Carnegie Mellon University

Yongjie Zhang

Dr. Yongjie Jessica Zhang

Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

Scaife Hall 318
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • B.S. 1996, M.S. 1999, Tsinghua University, China

  • M.S. 2002, Ph.D. 2005, The University of Texas at Austin


Jessica Zhang is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She received her B.Eng. in Automotive Engineering and M.Eng. in Engineering Mechanics from Tsinghua University, China; and M.Eng. in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and Ph.D. in Computational Engineering and Sciences from Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES), The University of Texas at Austin. After staying two years in ICES as a postdoctoral fellow, she joined CMU in 2007 as an assistant professor, and then was promoted to an associate professor in 2012 and a full professor in 2016.


Prof. Zhang works on image-based geometric modeling, mesh generation and finite element analysis (FEA) with broad engineering applications, which integrates image processing, geometric modeling and mechanics simulation to solve problems in computational biomedicine, material sciences and engineering. It is well known that FEA is currently well-developed and efficient, but high-fidelity geometric modeling and mesh generation for complex domains (e.g., the human body) still takes ~80% of the total analysis time and is the major obstacle to reduce the total computation time. Prof. Zhang’s group has developed many novel techniques to automatically, robustly and accurately construct analysis-suitable models for complicated domains. These techniques provide engineers/scientists with unique technologies to construct high fidelity computer models at molecular, cellular, tissue and organ scales. Her latest research focuses on three main areas: image-based mesh generation for complex domains, isogeometric analysis, as well as biomedical, material sciences & engineering applications. 

Research Interests: finite element applications in biomechanics; patient-specific geometric modeling and mesh generation; image processing; multiscale modeling of biomolecular complexes; computer-assisted surgery


Awards and Recognition

  • US Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM) Executive Committee Member-at-Large, 2017-2021
  • Executive Committee of Solid Modeling Association, 2017-2020
  • ELATE (Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering) Fellow, Drexel University, 2017-2018
  • Associate Editor of Computer Aided Geometric Design, 2016 - present
  • Editorial Board of Computer-Aided Design, 2015 - present
  • Autodesk Best Paper Award – 1st Place, SIAM Conference on Solid and Physical Modeling (GDSPM), 2015


  • One of the 5 Most Highly Cited Papers Published in Computer-Aided Design during 2014-2016
  • Editorial Board of Engineering with Computers, 2014 - present
  • 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2013
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2012
  • Donald L. and Rhonda Struminger Faculty Fellow in Mechanical Engineering, CMU, 2011