Invited Faculty Speaker Fall 2023

Rayne Zheng

Xiaoyu (Rayne) Zheng, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
University of California, Berkeley

BSAC Industry Members may watch this presentation here.*

Additive Manufacturing of Robotic Materials: Free-Form Actuators, Sensors and Beyond 


Additive manufacturing has shown the promise of freedom of designs, enabling parts customization and tailorable properties where superior structural performances can be achieved by a fraction of weight density compared to bulk material. However, it is presently difficult to directly print different materials (structural, dielectric, conducting, and ferroelectrics) to create a complex device with multiple functionalities that responds to multiple stimuli. Unlike biological systems where functions, including sensing, actuation, and control, are closely integrated, few materials have comparable system complexity.

In this talk, Professor Zheng will present a suite of new multi-material additive manufacturing processes and design methodologies to create materials with prescribed structural and functional behaviors. The structural materials consist of a network of micro-unit cells that collectively influence new mechanical behaviors (from high-strength, lightweight to toughening) not seen in their native counterpart. When combined with an electronic and functional phase, these materials turn themselves into a robot and is capable of motions with multiple degrees of freedom and amplification of displacement in a prescribed direction in response to an electric field (and vice versa), and thus, programmed motions with self-sensing and feedback control. Professor Zheng will present the manufacturing and synthesis of these materials, as well as their mechanics and design methods underpinning their novel behaviors.


Xiaoyu “Rayne” Zheng directs the Advanced Manufacturing and Metamaterials Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.   His group develops the next generation additive manufacturing processes, material designs, and synthesis approaches to create multi-functional materials and all-in-one devices with controlled architectures, compositions, and multi-scale features. Their work on ultralight, ultrastrong, and resilient metamaterials was featured in MIT Technology Review Top 10 Innovations and on the Cover of Science Magazine and Nature Materials.  Prior to his faculty career, Zheng received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University with the Best Dissertation Award and subsequently worked as a mechanical engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Prof. Zheng has over 50 publications and multiple patents including multiple Science and Nature Materials articles.  He has received multiple awards, including NSF CAREER Award, DARPA Young Faculty Award, DARPA Director’s Fellow, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, Air Force Young Investigator Award, Outstanding Assistant Professor Award, 3M Faculty Award, and Freeform Fabrication and Additive Manufacturing Excellence (FAME) Award.

*Only registered BSAC Industrial Members may view project materials & publications. Click here to request member-only access.