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ME Webinar Series - Soft materials as the new paradigm for energy technology

Event and Seminar

  • Date

    20 Dec 2022

  • Organiser

    Department of Mechanical Engineering, PolyU

  • Time

    09:30 - 10:30

  • Venue

    Zoom (the meeting link will be sent to successful registrants)  


e-Certificate of attendance will be provided. Latecomer or early leaver of the webinar might NOT be eligible for an attendance certificate.

Guest Speaker: Dr LIU Chang

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr Liu is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, where she works with Prof. Xuanhe Zhao and Prof. Nicholas X. Fang. She obtained her BEng and PhD degrees from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Hong Kong respectively. Dr Liu received interdisciplinary training in micro/nano-manufacturing, materials science, and electrochemistry, and her research focuses on novel energy technologies and materials for energy harvesting, energy saving, and water harvesting.

Soft materials as the new paradigm for energy technology


Two of the biggest challenges of the 21st century at the global level are the energy crisis and climate change. Hong Kong is under more severe pressure because no indigenous energy resources could secure the power needed to create a habitable indoor environment inside the high-rise commercial and residential buildings. To fulfill the escalating demands of electricity with minimum added carbon footprint, I resort to exploiting green energy technology with direct power generation, and on the other hand, reducing energy needs in major living environments and activities, for example, space temperature control, by using emerging hydrogel-based energy harvesters and advanced thermal management technologies (published in Energy & Environmental Science, Joule, and Nano Energy). As a very young field, energy applications built on soft materials suffer imperfect physical models and lack molecular-scale insights. My future research aims to develop valid models to describe microscopic interactions between polymers and surrounding media and push the performance records towards practical use for addressing societal challenges of energy shortage, carbon neutrality, and water scarcity.

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