Materials Research Science and Engineering Center
Graduate Student

Jiawei Yang
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Jiawei Yang is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He received a B.S. and Ph.D. in 2009 and 2015, both from Tongji University in China. Currently, he studies chemistry, physics, and mechanics of soft materials in the laboratory of Prof. Zhigang Suo. His research interest in the MRSEC IRG1, in collaboration with Profs. David Mooney and Joost Vlassak, is developing strong adhesion between diverse wet materials. He invents a new adhesion technique, called topological adhesion or molecular suture, that can achieve strong adhesion between hydrogels and tissues in the full range of pH and maintain softness and stretchability of interface. This technique can be further used in vivo in the human body, regardless of blood exposure, strongly bond hydrogel to many organs and even on a beating heart. This technique opens wide opportunities in various medical applications. He also advises many undergraduate students and visiting students to the MRSEC. Additionally, he has close and consistent collaborations with colleagues inside and outside the Center on much broader projects such as developing new tough hydrogels, investigating fatigue behaviors of hydrogels, and studying the mechanical instabilities of soft materials. He actively participates in the MRSEC IRG meetings and also in the annual New England Mechanics (New.MECH) workshops.