Dr Yan Zhang PhD

Dr Yan Zhang

School of Chemical Engineering
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Chemical Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Yan Zhang is a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering. He has carried out research projects in various industries including electronics manufacturing, additive manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. His main research interests are materials science and engineering, surface and interface science, and micro/nano-fabrication.


  • PhD in Inkjet Printing 2013
  • MEng in Materials Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate School, 2008
  • BEng in Materials Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, 2006


Yan graduated from Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) with a BEng degree in the School of Materials Science and Engineering in 2006. He shortly joined Professor Mingyu Li’s research group in HIT Shenzhen graduate school to work on electro-migration in lead-free solder joints for a MEng degree. He accepted a full scholarship from Loughborough University in 2008 to pursue his PhD on the topic of inkjet printing in printed electronics.

After obtaining his PhD, Yan commenced his full-time academic research career with Prof. Mike Adams and Prof. Zhibing Zhang (Micromanipulation and Microencapsulation Research Group) in collaboration with DSM Nutritional Products (Switzerland) to characterise composite vitamin A microparticles used for tableting and improve their shelf life. Following this one-year project, he moved on to the Centre for Materials and Structures in University of Liverpool to take up a KTP project in collaboration with an industrial partner to design and characterise metal powders for additive manufacturing. He re-joined University of Birmingham later to work on the microencapsulation of phase change materials for cryogenic energy storage with Dr. Yongliang Li (Birmingham Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage) and Prof. Zhibing Zhang.


Yan is currently working on microencapsulation of phase change materials for cryogenic energy storage. His research includes identification and formulation of shell materials, microcapsule fabrication using emulsification, as well as characterisation of both the mechanical and thermal performances of formulated microcapsules.

His previous work with DSM led to some novel results in successful plasticisation of Carnauba wax which is brittle in nature with food grade additives. A patent has been filed with EPO by the collaborating company.

Other activities

  • Member of the American Chemical Society


  1. Zhang, Y, Adams, M.J., Zhang, Z, Vidoni, O, Leuenberger, B.H. and Achkar, J. (2016), Plasticisation of carnauba wax with generally recognised as safe (GRAS) additives. Polymer, 86: 208-219
  2. Zhang, Y, Liu, C. and Whalley, D.C. (2015), A mechanism of the penetration limit for producing holes in polymer films by inkjet etching. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 48: 455501
  3. Zhang, Y, Liu, C. and Whalley, D.C. (2013), The effect of substrate temperature on the size development and aspect ratio of via holes in polymer thin films. Applied Physics Letters, 102: 103303
  4. Zhang, Y, Liu, C. and Whalley, D.C. (2012), The penetration limit of poly(4-vinyl phenol) thin films for etching via holes by inkjet printing. Applied Physics Letters, 101: 253302
  5. Zhang, Y, Liu, C. and Whalley, D.C. (2012), The effect of droplet ejection frequency on the dimensions of inkjet-etched micro-via holes in poly(4-vinyl phenol) thin films. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 45: 125303

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