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Nan Zhang

Associate Professor (UCD)





Dr Nan Zhang is an Associate Profes sor in Manufacturing and Design at the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland. His research work covers polymer micro/nano manufacturing, precision manufacturing of plastic microfluidic chips, microfluidic systems for the synthesis of genetic nanomedicine and molecular diagnostics, manufacturing functional micro/nano structured surfaces, and atomic and close-to-atomic-scale manufacturing. Dr Zhang won 4.5Million grants in his early career, including an H2020 MSCA ITN Grant as a consortium co-coordinator and UCD PI. His work was also funded by Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland-Commercialization Funding, Irish Research Council etc. He has published many peer-reviewed journal papers, in Materials Today, International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture, Nano Letters, and  ACS Applied Materials and Interface. He was the chair of the 6th and 8th international conferences on polymer replication on the nanoscale (PRN2019, PRN2022). He is the associate editor of the journal “Frontier in Lab on a Chip Technologies” and he is a Board member of the Microfluidic Association. His research has generated several patents which have been commercialised or are in the process of being commercialised.


Board member of The Microfluidic Association


Chair of the 6th and 8th International Conference of Polymer Replication on Nanoscale (PRN2019, PRN2022)


Associate Editor of Frontiers in Lab on a Chip Technologies.


Co-coordinator and PI of SIMPPER_MedDev H2020 MSCA-ITN


Plastic microfluidic chip prototyping and scale-up

Postdoc Researcher & Visiting Scholar
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Dr. Jing Wu

Visiting Scholar (2023-present)

I obtained my Ph.D. degree majoring in Molecular Medicine, in SUN YAT-SEN University, China. Currently, I am working on the development of an AI-driven automated high-throughput microfluidic-based flow synthesis platform for the acceleration of nanomedicine development.


Dr. Dongsheng Liu

Postdoc Researcher (2022-present)

Dongsheng obtained his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Design, Manufacturing and Automation from Southeast University in 2014, and master’s degree and doctor's degree in Aerospace Manufacturing Engineering from Northwestern Polytechnical University in 2017 and 2021, respectively. His research mainly focuses on the synthesis of nanoparticles by microfluidics using artificial intelligence.


Dr. Allen Mathew

Postdoc Researcher (2022-present)

Allen received his PhD in Physics from Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, Dunkerque, France. His work was to design, build and optimise a cryogenic photothermal instrument to study the glass transition properties of cryoprotectants. After his PhD, he worked at Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium as a post doctoral researcher where he designed and built a multiple-probe dielectric spectroscopy instrument. Currently, he is working as a postdoc researcher and his project is to develop a microfluidics based nanoparticle flow synthesis platform for formulation discovery and optimisation of nanomedicines.

Ph.D student

Tianyu Guan

Master Gratuate (2018-2019). PhD Student (2020-present)

"I was a master student in Dr Zhang's group, and I was working on precision injection moulding of microfluidic devices and back end process development.

I started my PhD study in September 2020."


Sana Zaki

PhD Student (2020-present)

Having 5 years of Industrial manufacturing experience particularly on latest emerging skills of additive manufacturing. I would like to integrate my research and manufacturing experience for the development of polymeric micro-fluidic structures. Some of my published research ( 2 Journal papers in IMECHE and 1 conference in ICTAM) is based on parametric study of chemical and kinetic projectiles.


Akshaya Jagan

PhD Student (2021-present)

"I am working towards early detection of infectious diseases by building and validating integrated point-of-care diagnostic systems. Point-of-care systems are used for rapid, high throughput detection of pathogen-specific markers from clinical samples, usually employing a molecular method. I am leveraging advanced molecular techniques like digital LAMP and CRISPR on micro-fluidics to develop a novel medical diagnostic device."


Xinhui Wang

PhD Student (2021-present)

"I graduated from North University of China with a bachelor's degree and studied for a master's degree in Huazhong University of Science and Technology with a research direction of optical precision measurement and instrument development. My research interests include: Additive Manufacturing, Micron Manufacturing, 3D bioprinting. Application areas: Organ-on-a-chip, Microfluidic chip, Biomedical devices.

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Mingzhi Yu

PhD Student (2021-present)

"Mingzhi Yu obtained his bacherlor's and master's degree in School of Mechanical Engineering from Shandong University. His research interests include: surface engineering, biomaterials micro/nano fabrication, additive manufacturing and nanoparticle drug delivery."


Seyed Masih Mousavizadeh 

PhD Student (2021-present)

I have a master degree in corrosion and material protection from Amirkabir University, Tehran, Iran. My field of study :Biodegradable Implants,Magnesium alloys, Heat-treatment, Casting, Corrosion testing and analyzing, Alloying, Corrosion observation in simulated body environments, Anodizing, Mechanical properties.


Isabela Evangelista 

PhD Student (2021-present)

“I have a master degree in polymer engineering from University of Minho, Portugal. Currently I’m developing with Prof. Nan and other partners my PhD research project. This project intends to improve friction between polymer parts, produced by microinjection moulding without the use of external lubricants”


Yixin Chen

PhD Student (2022-present)

"I got my Bachelor’s degree in Northwestern Polytechnical University, China, majoring in MEMS, and Master of Science in Electro-Mechanical Engineering from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. I am a PhD candidate in Dr. Zhang's group currently, and my research is focused on Two-dimensional material micro/nano patterning and integration. "


Shuqiang  Zhao

Visiting PhD Student (2023-present)

He is a visiting student from Jiangnan University at UCD, He is working on micro-nano conductive materials synthesis. Application areas: Flexible strain sensor


Yohann Delaunay

Visiting PhD Student (2023-present)

“In France, I obtained a master's degree in eco-design of polymers and composites. I have two years of industrial experience working on adhesion between polymers and various substrates at a German automotive company. My PhD research is hosted by Novo Nordisk, a leading Danish healthcare company, and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). My primary focus is the injection and microinjection of biobased polymers for medical device applications.”

Master student & Research assistant


Júlia Martínez Pons

Visiting student (2022-present)

"I am graduating in Chemical engineering at Institut Químic de Sarrià, Spain. Currently, I am working on the development of a microfluidic based flow synthesis system for high-throughput formulation of polymers."


Alexander Solyakov

Master Student (2023 – present)

I Completed Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at University College Dublin. Currently undergoing Master of Mechanical Engineering in Digital Light Processing printers focusing on “Synthetic Photopolymers for High-precision Printing”.


Alyssa McCan

Master Student (2023 – present)

I completed a Bachelor of Science and Biomedical Engineering at University College Dublin. Currently I am undergoing a Master of Biomedical Engineering on microfluidics on lipid and polymer nanoparticles, focusing on the encapsulation of various protein compounds. 


Pranay Shah

Research Assistant (2022-2023)

He have completed my master’s in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Trinity College Dublin and have experience in working in nanomedicine synthesis and gene therapy. He worked as a research assistant for the development of microfluidic based nanoparticle flow synthesis platform for formulation discovery and optimisation of nanomedicine. 

Yufan Liu

 Master Student (2021-2023)

She was a master student of Mechanical Engineering, and obtained my bachelor degree inMeasurement and Control Technology and Instrumentation from Beijing Information Science and Technology University. I was working on instrument control in Prof. Zhang’s group.

Jiaqi Li

 Master Student (2021-2023)

Jiaqi Li graduated from Northeast Forestry University majoring in polymer material science and engineering and now studying for a ME degree in Materials science & engineering in UCD. Her research was focused on bonding microfluidic chips.

Ruibo Yu

 Master Student (2021-2023)

Ruibo obtained his bachelor’s degree in Northeast Forestry University. He was working on tribological test of nickel-based abrasives coatings.

Weixin Hong

 Master Student (2021-2023)

He was a master's student at UCD and completed his bachelor's degree at Chang'an University. He was in charge of building mathematical models for DLP printing in my project team.

Jianrui Zhang

 Visiting Scholar (2022)

He is a visiting scholar  at UCD, a Ph.D. from Northwestern Polytechnical University, and an associate professor at Longdong University. He has received his B.S. and M.S. degree in Mechatronic Engineering from Yanshan University in 2006 and 2009, respectively. His research interests include Mechatronics and robotics. He has published 1 monograph, published more than 20 papers, authorized 10 patents, and 6 computer software copyrights. He presided over 10 research projects.

Hengji Cong

Postdoc Researcher (2020-2022)

Hengji obtained his bachelor degree in Information Engineering from Nanjing University and PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research is focused on molecular diagnosis with microfluidics, as well as optical and thermal tweezers. 

Yuyang Zhou

Postdoc Researcher (2020-2021)

Dr Zhou used to be a research engineer in UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. He received his PhD degree in textile chemistry and dyeing&finishing engineering from Soochow University (China) in 2018. He studied at University of Borås (Sweden) during 2017-2018 and worked as a postdoc researcher at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong, China) during 2019-2020. He has 16 peer-reviewed publications (h-index 10), 1 book chapter and 3 granted patents. His research interests include functional materials, nanotechnology, green chemistry and sustainable production.

Honggang Zhang

PhD Student (2017-2021)

Joint supervisory with Prof. Fang

"My research interests include: micro/nano electroforming, Nano composite coating, UV-lithography process development. Application areas: Microfludics, Optics, Functional surfaces."

Sineenat Yuket

Master Student (2020-2021) 

SIndy Master's research direction is "microfluidic chip surface modification and bonding". Her thesis title is "Investigation on uniformity, surface wettability and bonding strength of the thermoplastic microfluidic chip by precision thermal bonding"

Jing Zhang

Postdoc Researcher (2019-2020)

"My research mainly focused on polymer chemistry and microfluidic nanoparticle synthesis. In specific, through the elegant chip design and integration of diverse polymeric nanoparticles, materials with optimized components and structures were constructed towards uses of specific functions such as therapeutic and optics. Related achievements have been published in comprehensive journals including Nano. Lett., Mater. Horiz., Adv. Funct. Mater., Chem. Mater.,J. Mater. Chem. A, Chem. Commun.etc.and also highlighted by Atlas of Science."

Haoyang Zhang

PhD Student (2016-2020)

 Joint supervisory with Prof. Fang

Haoyang worked on microinjection moulding, precision injection moulding, micro hot embossing,  freeform optics fabrication, and theirs applications on medical devices.

Amat Alvarez Max 

Internship (2019-2020)

"I am a student of engineering in industrial technologies in Barcelona, and between my third and fourth year of studies I collaborate in the projects of Dr. Zhang. My job is to develop new geometries and mechanisms for different areas of research and innovation. Additionally I have done a brief introduction in the area of polymer nanostructure replication. I hope to put my knowledge into practice and learn more, contributing as much as possible in the time I am in the UCD School of Engineering and Materials Science."

Weiwei Sun

Research Assistant (2019-2020)

"I am working in Nan's group as a Software Engineer. My work duties include software platform development, hardware integration and experimental platform setting. "

Lin Lin

Research Assistant (2019-2020)

"I worked in Nan's group as a System Appearance Designer. I was responsible for software platform user interface design and integration."

Ajith Manoharan

Master​ Student and Research Assistant (2018-2020)

"I worked in Nan's group during 2018-2020, firstly as his Master student and then a research assistant. My work is to accomplish the mechanical design for the experimetnal system, my duties include mechanical structure design & prototyping, sensor & controller  instrumentation, SolidWorks, actuation (PiezoDrive) and force sensor integration."

Anu S. S. Pillai

Master​ Student (2018-2019)

"I am interested in different parts of science and technology, I am always inspired by the recent development in both fields. I like to spend more times for reading thesis in Google Scholar and trying to do new things in my current working project. I would like to work in surface coatings of different materials like metals, polymers, ceramics, developing different nanoparticles with outstanding properties and I like to spent time for developing a compactable design for medical device."

Jingzhi Fan

Master​ Student (2018-2019)

"I am a Master student in UCD major in Materials Science and Engineering. My background is mostly about biomedical implants and I have quite a little experience in laboratories with polymer coating, crosslinking cryogel, and biodegradable stents. I am now working on a project about stents in Nan's group. I like all kinds of sports and always have curiosity to new things."

Lorcan O'Toole

B.Eng. (2016-2018)

Lorcan’s project on “The characterisation of the heat transfer coefficient between polymer melt and mould cavity during micro injection moulding experiments” is a keen research area for micro and nano scale manufacturing and replication as micro injection moulding is an extremely versatile and efficient processing method of polymeric components with micro features. 

Dudu Geng

Master​ Student (2016-2018)

"My background was initially in metallic materials, especially in welding. I studied the effects of welding crack defects for nearly two years in China before coming to Ireland.
I decided to come here to study as I wanted to learn some other aspects in materials science and obviously, UCD was my preference. One reason for this is that it offers an incredibly broad curriculum, from start-of-the-art medical device technology to the materials science behind nanomaterials like graphene. Wherever your interests lie, this programme will give you a broad yet detailed understanding of materials science and its engineering applications.
More importantly, through this one-year programme you will learn how to work and get
along with people from different backgrounds which will give you new perspectives on how to tackle problems and build your teamwork ability as well as leadership."

Jingchuan Zhang

Master​ Student (2016-2018)

Thesis Title: Continuous-flow sorting of protein corona using magnetic system in a microfluidics device.

"I graduated form UCD in 2017, now I’m an Engineer in a Biomedical Company. My main interests include biomaterials and medical devices. It has been an honor for me to have the opportunity to work in Dr Nan Zhang’s lab. And learn from so many experienced teachers and technicians. Wherever your interests lie, he will give you a broad yet detailed understanding of materials science and its engineering applications."

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