• Ph.D., Brown University, 1993
  • Sc.M., Brown University, 1990
  • M.S., Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1985
  • B.S., Taiyuan Heavy Machinery Institute, China, 1982


Dr. Zhou began at Georgia Tech in 1995 as an Assistant Professor. Prior, he was a Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology.


  • Mechanics of Materials and Manufacturing; Micro- and nanoscale behavior, continuum and molecular dynamics modeling, experimental/computational mechanics, dynamic behavior, and fracture

Dr. Zhou's research interests concern material behavior over a wide range of length scales. His research emphasizes finite element and molecular dynamics simulations as well as experimental characterization with digital diagnostics. The objective is to provide guidance for the enhancement of performance through material design and synthesis. Dr. Zhou maintains a high-performance computer cluster with 384 parallel processors and an intermediate-to-high strain rate material research facility which includes a split Hopkinson pressure bar apparatus, a tension bar apparatus, and a combined torsion-tension/torsion-compression bar apparatus.

Recent research focuses on the characterization of the dynamic shear failure resistance of structural metals and the role of microscopic damage in influencing failure processes through shear banding and fracture. Micromechanical models are developed to outline microstructural adjustments that can improve the performance of materials such as metal matrix composites, ceramic composites, composite laminates and soft composites. These models explicitly account for random microstructures as well as random crack and microcrack development. At the nanoscale, ongoing research focuses on the novel shape memory and pseudoelasticity that were recently discovered in metal (e.g., Cu, Au and Ni) nanowires. The coupling between the thermal and mechanical responses of semiconducting oxide (e.g., ZnO and GaN) nanowires is another active research direction which uses molecular dynamics simulations and continuum modeling. Dr. Zhou's group is also actively engaged in research on the equivalent continuum (EC) representation of atomistic deformation at different length scales. Related research projects are sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Army Research Office (ARO), industry, and the Center for Computational Materials Design (CCMD).

  • Changjiang Professor, Ministry of Education of China, 2007
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers Fellow, 2005
  • Woodruff School Faculty Fellow, 2004-2009
  • Sigma Xi (Georgia Tech Chapter) Best Paper Award, 2004
  • Journal of Engineering Materials and Technology Associate Editor, 2001-2007
  • National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Award, 2000-2005

Representative Publications

  • A. J. Kulkarni1, M. Zhou, K. Sarasamak and S. Limpijumnong. 2006.  Novel Phase Transformation in ZnO Nanowires Under Tensile Loading. Physical Review Letters 97, 105502.
  • W. Liang and M. Zhou. 2006. Atomic Simulations Reveal Shape Memory of fcc Metal Nanowires.  Physical Review B 73, 115409.
  • K. Minnaar and M. Zhou. 2004.  A Novel Technique for Time-Resolved Detection and Tracking of Interfacial Fracture in Layered Materials. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solid, 52(12), 2771-2799.
  • M. Zhou. 2003. A New Look At The Atomic Level Virial Stress - On Continuum-Molecular System Equivalence. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A 459, 2347-2392.
  • J. Zhai and M. Zhou. 2000.  Finite Element Analysis of Micromechanical Failure Modes in Heterogeneous Brittle Solids. International Journal of Fracture 101, 161-180.