Professor Dr. Song Zhang

 Professor Dr. Song Zhang

Associate Professor, Fellow of SPIE and OSA

School of Mechanical Engineering

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Email:, Tel: 765-496-0389



Dr. Song Zhang is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Stony Brook University in 2005; spent three years at Harvard as a postdoctoral fellow; and then worked at Iowa State University for more than 6 years before joining Purdue in January 2015. Dr. Zhang has published 116 journal articles; co-authored 7 book chapters; wrote one book; edited one book; and filed 11 patent applications (3 granted). 15 of his journal articles were selected as cover page highlights. His publications have been cited over 7,300 citations with an h-index of 42.  Besides being extensively utilized in academia, the technologies that his team developed have been used by rock band Radiohead to create a music video House of Cards; and by the Zaftig Films to produce a movie Focus (II).  He has won AIAA Best Paper Award, IEEE ROBIO Best Conference Paper Award, Best of SIGGRAPH Disney Emerging Technologies Award, the NSF CAREER award, Stony Brook University’s “Forty under 40 Alumni Award”, Discovery in Mechanical Engineering Award, and College of Engineering Early Career Faculty Research Excellence Awards from both Iowa State University and Purdue University. He is a fellow of SPIE and Optical Society of America (OSA).

MBL meets OPTIMESS 2019 lecture:

"High-speed 3D shape measurement and applications"

Advances in optical imaging and machine/computer vision have provided integrated smart sensing systems for the manufacturing industry; and advanced 3D shape measurement could have profound impact on numerous fields, with broader applications including manufacturing, biomedical engineering, homeland security, and entertainment. Our research addresses the challenges in high-speed, high-resolution 3D shape measurement and optical information processing. For example, we have developed a system that simultaneously captures, processes and displays 3D geometries at 30 Hz with over 300,000 measurement points per frame, which was unprecedented at that time (a decade ago). Our current research focuses on achieving speed breakthroughs by developing the binary defocusing techniques; and exploring novel means to store enormously large 3D geometric data by innovating geometry/video compression methods. The binary defocusing methods coincide with the inherent operation mechanism of the digital-light-processing (DLP) technology, permitting tens of kHz 3D shape measurement speed at camera pixel spatial resolution. The novel methods of converting 3D data to regular 2D counterparts offer us the opportunity to leverage mature 2D data compression platform, achieving extremely high compression ratios without reinventing the whole data compression infrastructure. In this talk, I will present two platform technologies that we have developed: 1) superfast 3D optical shape measurement; and 2) real-time 3D video communication. I will also cover some of the applications that we have been exploring including cardiac mechanics, robotics, forensic science, entertainment, along with others.