zhang. “A multilayer bending model for conducting polymer actuators”. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 163, 240-246, 2010. [Link]

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2008.
Materials Research Society (MRS), 2008 – 2012.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2011 – 2013.
American Society of Materials (ASM), 2011 – 2013.