Travis Shihao Hu

Travis Shihao Hu
College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Office Location: ET A-429a
Phone: (323) 343-4486 Email:


If you are interested in joining the group send Dr. Hu an email.  We welcome talented and motivated students with different backgrounds (e.g., Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and Biology) to become an integral part of the Bio-Nano Materials and Interfaces Lab.  Student assistant positions are available throughout the year.


Nanomechanics and Nanomaterials; Interfacial Phenomena; Biomimetics and Bioinspiration; Multiscale Modeling and Simulation.


Dr. Travis Shihao Hu is a full time Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering with a background in Applied Mechanics and Materials Science.  Before joining the faculty at Cal State LA in 2016, he worked as a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at University of Denver (DU) for a year.  Prior to DU he spent over 3 years as a postdoctoral researcher at multiple institutes (i.e., Case Western Reserve University, University of Florida and University of Delaware) focusing on multifunctional and smart carbon, polymeric and hybrid materials for energy, biomedical and defense applications.


Dr. Hu’s teaching interests are at the crossroads of Solid Mechanics and Materials Science and Engineering, including: Statics; Strength of Materials; Fracture Mechanics; Fatigue and Failure; Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering; Composites; Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology; Nano-Tribology; Biomimetics and Biomimicry; Microstructural Characterization of Materials; Molecular Dynamics (MD) Simulations; Finite Element Analysis (FEA).


Dr. Hu’s research activities primarily concentrate in the areas of: i) Bio-/Nano-Materials and Mechanics; ii) Multifunctional and Energy Materials and Devices, and; iii) Nanotechnology Research, with emphasis on bio-inspired design, structure-function relationships, surface/interfacial interactions, transport phenomena and structural hierarchy.  He seeks organisms and biological systems as ‘elegant’ models to solve intricate engineering problems in an energy-efficient, eco-friendly and sustainable manner.  He is focused on addressing the emergent phenomena and properties across multiple length and temporal scales.  This new paradigm of bio-inspired research is aimed at the elucidation of some of the basic principles and mechanisms in nature, including animals, insects, and plants, in order to create next-generation smart materials and complex superstructures that are responsive to external stimuli, e.g., switchable dry/wet adhesives; active self-cleaning, anti-fouling, anti-bacterial surfaces; hierarchical/hybrid fibrils with self-healing and wear-prevention capabilities, water harvesting coatings and thin films.  These functional materials and structures are highly desirable in renewable energy, biomedical, environmental and defense applications.


  1. Shuangkun Zhang, Shafqat Ali, Hanlin Ma, Liqun Zhang, Zhanpeng Wu*, Dezhen Wu and Travis Shihao Hu*. Preparation of Poly(bis(phenoxy)phosphazene) and 31P NMR Analysis of Its Structural Defects under Various Synthesis Conditions. J. Phys. Chem. B, 2016 120 (43), 11307-11316.
  2. Wei Liu, Zhixiao Xu, Dezhen Wu, Zhanpeng Wu* and Travis Shihao Hu*. Systematic Synthesis of Polyimide@Inorganics Core-Shell Microspheres via Ion-exchange and Interfacial Reaction. Materials Letters 2016 177, 30-33.
  3. Quan Xu, Yiyang Wan, Travis Shihao Hu, and et al. Robust Self-cleaning and Micromanipulation Capabilities of Gecko Spatulae and Their Bio-mimics. Nature Communications 2015 6, 8949.
  4. Yuan Zhao, Shihao Hu, Wei Liu, and et al. “Nitrile Butadiene Rubber-Based Heat-Shielding Insulations for Solid Rocket Motors: Effect of Polyimide Fibrous Reinforcement on the Morphology and Properties” High Performance Polymers 2015 27, 153-160. 
  5. Zhijun Ma, Shihao Hu, Juay Seng Tan, and et al. “In Vitro and In Vivo Mechanical Properties of Human Ulnar and Median Nerves” Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A 2013 101A, 2718-2725.
  6. Shihao Hu, Zhenhai Xia and Liming Dai. “Advanced Gecko-Foot-Mimetic Dry Adhesives Based on Carbon Nanotubes” Nanoscale 2013 5, 475-486.
  7. Shihao Hu, Peter H. Niewiarowski and Zhenhai Xia. “Sticky yet Clean, The Secrets of the Gecko’s Adhesive System” G.I.T. Laboratory Journal 2012 16, 14-16.
  8. Shihao Hu, Stephanie M. Lopez, Peter H. Niewiarowski and Zhenhai Xia. “Dynamic Self-Cleaning in Gecko Setae via Digital Hyperextension” Journal of the Royal Society Interface 2012 9, 2781-2790. 
  9. Shihao Hu and Zhenhai Xia. “Rational Design and Nanofabrication of Gecko Inspired Fibrillar Adhesives” Small 2012 8, 2464-2468.
  10. Abhishek K. Kothari, Shihao Hu, Zhenhai Xia, Brian W. Sheldon and Erkan Konca. “Enhanced Fracture Toughness in Carbon Nanotube Reinforced Amorphous Silicon Nitride Nanocomposite Coatings” Acta Materialia 2012 60, 3333-3339.
  11. Shihao Hu, Zhenhai Xia and Xiaosheng Gao. “Strong Adhesion and Friction Coupling in Hierarchical Carbon Nanotube Arrays for Dry Adhesive Applications” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2012 4, 1972-1980.
  12. Shihao Hu, Haodan Jiang, Zhenhai Xia and Xiaosheng Gao. “Friction and Adhesion of Hierarchical Carbon Nanotube Structures for Biomimetic Dry Adhesives: Multiscale Modeling.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2010 2, 2570-2578.
  13. Shihao Hu, Jinsheng Liang, and et al. “Effect of Surface Free Energy on Easy-to-Clean Property of Ceramic Glaze.” Journal of the Chinese Ceramic Society 2008 36, 1282-1287.


  1. Shihao Hu, Zhenhai Xia. “Friction Enhanced Adhesion in Biomimetic Nanostructures” Advances in Heterogeneous Material Mechanics: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Heterogeneous Material Mechanics, Shanghai, China, 2011, 1146-1149.
  2. Lijuan Wang, Shihao Hu. “Study on the physical and chemical properties of easy-to-clean ceramics” North China Ceramic Society Ninth Symposium, Beijing, China, 2008.
  3. Lijuan Wang, Jinsheng Liang, Jiyuan Li, Shihao Hu. “Surface Free Energy of Ceramic Glaze and the Influential Factors” Proceedings of the Second Ecological Building Materials and Materials Selection for Green Building, Beijing, China, 2007, 200-205.


Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering 2012

  • University of Akron
    Akron, OH, USA

M.S. Materials Physics and Chemistry 2008

  • Hebei University of Technology
    Tianjin, China

B.S. Materials Science and Engineering 2005

  • Hebei University of Technology
    Tianjin, China