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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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Research Output 2006 2019

  • 253 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
  • 34 Article
  • 2 Conference proceeding
  • 2 Abstract
Fatigue crack propagation
residual stress
Residual stresses
tensile stress

Characterisation of microstructure, defect and high-cycle-fatigue behaviour in a stainless steel joint processed by brazing

Li, Y., Zhang, X., Parfitt, D., Jones, S. & Chen, B., 1 May 2019, In : Materials Characterization. 151, p. 542-552 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

fatigue life
Stainless Steel
stainless steels
5 Citations (Scopus)

Criticality of porosity defects on the fatigue performance of wire + arc additive manufactured titanium alloy

Biswal, R., Zhang, X., Syed, A., Awd, M., Ding, J., Walther, F. & Williams, S., May 2019, In : International Journal of Fatigue. 122, p. 208-217 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Titanium Alloy
Titanium alloys

Evaluation of residual stresses induced by cold spraying of Ti-6Al-4V on Ti-6Al-4V substrates

Boruah, D., Ahmad, B., Lee, T. L., Kabra, S., Syed, A., McNutt, P., Doré, M. & Zhang, X., 11 Jun 2019, In : Surface and Coatings Technology. 374, p. 591-602 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

residual stress
Residual stresses

Experimental and numerical study of process-induced defects and theireffect on fatigue debonding in composite joints

Liu, Y., Zhang, X., Lemanski, S., Nezhad, H. Y. & Ayre, D., Aug 2019, In : International Journal of Fatigue. 125, p. 47-57 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Numerical Study
Experimental Study

Activities 2006 2013

  • 4 Editorial activity

Aerospace (Journal)

Xiang Zhang (Editorial Board Member)
1 Apr 2013

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Chinese Journal of Aeronautics (Journal)

Xiang Zhang (Editorial Board Member)
1 Jan 2013

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Journal of Materials: Design and Applications (Journal)

Xiang Zhang (Editorial Board Member)
1 Jan 201131 Dec 2016

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Proceedings of the IMechE. Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering (Journal)

Xiang Zhang (Associate Editor)
1 Jan 2006

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity