Zhengyao Li is currently a PhD student in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds (UK) under the supervision of Dr Tsavdaridis, while also being part of the KDT and Materials and Structures research groups. Prior to this, she studied Engineering Mechanics (BSc) at the Zhengzhou University (China) and Innovative Structural Materials (MSc) at the University of Bath (UK). After graduating from the master program, she joined the Australian engineering consulting company Wood and Grieve Engineering (WGE) as a Designer, working on the sustainability design for Australian projects, where she developed professional knowledge in the energy efficiency evaluation of buildings and the delivery of sustainable construction. In 2019, she joined the YWL Engineering Limited as a Structural Engineer and worked on Hong Kong airport tunnel construction. From January 2020, she started her PhD in the Design of Steel Connections for Timber Modular Buildings.
Zhengyao’s research interest and expertise include connection design for timber volumetric structures, exploring the possibility high-rise timber modular structures and aiming to propose a strong and adaptable connection solution. Interlocking techniques are employed in the connection proposed in this research to help improve the construction efficiency and structural performance of timber volumetric buildings. Along with members in 3DMBC, she is now exploring the utilisation of Advanced Structural Topology Optimisation (ASTO) in the connection design to achieve optimised performance and reduced weight of 3D printed connections. Her research is co-funded by the ‘Leverhulme Trust’ and the ‘Royal Academy of Engineering’ and in close collaboration with UK companies involved in steel connections for timber panels, hybrid structures using CLT, glulam beams and timber cassettes, and 3D printing technology.