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Photo of Prof Meiling Zhu

Prof Meiling Zhu

Chair in Mechanical Engineering

 (Streatham) 5869

 01392 725869


I am Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Founder and Head of the Energy Harvesting Research Group, studying energy harvesting, power management, wireless sensing, and integration and characterisation with a particular focus on energy harvesting powered wireless sensor system technologies at the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Exeter. I am also Founder of Encortec Limited company, won a commendation in innovation of 2021 Tech South West Award, and developing a fully “fit and forget” energy harvesting powered wireless sensor technology, products and data service for applications such as rail track and industrial plant condition monitoring thus enabling truly predictive and preventative maintenance routines.   I am mechanical engineering by my early qualification but with my career progress, my research is multi-disciplinary, encompassing materials, physics, mechanical, electrical and electronic sciences and engineering, and information and communication technology.

I received my BEng in Mechanical Manufacturing in 1989, MEng in Applied Mechanics in 1992 and PhD in Mechanical Dynamics in 1994 at Southeast University, Nanjing, China. I joined the University of Exeter as Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Head of Energy Harvesting Research Group in 2013. Prior to joining Exeter, I was a Senior Lecturer in Energy Harvesting (2012-13), a Senior Research Fellow (2007-12), a Research Officer (2002-06) at the Department of Manufacturing and Materials of Cranfield University; a Research Fellow at the Biomechanical Research Group of the University of Leeds (2001-2); an awarded a prestigious Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt at the Institut B für Mechanik of Stuttgart Universität (1999-2001); a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (1998-9); and an Associate Professor (1996-8) and a Post doctor (1995-6) at the Institute of Vibration Engineering Research of the Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics.

Over the last 10+ years, I have led the Energy Harvesting Research Group with a number of research grants from EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), EU-FP7 programmes, DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), IMRC (Cranfield Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre funded by EPSRC), IVHM (Cranfield Integrated Vehicle Health Management Centre) and industries. I have been awarded a total of around £5.0 million research funding as PI and £6.7 million as co-I for a number of research projects in the areas of my interests. Currently, I am the PI of £1.4M Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) funded project of "zero power, wide area rail track monitoring", collaborating with Network Rail,  and the Royal Society funded Industry Fellow with a project of  "high performance energy harvesting sensor systems", collaborating with Babcock International Group.  These two technology demonstrators are featured in two articles “Transforming Vibration into Usable Electricity to Continuously Power the Industrial Internet of Things”  and “Energy Harvesting Powered Rail Track Sensor Technology is Becoming a Reality”, all in IMECHE Professional Engineering Magzine, 2021.

I am elected Fellow of Institute of Mechanical Engineering (FIMechE) and Fellow of Institute of Physics (FInstP), awarded Royal Society Industry Fellow (FRSInd) and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, and  Member of the Institute of Physics (MInstP) and Chartered Engineer (CEng).

I enjoy supporting early career researchers into sciences and engineering. I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers. I teach three modules of Materials and Manufacturing  for year-one students, Structural Dynamics  for year-three students and Mechatronics for year-four students  at the University of Exeter. I welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in Master by Research and PhD study on energy harvesting, power management and wireless sensing system for applications.

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  • Elvin N, Erturk A. (2013) Introduction and Methods of Mechanical Energy Harvesting, Advances in Energy Harvesting Methods, Springer New York, 3-14, DOI:10.1007/978-1-4614-5705-3_1. [PDF]
  • Daniels A, Zhu M, Tiwari A. (2013) Evaluation of Piezoelectric Material Properties for a Higher Power Output from Energy Harvesters with Insight into Material Selection Using a Coupled Piezoelectric-Circuit Finite Element Analyses, IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, volume 60, no. 2, pages 2626-2633.
  • Pozzi M, Zhu M. (2013) Advances in Energy Harvesting Methods, Advances in Energy Harvesting Methods, Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Marsic V, Zhu M. (2013) Duty-cycle passive time characterisation for input power and energy storage variation of an energy harvesting tailored wireless sensing system, 13TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MICRO AND NANOTECHNOLOGY FOR POWER GENERATION AND ENERGY CONVERSION APPLICATIONS (POWERMEMS 2013), article no. 012102.
  • Marsic V, Giuliano A, Zhu M. (2013) Low Power Consumption Wireless Sensor Communication System Integrated with an Energy Harvesting Power Source, Sensors and Transducers, volume 18, no. SPEC.ISS.1, pages 156-165.
  • Giuliano A, Zhu M. (2013) Experimental study of a passive impedance matching interface based on a centimeter-size high inductance coil for practically enhanced piezoelectric energy harvester performance at low frequency, Proceedings - 2013 IEEE International Conference on Green Computing and Communications and IEEE Internet of Things and IEEE Cyber, Physical and Social Computing, GreenCom-iThings-CPSCom 2013, pages 1659-1661, DOI:10.1109/GreenCom-iThings-CPSCom.2013.301.
  • Daniels A, Giuliano A, Zhu M, Tiwari A. (2013) Modeling, validation and design analyses of a piezoelectric cymbal transducer for non-resonant energy harvesting, Proceedings - 2013 IEEE International Conference on Green Computing and Communications and IEEE Internet of Things and IEEE Cyber, Physical and Social Computing, GreenCom-iThings-CPSCom 2013, pages 1665-1667, DOI:10.1109/GreenCom-iThings-CPSCom.2013.303.
  • Daniels A, Zhu M, Tiwari A. (2013) Design, analysis and testing of a piezoelectric flex transducer for harvesting bio-kinetic energy, Journal of Physics: Conference Series, volume 476, no. 1, DOI:10.1088/1742-6596/476/1/012047.







  • Gkotsis P, Leighton G, Bhattacharyya D, Wright RV, Zhu M, Kirby PB, Saharil F, Oberhammer J, Göran S. (2007) Crystal growth template removal: application to stress reduction in PZT microstructures, 19th International Symposium on Integrated Ferroelectrics, Bordeaux, France, 8th - 11th May 2007.
  • Zhu M. (2007) A Study on stability analysis and response control of a rotor system with electromagnetic forces, ASME Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, volume 120, no. 1, pages 244-246, DOI:10.1115/1.2818083.



  • Ming, Y, Zhu M, Richardson, R.C., Levesley, M.C., Walker, P.G., Watterson, K. (2005) Design and evaluation of linear ultrasonic motors for a cardiac compression assist device, Sensors and Actuators, A: Physical, volume 119, no. 1, pages 214-220.
  • Zhu M, Kirby PB. (2005) High-Q micro-machined piezoelectric mechanical filters using coupled cantilever beams, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, volume 5836, pages 516-526, DOI:10.1117/12.607248.



  • Zhu M, Kirby P, Lim M. (2003) Modelling of a Tri-axial Micro-Accelerometer with Piezoelectric Thin Film Sensing, Proceedings of IEEE Sensors, volume 2, no. 2, pages 1239-1244.



  • Zhu M, Lee S-WR, Zhang T-Y, Tong P. (2000) An analytical method of extension-twisting coupling vibration of piezoelectric composite laminates, RECENT ADVANCES, Soutampton, Uk.
  • Zhu M, Lee S-WR, Zhang T-Y, Tong P. (2000) Analytical modeling of a rotary motor driven by an anisotropic piezoelectric composite laminate, International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies, Paris, France.
  • Lee S-WR, Zhu, M.-L., Wong, H.L. (2000) Modelling for prototyping of rotary piezoelectric motors, COMPUTATIONAL METHODS FOR SMART STRUCTURES AND MATERIALS II, volume 7, pages 27-30.
  • Zhu ML, Lee RWR, Zhang TY, Tong P. (2000) Modeling of a rotary motor driven by an anisotropie piezoelectric composite laminate, IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, volume 47, no. 6, pages 1561-1574, DOI:10.1109/58.883545.
  • Lee SWR, Zhu ML, Wong HL. (2000) Modeling for prototyping of rotary piezoelectric motors, Structures and Materials, volume 7, pages 21-30.

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