Chao Zhang

Postdoctoral Researcher

Photo of Chao Zhang
(303) 275-3278

Chao Zhang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Computational Science Center. His current work involves developing computational models to evaluate mechanical performance of concentrated solar reflector and multi-physics models for safety evaluation of Lithium-ion batteries. Prior to joining the Computational Science Center, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the area of automotive crashworthiness simulation. Dr. Zhang’s expertise lies within the area of structural engineering, mechanics and materials, with a focus on design, analysis and evaluation of various composite materials/structure components. He advocates an interdisciplinary approach, such as solid mechanics, material manufacture, thermal kinetics and analytical chemistry, which are known to be important methods for the successful application of a material in specific structures.

Research Interests 

  • Mechanics of materials
  • Multi-scale experimental characterization and numerical simulation of composite structures
  • Crashworthiness and impact analysis of automotive, aircraft and armor structures
  • Long-term aging and thermal kinetic analysis of polymer and polymer composites


  • 2013 Ph.D. Civil Engineering, The University of Akron

  • 2010 M.S. Composite Science, Wuhan University of Technology, China

  • 2008 B.E. Composite Technology and Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, China

Selected Publications 

  1. Chao Zhang; Wieslaw K Binienda (2014). "A meso-scale finite element model for simulating free-edge effect of Carbon/epoxy textile composite." Mechanics of Materials (76); pp. 1-19.
  2. Chao Zhang; Wieslaw K Binienda "Numerical analysis of free-edge effect on size-influenced mechanical properties of single-layer triaxially braided composite." Applied Composite Materials (In press);
  3. Chao Zhang; Wieslaw K Binienda; Robert K Goldberg; Lee W Kohlman (2014). "Meso-scale failure modeling of single layer triaxial braided composite using finite element method." Composites Part A (58); pp. 36-46.
  4. Chao Zhang; Wieslaw K Binienda; Lee W Kohlman (2014). "Analytical model and numerical analysis of the elastic behavior of triaxial braided composites, Journal of Aerospace Engineering." Journal of Aerospace Engineering (27); pp. 473-483.
  5. Chao Zhang; Wieslaw K Binienda; Frank E Horvat; Wenzhi Wang (2013). "Application of numerical methods for crashworthiness investigation on aircraft wing impact with tree." Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences (5:1); pp. 71-85.
  6. Chao Zhang; Wieslaw K Binienda; Gregory N Morscher; Rirchard E Martin; Lee W Kohlman (2013). "Experimental and FEM study of thermal cycling induced microcracking in carbon/epoxy triaxial braided composite." Composites Part A (46); pp. 34-44.
  7. Chao Zhang; Wieslaw K Binienda; Liming Zeng; Xiaochuan; Ye; Shuwen Chen (2011). "Kinetic study of the novolac resin curing process using model fitting and model-free methods." Thermochimica Acta (523); pp. 63-69.