H. Jerry Qi


JerryQi_midProfessor and ASME Fellow

The George Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Site Director, NSF IUCRC SHAP3D (Science of Heterogeneous Additive Printing of 3D Materials)

Office: MRDC 4104, RBI 377
Phone: 404-385-2457
Fax: 404-385-8535
Email: qih@me.gatech.edu


  • BS (1994), MS, PhD (1999), Tsinghua University
  • ScD (2003), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Postdoc Associate (2004), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professional Experience

  • 2016-Present, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 2014-2016, Associate Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 2010-2014, Associate Professor (tenured, 2010), University of Colorado Boulder
  • 2004-2010, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder


  • The ASME Warner T. Koiter Medal (2024)
  • The T. H. H. Pian Award from International Conference on Computational & Experimental Engineering and Sciences (2024)
  • James R. Rice Medal, Society of Engineering Science (2023)
  • Gerhard Kanig Lecture by the Berlin-Brandenburg Association for Polymer Research (2019)
  • Sigma Xi Best Faculty Paper Award (2018)
  • Yangtz River Scholar (Type B) (2018-2020)
  • ASME Fellow (2015)
  • The Woodruff Faculty Fellow (2015)
  • Tengfei Scholar Professor (Type B) of Xi’an Jiaotong University (2014-2017)
  • J. T. Oden Faculty Fellowship, UT Austin, (2012)
  • AFRL summer faculty fellowship (2010-2012)
  • Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Research Award (2009)
  • Mechanical Engineering Chair Faculty Fellow (2008)
  • NSF Career Award (2007)
  • Woodward Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Faculty (2006-2007)
  • University of Colorado Graduate School Junior Faculty Development Award (2005)

Research Areas

  • Mechanics and Physics of Polymers
  • Nonlinear constitutive models for soft materials
  • 3D printing of polymers and ceramics
  • 4D Printing
  • Polymer recycling and sustainability
  • Automated lab for material discovery

Dr. H. Jerry Qi is a Professor in the George W. Woodruff of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and the site director of NSF IUCRC SHAP3D (Science of Heterogeneous Additive Printing of 3D Materials). He received his bachelor’s degrees (dual degree), master and PhD degrees from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) and a ScD degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Boston, MA, USA). After one year postdoc at MIT, he joined University of Colorado Boulder as an Assistant Professor in 2004 and was promoted to an Associate Professor with tenure in 2010. He joined Georgia Tech in 2014 as an Associate Professor with tenure. Prof. Qi’s research is in the broad field of nonlinear mechanics of soft active materials (SAMs) and focuses on developing fundamental understanding of multi-field properties of soft active materials through experimentation and constitutive modeling then applying these understandings to application designs. He and his collaborators have been working on a wide range of soft active materials, including shape memory polymers, shape memory elastomeric composites, light activated polymers, covalent adaptable network polymers, for their interesting behaviors such as shape memory, light actuation, surface patterning, surface welding, healing, reprocessing, and recycling. He and his collaborators pioneered the 4D printing concept. Currently, his research focus is at the interface of mechanics, materials, additive manufacturing, and sustainability. He published more than 220 papers in peer-reviewed journals. His research has been funded by federal agencies, such as NSF, AFOSR, ONR, and DARPA, as well industry, including Sandia, Boston Scientific, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, HP, Toyota North America, etc. He is the founding chair of Mechanics of Soft Materials technical committee of Applied Mechanics division in ASME. He was the treasurer (2014-2018) and is a member of Board of Directors of the Society of Engineering Science (SES). He was elected to an ASME Fellow in 2015. He is a recipient of NSF CAREER award (2007), Sigma Xi Best Faculty Paper Award (2018), Gerhard Kanig Lecture by the Berlin-Brandenburg Association for Polymer Research (2019), the James R. Rice Medal from SES (2023), the T. H. H. Pian Award from International Conference on Computational & Experimental Engineering and Sciences (2024), and the ASME Warner T. Koiter Medal (2024).

Soft active materials (SAMs), such as shape memory polymers (SMPs), liquid crystal elastomers, hydrogels, light activated polymers (LAP), and dynamic covalent network polymers (or vitrimers), are at the forefront of materials research for multifunctional applications. They can generate large shape changes in response to environmental stimuli, such as heat, light, etc. The shape change of SAMs has inspired novel concepts for a plethora of applications, including morphing structures, actuators, and sensors. Their integration with 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) also leads to the birth of 4D printing. Dr. Qi has established an internationally recognized leading group in four areas 1) 4D printing; 2) multimaterial 3D printing techniques; 3) multiphysics modeling of SAMs; 4) polymer recycling.

4D printing Recent developments in 3D printing enable the precise placement of multiple materials to create complex 3D configurations. This unprecedented design freedom has motivated a myriad of studies and applications to create heterogeneous engineered structures. Dr. Qi and his collaborator (Prof. Martin Dunn, now at Univ. Colorado Denver) pioneered the concept of 4D printing, where the printed material/structure can change its shape after 3D printing, and time becomes the 4th dimension of the shape formation (Fig. 1a). In their 4D printing paper (Ge et al., Appl. Phys. Lett., 2013), which is the first journal paper in 4D printing field, they demonstrated this concept through printed active composites, in which the fiber material is an SMP. They also applied 4D printing to fabricate origami structures (Ge et al. Smart Mater. Struct., 2014). Since 2013, he has published about 100 papers in the 3D/4D printing area. Their works on 4D printing were widely reported by public media (more than 100 reports), such as Design News, Physics News, Composites Today, and GizMag, NPR, and ABC, etc. A figure in our work (Yuan, et al, Soft Matter, 2017) was included by Soft Matter in its promotional brochure in 2019. Today, 4D Printing has been identified as an emerging technology in the Gartner Technology Hype Cycle and has exploded worldwide as a new research and technology field with major funding initiatives by governments and industry in the US, Europe, and Asia. Recently, the 4D Printing Society was founded to bring together 4D Printing researchers from across the world. Because of his leadership in this field, the first in-person 4D printing conference was held at Georgia Tech in September 2023.

Multimaterial 3D printing techniques One highly demanded area in 3D printing is to fabricate parts with different properties, or multimaterial 3D printing. This is very challenging due to the drastic difference in processing conditions for materials of different properties. Dr. Qi group is the leading group in developing multimaterial 3D printing techniques for polymers. They developed a multi-material multi-method (m4) 3D printer (Roach, et al, Add. Manu., 2019), which is the first one in the world. They also combined two different printing techniques, direct ink write (DIW) and digit light processing (DLP) into one platform (Peng, et al., Add. Manu., 2021), by which they fabricated functional structures (Peng, et al., Adv. Mater., 2022; Roach, et al., Adv. Funct. Mater., 2022). Recently, they developed a novel single vat grayscale DLP (g-DLP) printing to create “multimaterial like” parts (Fig. 1b; Kuang et al., Sci. Adv., 2019; Yue, Nat. Comm., 2023). This new technology represents a breakthrough as DLP printing is traditionally regarded as a single material printing approach. Currently, they are working on licensing the g-DLP technique to a small start-up company.

Multiphysics modeling and applications of SAMs Dr. Qi’s work in this area mainly focuses on SMPs and LAPs. For SMPs, he and his collaborators identified two fundamental mechanisms that can lead to shape memory effects:  a dramatic change in relaxation time in amorphous polymers and phase evolution in semi-crystalline polymers. They developed two constitutive models based on these two mechanisms, respectively. These models are among the first two 3D constitutive models for SMPs (Qi, et al, J. Mech Phys. Solids (JMPS), 2008; Nguyen, et al, JMPS, 2008). LAPs are a novel group of SAMs that can deform upon light irradiation. They developed the first 3D constitutive model for LAPs (Long, et al., JMPS, 2009) by considering multi-physical processes, including light propagation, light-induced chemical reactions, material structure changes, and stress relaxation. They also used the model to guide the design of photo origami (Fig. 1c). This work (Ryu, et al., App. Phys. Lett., 2012) was selected for APL’s 50th Anniversary Collection. He has published about 50 papers related to SMPs and LAPs. The fundamental knowledge gained in studying SMPs and LAPs led to his pioneering work in 4D printing.

Polymer recycling Polymer recycling has become an increasingly important topic in the past 5-10 years. Dr, Qi’s work started with the modeling of vitrimers, which are network polymers containing dynamic bonds with bond exchange reactions (BERs). BERs can rearrange the network connections, leading to reshaping, welding, reprocessing, and recycling. He and his collaborator started to work on vitrimers in 2013. Their initial work on developing polyimine-based vitrimer and composites (Taynton et al., Advanced Materials, 2013, 2016) has led to a start-up company (Mallinda, Inc; https://mallinda.com/). They demonstrated the powder-based reprocessing of vitrimers (Yu et al., RSC Advances, 2014). They further developed the recycling method by using small molecules to decompose vitrimer. Several papers were published in this new approach, including one on the recycling of carbon fiber reinforced thermosetting composite (Yu, et al., Adv. Funct. Mater., 2016) and three issued patents. More recently, we developed a network polymer that can be depolymerized into monomers at low temperature (~200oC; Yue, et al., Adv. Mater., 2023, 2024). The polymer has properties that are close to the very popular but not recyclable PDMS.

NSF IUCRC SHAP3D SHAP3D (Science of Heterogeneous Additive Printing of 3D Materials) is an NSF Industry/University Collaborative Research Center and was established in 2018 by three universities (U Mass Lowell (lead), U Conn, and GT). It is the only NSF IUCRC on 3D printing. It conducts pre-competitive research and fills the gap between typical NSF fundamental research and higher TRL centers such as American Make. The industrial members (including past members) include Stratasys, HP, Markforged, Desktop Metal, Raytheon, Boeing, AFRL, Army Soldier Center, Army Armaments Center, Sandia, Akita, etc. It has funded more than 50 projects. It helped to increase the connections between university faculty and industry. SHAP3D has also trained graduate students. The center just finished its Phase I and is entering the Phase II.

For complete CV, click CV_qih.