Flexible Structures Laboratory &
Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
MED 0 1726, Station 9
CH-1015, Lausanne
email: tian.chen@epfl.ch
Tel.: +41 78 835 07 23


Nationality: Canadian
Website: timchen.ca


Post Doctoral ResearcherJan. 2019 - Present
Flexible Structures Laboratory & Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory
EPFL, Switzerland
Graduate ResearcherSept. 2014 - Dec. 2018
Engineering Design and Computing Laboratory, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Junior Structural EngineerJune 2013 - June 2014
Arup, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Junior Structural DesignerNov. 2010 - Apr. 2012
Morrison Hershfield, Toronto, ON, Canada


Doctor of Sciences, Mechanical and Process Engineering Dec. 2018
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Advisor: Kristina Shea
Visiting Researcher, Mechanical and Civil Engineering June - Oct. 2017
California Institute of Technology, USA
Advisor: Chiara Daraio
Master of Science, Civil Engineering, Cum Laude June 2014
Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
Advisor: Pierre Hoogenboom
Bachelor of Applied Science, Engineering Science, Major: Infrastructure Engineering June 2010
University of Toronto, ON, Canada


Technical CompetenciesSoftware packages
  • Numerical analyses - FEM, CFD
  • Mathematical programming
  • Analysis - Numerical, Symbolic
  • Algorithmic design
  • Scientific programming
  • Experimental work
  • Abaqus, ANSYS, Fluent
  • Oasys GSA, SAP2000
  • Rhino3D, Grasshopper
  • NX, Catia, Solidworks, Revit
  • Matlab, Python, Maple
  • HMTL, CSS, Javascript, PHP, AJAX


Master Theses
  1. Koh, M., (2017), "Designing Activated Buckling Structures Using FDM 3D Printing".
    Current Position: Research assistant at EDAC, ETHZ.
  2. Du Pasquier, C., (2017), "Modular Pneumatic Toolkit: an Application of 4D-Printing".
    Current Position: Doctoral candidate at EDAC, ETHZ.
  3. Wagner, M., (2016), "Design of 3D Printed Active Stuctures Using Shape Memory Polymers".
    Current Position: Doctoral candidate at Laboratory of Nanometallurgy, ETHZ.
  4. Liu, J., (2016), "Mechanical Properties of Multi-Material Structures Fabricated with Inkjet 3D Printing".
    Current Position: Omron Automotive Technologies, Inc., Toronto, ON., Canada.
  5. Zimmermann, L., (2015), "Generative Design through the Combination of 3D Shape Grammar and Simulation".
    Current Position: Doctoral candidate at EDAC, ETHZ,
Other Projects
  1. Ulrich ,L., (2018), "Effect of Poisson's Ratio on Energy trapping Meta-material". In progress.
  2. Sala, J., (2018), "Design of Rotational Multi-stable Joints". In progress.
  3. Volk, C., (2018), "Magnetically Controlled Reversible Appendage". In progress.
  4. Mueller, M., (2018), "Passively Actuated Photovoltaic Array". In progress.
  5. Freitag, J., (2017), "Synthesis of a Reversible Shape Memory Polymer for Stereolithography". In progress.
  6. Fritzsche, D., (2017), "Shape Transforming Polymer Sheets".
  7. Sesseg, J., (2017), "Synthesis of Light Activated SLA Resin".
  8. Felber, R., (2017), "Light Controlled 3D Printed Rotating Platform".
  9. Koh, M., (2016), "Design and Analysis of 3D Printed Bistable Structures".


Teaching Assistant - Engineering Design Optimization
D-MAVT, ETH Zurich
Teaching Assistant - CAD and Technical Drawing
D-MAVT, ETH Zurich
Teaching Assistant - Structures and Materials
Engineering Science, University of Toronto
Teaching Assistant - Praxis II
Engineering Science, University of Toronto


Harnessing bistability for directional propulsion of untethered, soft robots

2018No Motor, No Battery, No Problem
Caltech News
2018Motorless swimming robot powers ahead as the temperature rises
New Atlas
2018New robot concept uses responsive materials to swim through water
Tech Xplore
2018Robots capable of self-propulsion
Science Daily
2018No Motor, No Battery, No Problem
My Science

Rethinking Intelligence

2017Rethinking Intelligence
ETH Zurich, World Economic Forum

Large Shape Transforming 4D Auxetic Structures

20183D printing unlimited: From tooth enamel to 4D printing
ETH Zurich Globe Magazine: Manufacturing redefined, Issue:4
2017Researchers Achieve 4D Printing of Programmable Shape-Changing Structures
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Tunable, Multi-State Structures

2017ETH Zurich's 4d Printed Structures Self-Deploy and Have Shape Memory
3D Printing Industry
2017Fabrication technology in the fourth dimension
ETH Zurich News (English)
2017Die vierte Dimension in der Fertigungstechnik
ETH Zurich News (German)
2017ETH Zurich Researchers Develop Load-Bearing 4D Printed Structures
3D Printing
2017Eth zurich demonstrates self-assembling 4d printed "deployable and active" trusses
3D Printing Industry
2017Watch 4D-printed object become a sturdy dome - Futurity
2017Fabrication technology in the fourth dimension
2017Neues Verfahren ermoeglicht Drucken in der vierten Dimension
APA (German)
2017Die vierte Dimension in der Fertigungstechnik
Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (German)
2017Die vierte Dimension in der Fertigungstechnik
Jura Forum (German)
2017Arrivano le stampanti 4D: gli oggetti potranno cambiare forma nel tempo
La Repubblica (Italian)


Cum Laude (graduating top 5%)
Delft University of Technology
Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award
University of Toronto
Spirit of Engsci Award
Engineering Science, University of Toronto
Engineering Society Award
Engineering Society, University of Toronto