Dr. Lei Zhou
Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Associate Editor, Precision Engineering

Email: lei.zhou [AT]
Office: 2246 ME Bldg., 1513 University Ave, Madison, WI 53706

Faculty Directory Page | Curriculum Vita

Dr. Lei Zhou is an Assistant Professor with the ME and ECE department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is an Associate Director of WEMPEC. Dr. Zhou received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2019. Dr. Zhou also holds an MS (2014) in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and a BE in Control and Instrumentation Engineering from Tsinghua University.

At PMCL@UW-Madison, Dr. Zhou’s research focuses on developing novel and high-performance mechatronic solutions through exploiting the synergy between machine design, electric machines and drives, and control algorithms, thereby broadly impacting applications such as manufacturing and robotic systems. Her current research projects include the control co-design of over-actuated lightweight nanopositioning systems for high-throughput chip manufacturing, high-strength and transparent actuation and proprioceptive sensing for interactive robots, and the design and control of soft-robotic stamp transfer system for wafer-scale 2D electronics manufacturing.

Outside of work, Lei is also an amateur watercolor artist, an enthusiastic trail runner, and a loving cat owner.


Graduate Research Assistants


Laura Homiller

Email: laura.homiller [AT]

Laura is a Ph.D. student at UW-Madison. Laura received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2020, and her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UT-Austin in 2022. While at A&M, she did undergraduate research in biomechanics and bio-inspired power grid design, and interned at MathWorks. In her free time, Laura enjoys reading, being outside, and playing piano. She is currently working on the modeling and control of self-sensing bearingless motors.



Jingjie Wu

Email: jingjie.wu [AT]

Jingjie is a Ph.D. student at UW-Madison. He received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), during which he did research in bipedal locomotion using CPG to achieve orbital stability. He is currently working on hardware-control co-design towards lightweight and high-acceleration magnetically-suspended linear stages for semiconductor manufacturing applications. In his spare time, Jingjie enjoys staying at home and listening to music.



Ian L. Heyman

Email: ilheyman [AT]

Ian is a Ph.D. student at UT-Austin. He received his B.S. and M.S. from The University of Texas at Austin in 2020 and 2022, respectively. As an undergraduate student, he focused his course load in the area of Manufacturing and Design and worked as an undergraduate assistant for the machine tool operations course at UT. Ian is currently working on the design, building, and testings for a new type of magnetically suspended sample stage for X-ray microscope systems. Outside of the lab, he enjoys listening to and playing music, spending time with friends, and exploring Austin.



Junnan Gao

Email: junnan.gao[AT]

Junnan is a Ph.D. student at UW-Madison in the Mechanical Engineering department. He received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University (China) in 2019, where his research focused on vibration reduction and reduced order modeling. Then Junnan worked as a mechanical engineer for three years, and his work mainly involved finite element modeling, structure optimization, and vibration testing. In his free time, Junnan enjoys hiking and camping.




YiZhou Han

Email: han259[AT]

YiZhou is a Ph.D. student at UW-Madison in the Electrical & Computer Engineering department. YiZhou received his B.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison. He is currently working on designing the integrated motor/drive for vernier permanent magnet (VPM) motor. As an undergraduate, He worked on projects related to CMP(Chemical Mechanical Polishing) for the SCAM and high voltage/current sensor board design. In his spare time, he enjoys running, playing squash, and skiing.





Mohammad ErfaniMatin

Email: erfanimatin[at]

Mohammad is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his B.S. in 2019 and his M.S. in 2022, both in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Tehran. His research during his undergraduate and master’s studies was centered on the design, manufacturing, and development of a device for evaluating patient pain thresholds, as well as the design and implementation of predictive field-oriented control for permanent magnet linear synchronous actuators. In his leisure time, Mohammad enjoys listening to podcasts, reading books, engaging in workouts, and bouldering.




Seong-Hyo Ahn

Email: ahnseonghyo [AT]

Seong-Hyo is a Ph.D. student at UT-Austin under the joint supervision of Dr. Jamie Warner and Dr. Lei Zhou. Seong-Hyo received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He did undergraduate research in soft robotics and variable-stiffness continuum manipulator for endoscopic surgery. He is currently working on the design and development of a stamp-based thin film material transfer machine targeting the manufacturing of electronic components and circuits made of 2D materials. In his free time, Seong-Hyo enjoys playing with his cat and watching history documentaries.


Jixuan (Sean) Feng

Sean is pursuing his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He has graduating Summer 2022 from UT with B.S. degree. He began working with PMCL in Spring 2021 as a URA on the Vernier Permanent Magnet (VPM) motor project, which he is currently working on with Andrew Burch. In his free time, Sean enjoys cooking, working out, and playing disc golf.





Daniil Kirsannov

Daniil is a Fulbright Visiting Student at UT-Austin, where he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Daniil started his academic path at Saratov State Technical University pursuing a B.S. in Mechatronics and Robotics and working on the dynamics of various nonlinear systems. Danill then received M.S. in Robotics from Innopolis University in Russia, where he delved into modeling and control of twisted string actuators. His current research is devoted to the design of a novel linear soft electromagnetic actuator type. Except for work and study, Daniil’s great interests include politics, music, and cycling.





Undergraduate Research Assistants




Lab Alumni


Ithza Lopez, Master Student (2022/9-2023/12).






Abdel-Rahman Fahmy, Master Student (2020/9-2022/8), Process Engineer at Intel.





Haoxuan Mu, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2022/6-2023/3), currently graduate student at TAMU







Yifeng Liao, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2022/6-2023/3), currently graduate student at UT Austin




Jaeyun Song, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2021/6-2021/9), currently senior undergraduate student at UT Austin

Kevin Yu, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2022/9-2023/6), currently undergrad student at UT-Austin




Jonathan Tao, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2021/6-2021/12), currently incoming graduate student at UC Berkeley

Malek Ibrahim, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2021/6-2022/6) currently incoming graduate student at MIT

Tanten Jones, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2021/9-2022/9)

Andrew Burch, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2021/9-2022/9)


Fionn Whelan Undergraduate Research Assistant (2022/6-2022/9)






Peter Mathew, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2022/1-2022/9)




Paavani Rai, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2022/1-2022/9)



Alexa Aguilar Izquierdo

Ken Do