Jinying Zhu , Ph.D.

Contact Information:

205B PKI
Scott Campus (Omaha)
(402) 554-4459

Associate Professor

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • B.Eng. Zhejiang University

News - more awards in 2021

Clayton Malone received 2021 Lowe R. & Mavis M. Folsom Distinguished Masters Thesis Award (University wide) .
One PhD position is available in Dr. Zhu's research group, starting in 2022 Spring. 

Expected candidates should have strong motivation, high curiosity, solid academic records, and interest in wave mechanics and signal processing. Students who are interested in this position may send your CV and transcripts to Dr. Jinying Zhu.  Dr. Zhu's current research interests focus on 1) nonlinear ultrasonic waves and 2) the application of data science to bridge evaluation.

This position has been filled.  New positions might be available and will be announced in July/August. 

NDT-CE Alumini won 2021 Dissertation and Thesis Awards

Dr. Hongbin Sun received 2021 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from College of Engineering and Department of Civil and Envrionmental Engineering.

Clayton Malone received 2021 Outstanding Mater's Thesis Award from Department of Civil and Envrionmental Engineering.

We Won ACI-James Instruments Award AGAIN

Bibo Zhong, PhD student advised by Dr. Zhu, won 2020 ACI-James Instruments Award for his research on using the acoustoelastic effect to evaluate prestress loss in concrete.  

This is the second time our UNL students won this award.  Sepehr Pashoutani, also advised by Dr. Zhu, won this award for 2018 competition.  Since this award was established in 2020, four students advised by Dr. Zhu have won ACI-James Instruments Award (see the complete list).  Dr. Zhu was the 2002 awardee when she studied at University of Illinois.

Areas of Research and Professional Interest

  • Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation (NDT/NDE)
  • Wave propagation
  • Sensor development and sensing technologies
  • Material and damage characterization using ultrasonic waves

Research Profiles:


Zhu, J., Haberman, M., and Dai, X. "A high amplitude air-coupled acoustic source for non-destructive testing of materials and structures", U.S. patent pending, application number PCT/US2013/056146.

Courses Taught

Honors and Awards

ACI-James Instruments Research Award on NDT of Concrete, 2020 (awarded to student Bibo Zhong)
ACI-James Instruments Research Award on NDT of Concrete, 2018 (awarded to student Sepehr Pashoutani)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering Henry Y. Kleinkauf Family Distinguished New Faculty Teaching Award, 2017
ASNT Fellowship Award, The American Society for Nondestructive Testing, 2012
ACI-James Instruments Research Award on NDT of Concrete, 2012 (awarded to student Xiaowei Dai)
ACI-James Instruments Research Award on NDT of Concrete, 2011 (awarded to student Seong-Hoon Kee)
ASCE Excellence in Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Fellows, 2008
Mavis Memorial Scholarship, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004
ACI-James Instruments Research Award on NDT of Concrete, 2003


Current Projects

    • Nondestructive Diagnosis and Probabilistic Prognosis of Aging Plastic Pipe. USDOT, Pipeline Safety Research Competitive Academic Agreement Program. 9/1/2020-8/31/2023. PI.
    • MRI: Acquisition of an X-Ray Computed Tomography System at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for Advancing Multidisciplinary Research and Education in the Great Plains Region. National Science Foundation. Co-PI (PI: Joseph A Turner). 9/1/2019-8/31/2022.
    • Online Monitoring System for Concrete Structures Affected by Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR). Sponsor:  DOE Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP), 10/1/2016-9/30/2019, PI, $800,000.

 Completed Projects

    • Development and Implementation of a Moving Nondestructive Evaluation Platform for Bridge Deck Inspection, Sponsor: Nebraska Department of Roads, 7/1/2017 - 12/31/2018, PI , $159,583
    • STTR: Non-Destructive Concrete Interrogator and Strength of Materials, DoD Navy SSTR/ Karagozian & Case Inc, 2018, PI.
    • 3D Data Fusion and Visualization for Bridge Deck Evaluation Using Multi-Sensor NDE Techniques, University of Nebraska Collaboration Initiative/System Science Seed Grant, 7/2018-6/2020, PI
    • Inspection of Steel-Concrete Component, The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), 10/2017-7/2018, PI.
    • Development of a Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Tool for in-Situ Assessment of Prestressed Components, Sponsor: Nebraska Department of Roads, 7/1/2017 - 12/31/2018, PI , $79,880
    • Development and Implementation of a Moving Nondestructive Evaluation Platform for Bridge Deck Inspection, Sponsor: Nebraska Department of Roads, 7/1/2017 - 12/31/2018, PI , $159,583
    • Graphene Acoustic Transducers for Noncontact Evaluation of Materials. Sponsor: UNL Research Council Interdisciplinary Grant, Co-PI, $20,000
    • Condition Assessment of Bridge Decks with Asphalt Overlay. Sponsor: Nebraska Department of Roads, 7/1/2016 - 12/31/2017, PI (Co-PI: Richard Wood), $106,178
    • Automated Chain Drag Testing. Sponsor: Nebraska Department of Roads, 7/1/2015 - 12/31/2016, PI, $96,871
    • High Speed Non-Contact NDT of Rail Tracks Using an Innovative Spark Ultrasonic Source and Air-Coupled Transducers. Research Council Faculty Seed Grant, University of Nebraska, 1/1/ - 12/31/2015, PI, $10,000.
    • Field demonstration of concrete crawler with NDE Device and Mapping System, The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), 6/2012-8/2014, PI.
    • ASNT Fellowship Award: Analysis and Development of a Focused Spark Source for Air-Coupled Ultrasonic NDT, American Society of Non-destructive Testing (ASNT) Fellowship Award, 7/1/2012-8/31/2014, PI, $ 15,000.
    • Investigation of Alternative Supplementary Cementing Materials (SCMs), Texas Department of Transportation 9/1/2011-8/31/2014, Co-PI, $495,000.
    • Development of air-coupled sensing technology for rapid evaluation of bridge decks. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Technology Innovation Program (TIP). Subaward through Rutgers University. PI, $325,000 (plus $325,000 matching fund), 10/6/2010-1/31/2014.
    • Non-Destructive Evaluation of In-Service Concrete Structures Affected by Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) or Delayed Ettringite Formation (DEF), Texas Department of Transportation, 9/1/2009-8/31/2012, Co-PI, $997,998

Selected Publications

  • H Sun, J Zhu. (2020) Determination of acoustic nonlinearity parameters using thermal modulation of ultrasonic waves. Applied Physics Letters 116 (24), 241901 [Link]
  • Sun H, Zhu J. (2019) Thermal modulation of nonlinear ultrasonic wave for concrete damage evaluation. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 145(5):EL405-9. [Link]
  • Sun, H., & Zhu, J. (2020). Nondestructive evaluation of steel-concrete composite structure using high-frequency ultrasonic guided wave. Ultrasonics, 103, 106096. [Link]
  • Pashoutani, S., & Zhu, J. (2020). Ground Penetrating Radar Data Processing for Concrete Bridge Deck Evaluation. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 25(7), 04020030. [Link]
  • Sun, H., Pashoutani, S., & Zhu, J. (2018). Nondestructive Evaluation of Concrete Bridge Decks with Automated Acoustic Scanning System and Ground Penetrating Radar. Sensors, 18(6), 1955. [Link][PDF]
  • Sun, H., Zhu, J., & Ham, S. (2018). Automated Acoustic Scanning System for Delamination Detection in Concrete Bridge Decks. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 23(6), 04018027[Link]
  • Sun, H., Zhu, J., “Monitoring early age properties of cementitious material using ultrasonic guided waves in embedded rebar,” Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation   36:5(2017): 1-12.
  • Liu, S., Bundur Z. B., Zhu, J., and Ferron, R., “Evaluation of self-healing of internal cracks in biomimetic mortar using coda wave interferometry”, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 83, 70-78, May 2016.
  • Zhang, J., Chen, L., and Zhu, J., “Theoretical basis and numerical simulation of parallel seismic test for existing piles using flexural wave,” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 84, 13-21, May 2016.
  • Liu, S., Zhu, J., and Wu, Z. "Implementation of Coda Wave Interferometry Using Taylor Series Expansion." Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation 34.3 (2015): 1-6.
  • Liu, S., Zhu, J., Seraj, S., Cano, R., and Juenger, M. “Monitoring setting and hardening process of mortar and concrete using ultrasonic shear waves.” Construction and Building Materials, 72, 248–255, 2014
  • Remillieux, M. C., Anderson, B. E., Ulrich, T. J., Le Bas, P. Y., Haberman, M.R., and  Zhu, J.,  “Review of Air-Coupled Transduction for nondestructive Testing and evaluation,” Acoustics Today August 2014; 10(3):36-45. (Invited review paper)
  • Kee, S.H., and Zhu, J., “Surface wave transmission across a partially closed surface-breaking crack in concrete”, ACI Materials Journal, Vol.104, No.1, 35-46, January, 2014.
  • Dai, X., Zhu, J., and Haberman M., “A focused electric spark source for non-contact stress wave excitation in solids,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 134, EL513, 2013. 
  • Tsai, Y.T., Haberman M., and Zhu, J., “Transient solution for waves focused by a parabolic reflector”,  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 133, No.4, 2025-2035, April, 2013.
  • Oh, T., Kee, S.H., Arndt, R., Popovics, J.S, and Zhu, J., “Comparison of NDT methods for assessment of a concrete bridge deck,” ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 139, No. 3, March 1, 2013.
  • Kee, S.H., Oh, T., Popovics, J.S., Arndt, R., Zhu, J., “Nondestructive bridge deck testing with air-coupled impact-echo and infrared thermography”, ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 17, No. 6, 928-939, November  2012.
  • Tsai, Y.T., and Zhu, J., “Simulation and experiments of airborne zero-group-velocity Lamb waves in concrete plate”, Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation, Vol. 31, No. 4, 373-382, December 2012.
  • Zhang, Y., Wei X., Tsai, Y-T, Zhu, J., Fetrat, F.A., and Gucunski, N., “Multisensor data fusion for impact-echo testing of concrete structures,” Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 21, No. 7, 075021 (7pp), June 2012.
  • Zhu, J., Tsai, Y-T, Kee, S.H., “Monitoring early age property of cement and concrete using piezoceramic bender elements,” Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 20, No. 11, 115014 (7pp), October 2011.
  • Kee, S.H., Fernández-Gómez, E., and Zhu, J., “Evaluating surface-breaking cracks in concrete using air-coupled sensors”, ACI Materials Journal, Vol. 108, No. 5, 558-565, September-October 2011.
  • Dai, X., Zhu, J., Haberman M., and Tsai, Y-T, “Use of parabolic reflector to amplify in-air signals generated during Impact-Echo testing,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 130, No. 4, EL167-EL172 (6 pages), September 2011. 
  • Kee, S.H., and Zhu, J., "Surface wave transmission measurements across distributed surface-breaking cracks using air-coupled sensors." Journal of Sound and Vibration, Vol. 330, 5333–5344, 2011.
  • Zhu, J., Kee, S.H., Han, D., & Tsai, Y.-T., “Effects of air voids on ultrasonic wave propagation in early age cement pastes,” Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 41, No. 8, 872-881, August 2011.
  • Kee, S.H. and Zhu, J., “Effects of sensor locations on air-coupled surface wave transmission measurements across a surface-breaking crack,” IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, Vol. 58, No. 2, 427 – 436, February 2011.
  • Yuan, J., Zhu, J., and Kim, C.Y., “Comparison of SASW and MASW Methods using MSOR Approach – A Case Study,”, International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 233-238, April, 2014.
  • Kee, S.H., and Zhu, J., “Using low cost piezoelectric sensors for ultrasonic pulse velocity measurement in concrete,” Smart Materials and Structures, 22, 115016 (11pp), October, 2013.

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