Associate Professor Zhang is the Western Sydney University Research Theme Champion on Environment and Sustainability and university-wide Discipline Leader for Civil and Environmental Engineering. She joined Western Sydney University in Jan. 2019. Before that she worked in the University of New South Wales for 15 years staying 11 years in UNSW, Canberra since 2007 as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and then Associate Professor. She received her PhD on Structural Engineering from the University of Hong Kong in 2001. She was awarded the Postgraduate Certificate for Higher Education by UNSW in 2007.
She has strong interest in Environment and Sustainability, and has strong expertise on advanced composite materials including construction and building materials in Civil Engineering and composites in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering She has been working on novel and green cement, green cementitious composites by using industry byproducts and high-performance fibre reinforced cementitious composite aiming to achieve durable, resilient and sustainable infrastructures. She has a strong expertise on numerical modelling and analysis. In addition to using the experimental technique she also uses advanced numerical modelling technique to calibrate the mechanical behaviour of materials and model the structural behaviour including under extreme loading conditions such as impact/blast/fatigue/fire loadings. Till Nov. 2019, she has published over 230 peer-reviewed scholarly research papers including more than 80 research papers in top international journals in her research areas. She was awarded research grant of over $2.5 millions from various schemes including Australian Research Council (ARC), Australia Defence and government.
She was awarded the Spitfire Defence Memorial Fellowship in 2011 and received by the Australian Governor in General for her research on impact-resistance construction material. She has served as local organisation committee and international technical committee member or advisory board member for over 15 international conferences. She has been a frequent reviewer for up to 20 leading International journals.