ERC Starting Grant for Dr Xiaoying Zhuang

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1.5 million euros of funding for a research project on innovative transducers: Dr Xiaoying Zhuang from the Institute of Continuum Mechanics has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant by the European Research Council in order to establish an independent research group.

Great success for the Institute of Continuum Mechanics: Dr Xiaoying Zhuang has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant. The European Research Council awards Starting Grants of up to 1.5 million euros to outstanding early-career researchers with excellent and visionary project ideas. The aim is to foster scientific independence of young researchers by establishing their own research groups.

The "COTOFLEXI" project, which is led by Xiaoying Zhuang, looks into computational modelling and optimisation of flexoelectric transducers. The interdisciplinary research group will create a software platform which will allow them to develop transducers faster and in a more reliable and systematic manner. Furthermore, the platform will enable researches to study and quantify fundamental phenomena in the field of physics. Ultimately, the project aims at producing and testing optimised new transducers by employing computational methods.

Flexoelectric transducers are frequently used in nano and microelectronics, as well as in medical engineering. Flexoelectric material exhibits internal stress and produces power when deformed. The flexible and non-toxic material could be used instead of battery-operated devices in wireless and mobile devices such as medical implants. For example, batteries in cardiac pacemakers must be replaced in follow-up procedures every ten or fifteen years. Flexoelectric material could solve this problem.

Dr Xiaoying Zhuang was born in 1983 in Shanghai and has already been awarded numerous grants. She received the Zienkiewicz Award for the best doctoral thesis in Computational Mechanics. In 2015, she was awarded the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, which enabled her to establish an independent research group at the Institute of Continuum Mechanics, which is led by Professor Wriggers.

Note to editors:

For further information, please contact Dr Xiaoying Zhuang, Institute of Continuum Mechanics at Leibniz University Hannover (Tel. +49 511 762 14439, Email