Photo of Xiang Zhang
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Personal profile



Xiang Zhang joined Coventry University in January 2015 as Professor of Structural Integrity. Prior to this position, she had academic appointments at Cranfield University (1997-2014) and Imperial College London (1990-96). Her industrial work experience includes working for the Chinese Aeronautical Establishment as a research engineer (1981-86). She has degrees in aeronautical engineering from the Northwestern Polytechnical University in China (MSc) and Imperial College London (PhD). She is a registered Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

She has over 30 years’ experience in the field of aerospace structures and materials, specialising in the durability and failure analysis, for both metallic and composite materials and structures. She has a particular interest in the application of finite element method for modelling and predicting structural failures, including fatigue, fracture, delamination and impact damage, using fracture mechanics based approaches. She has published over 160 papers in this field.  She has a number of UK government, European Council, and industrial funded research projects, has supervised 8 PhD students and 14 MSc-by-Research students to successful completion, and is currently supervising 10 PhD students.

Her external duties include Visiting Professor to Northwestern Polytechnical University (China), Associate Editor of the Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Editorial Board member for the Aerospace journal and the Chinese Aerospace Journal, and member of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Specialist Group for Structures and Materials. She collaborates widely with international organisations in China, Singapore and Europe. She was awarded the Helmholtz International Fellow in 2016. 

Research Interests; Fatigue and Fracture Failure; Impact Damage; Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites; Light-Weight Metallics; Fracture Mechanics; Finite Element Method


Vision Statement

Structural Integrity is an important area in the design, certification, manufacture and operation of engineering products. Having focused mainly on the aerospace materials and structures, I’m ready to perform research also in the Energy and Automotive Sectors. My mission is to develop analysis models and design tools for safer and lighter structures. A step change can be made in the structural performance if we integrate the advanced materials and innovative manufacturing technologies with novel design solutions. It is also important to keep working on both the metallic and composite material fronts to respond to the industrial requirements.


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