Carnegie Mellon University

Ding Zhao

Ding Zhao

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

  • Scaife Hall 315
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Ding earned his PhD at the University of Michigan. Now, he is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at CMU.


My research interests focus on robotics, machine learning, and design, with applications on autonomous driving, connected/smart city, energy efficiency, human-machine interaction, cybersecurity, and big data analytics.

My research develops tools to test the performance of intelligent physical systems and learn their capabilities and limitations in support of persistent and long-term autonomy and human-machine interactions. Mathematically, it requires designing learning approaches to estimate and predict rare events (failure) by modeling the high dimension operational environment from big data and creating efficient sampling algorithms. Particularly, I want to use my knowledge to thrive the smart cities with new mobility service leading to an automated, connected, shared, and green transportation. The vehicular knowledge (i.e., safety, energy, emissions, design, cybersecurity) gained can also be applied to many other types of robots. The three pillars of my research include: 

  • Design and test theories of intelligent physical systems
  • Modeling and evaluation approaches of high dimension, stochastic, and dynamic data
  • Implementation techniques of robots in real-time, simulated, and mixed reality environment