Researcher Spotlight: Lifeng Wang, Ph.D.
Faculty researcher, Associate Professor Lifeng Wang, Ph.D., joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stony Brook University in 2013. His research interests include materials modeling, computational mechanics, micro- and nano-mechanics, materials testing and characterization, materials fabrication, rapid prototyping and 3D printing.
Here is a little bit about Professor Wang:
What interested you in joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stony Brook?
SUNY Stony Brook is very famous in China because of Professor Chen-Ning Yang, especially in Tsinghua University where I graduated from. Professor Yang received his master's degree from Tsinghua University in 1944. After retiring from Stony Brook he returned to Tsinghua University. I met Professor Yang in person several times when I did my PhD at Tsinghua. Since then I always wanted to come to Stony Brook, even just for a campus visit. In 2013, I was very excited to have to opportunity to be interviewed by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stony Brook. When I first visited Stony Brook, I was sure that this is the place I want to stay for my career and for my family.
In what area is your research focused?
My research is in the general area of solid mechanics, with focus in mechanical metamaterials and composites, biological, bioinspired materials, mechanics of 3D printing materials, and nanomaterials. The objective of my research program is to provide fundamental mechanics and physics understanding for the design and development of novel advanced materials and composites at various length scales to achieve high mechanical performance, new wave propagation feature, and multifunctional characteristics.
What initially interested you in your type of research?
There has been recent advances in multiple industries, including aerospace, automotive, defense and energy industries which require new materials and structures to have superior combinations of high performance, lightweight, affordability, and versatility. Novel advanced materials such as metamaterials, nanomaterials, biomaterials and bioinspired materials, have been shown to possess extraordinary properties, and thus have been of great interest to mathematicians, physical scientists, material scientists, and biologists. These materials can offer advantages such as light weight, easy processing, large deformation capability, and actuation ability. This makes them prime candidates for next generation structural and multifunctional materials.
What is your favorite part about teaching?
I have taught various courses for both undergraduate and graduate students, such as MEC 262, MEC 539, MEC 541. Those experiences taught me how to interact with students and how to inspire their creativity. I have enjoyed teaching since I started tutoring students during my undergraduate studies at Tsinghua University. I am always excited about the opportunity to teach and mentor both undergraduate and graduate students. I believe teaching is an essential and complementary part of my career. Teaching is the most effective means of fostering research potentials and sharing knowledge. There is no better way to learn than to teach. Also, teaching requires adequate preparation, training, patience, devotion, and a deep sense of responsibility.
Discuss your involvement with K-12 interns?
I am open to hosting K-12 interns every year. Having K-12 students exposed to my research findings will promote their engineering awareness and motivate them to pursue a career in engineering and science. All student interns are encouraged to attend various science competitions including Intel Science Talent Search, Siemens Competition (Math:Science:Technology), regional ISEF affiliated Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF), and Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) competition.
Are there any “fun facts” about yourself that you would like to share?
I have several moment that I am proud of such as the moments I knew I would go to Tsinghua, go to MIT, and go to Stony Brook. In my spare time though, I love walking, hiking, swimming, and music. However, now the most fun activity for me is playing with my son, who is in his "terrible twos".