Meng is currently working on two projects: 1) transport in polymer; 2) auxetic mechanical metamaterials. Her current research projects are cross-validated by experimental collaborators, including industrial patrons and the Sidney R. Nagel group from the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago. Before joining the de Pablo group, she worked on electrostatic-mediated self-assembly and polarization effects with Monica Olvera de la Cruz from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. She also collaborated with William Dichtel from the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University on self-assembly of organic nanotubes. Before that, she worked on the atomistic filtration mechanisms in reverse-osmosis membranes with Richard M. Lueptow and Sinan Keten from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University.
Her graduate research that led to a PhD in 2013 was conducted under the guidance of Pawel Keblinski from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). The graduate research from 2008 to 2013 was focused on the mechanisms of nanoscale phononic heat transfer.
She holds a BS and MS degree in materials physics from Fudan University, where she developed a dynamical finite element method to predict the lifetime of semiconductor packaging materials under thermo-mechanical stress.
Meng’s research specializes in the identification and quantification of interdependent and competing effects that govern the structural, mechanical, and transport properties of soft matter, by developing and using multiscale theoretical and computational methods. She has a general research interest in understanding counterintuitive physical phenomena, such as electrostatic-mediated self-assembly in a good solvent, ballistic heat transfer across van der Waals materials, and negative Poisson’s ratio of condensed materials, by analytical and numerical analysis. The goal is to guide the design of multi-functional materials by fundamental understandings.
Her current researches in the de Pablo group are: 1) the transport of small molecules in polymer matrices and interfaces; 2) understanding and designing networks for auxetic mechanical metamaterials.