Faculty Directory
Zhengtao Gan

Research Assistant Professor


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech A315
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

773-865-0314Email Zhengtao Gan


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Mechanical Engineering

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Postdoc Sep. 2017 – Sep. 2019

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Advisor: Prof. Wing Kam Liu


Ph.D. Sep. 2012 - Jul. 2017

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Institute of Mechanics

Advisors: Profs. Gang Yu and Xiuli He


B.E.  Sep. 2008 - Jul. 2012  

Chongqing University, China

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Research Interests


Multiscale and multiphysics modeling for advanced manufacturing. I am interested in the development of three-dimensional thermal-fluid-mechanical models incorporating physics at multiple scales for advanced manufacturing, such as additive manufacturing of metals and polymer. The model predictions were validated by highly controlled benchmark experiments conducted by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Northwestern team led by me was identified as Top Performer in AFRL Additive Manufacturing Modeling Challenge Series: Micro-scale Process-to-Structure Predictions (2020). My modeling work was also awarded 1st places by NIST for the best modeling results predicting the cooling rate, grain structure and dendritic microstructure in AM-Bench 2018.


Mechanistic data science for engineering. I am interested in data-driven discovery for engineering problems, which is a multidisciplinary field including mechanics, material, physics and computer science. I am developing data-driven methods and theories to understand the relationships between input parameters and final performance of a system and discover reduced-embedded structures and hidden physical laws in the data. I and my collaborators in Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) discovered strikingly simple but universal scaling laws using high-fidelity high-speed synchrotron x-ray imaging and multiphysics modeling. Dimensional analysis and machine learning were leveraged to identify a new dimensionless number, “Keyhole number”, to predict vapor depression aspect ratio and porosity formation in additive manufacturing. 

Selected Publications

    Gan, Z., Kafka, O. L., Parab, N., Zhao, C., Heinonen, O., Sun, T., & Liu, W. (2020). Universal low-dimensional scaling laws in 3D printing of metals. arXiv preprint arXiv:2005.00117.

    Wolff, S.J., Gan, Z., Lin, S., Bennett, J.L., Yan, W., Hyatt, G., Ehmann, K.F., Wagner, G.J., Liu, W.K. and Cao, J. (2019). Experimentally validated predictions of thermal history and microhardness in laser-deposited Inconel 718 on carbon steel. Additive Manufacturing (S. Wolf and Z. Gan contributed equally).

    Lian, Y., Gan, Z., Yu, C., Kats, D., Liu, W. K., & Wagner, G. J. (2019). A cellular automaton finite volume method for microstructure evolution during additive manufacturing. Materials & Design, 107672.

    Gan, Z., Li, H., Wolff, S.J., Bennett, J.L., Hyatt, G., Wagner, G.J., Cao, J. and Liu, W.K. (2019). Data-Driven Microstructure and Microhardness Design in Additive Manufacturing Using a Self-Organizing Map. Engineering, 5(4), 730-735.

    Gan, Z., Lian, Y., Lin, S.E., Jones, K.K., Liu, W.K. and Wagner, G.J. (2019). Benchmark study of thermal behavior, surface topography, and dendritic microstructure in selective laser melting of Inconel 625. Integrating Materials and Manufacturing Innovation, Special issue: Additive Manufacturing Benchmarks 2018, 1-16.

    Gan, Z., Yu, G., He, X. and Li, S. (2017). Numerical simulation of thermal behavior and multicomponent mass transfer in direct laser deposition of Co-base alloy on steel, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 104: 28-38. 

    Gan, Z., Yu, G., He, X. and Li, S. (2017). Surface-active element transport and its effect on liquid metal flow in laser-assisted additive manufacturing, International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer 86: 206-214.

    Gan, Z., Liu, H., Li, S., He, X. and Yu, G. (2017). Modeling of thermal behavior and mass transport in multi-layer laser additive manufacturing, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 111: 709-722.