Soft Matter Emerging Investigator – Lihua Jin

Lihua Jin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Before joining UCLA in 2016, she was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University. In 2014, she obtained her PhD degree in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University. Prior to that, she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Fudan University. Lihua conducts research on mechanics of soft materials, stimuli-responsive materials, instability and fracture, soft robotics, and biomechanics. She was the winner of the Haythornthwaite Research Initiative Grant, Extreme Mechanics Letters Young Investigator Award, Hellman Fellowship, NSF CAREER Award, ACS PMSE Early Investigator Award, and Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award.

Find more about Lihua’s work via:


Read Lihua’s Emerging Investigator article 


How do you feel about Soft Matter as a place to publish research on this topic?
Soft Matter has a broad audience, and is a go-to journal for many of our works. It’s a perfect place for this topic.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment and what do you find most challenging about your research?

Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are elastomers with liquid crystal mesogens on the polymer networks. They exhibit significant viscoelasticity. Prior works have mainly characterized the macroscopic rate-dependent behavior of LCEs. In our work, we systematically measure the macroscopic rate-dependent stress and microscopic rate-dependent mesogen reorientation as functions of external strain, and further predict the viscoelastic behavior of LCEs by an analytical model, which connects the macroscopic and microscopic parameters, and shows good agreement with the experimental results.

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