Faculty Directory

Chen, Po-Yen

Chen, Po-Yen

Assistant Professor
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Maryland Robotics Center
Room 1223C, 4418 Stadium Dr., Chemical & Nuclear Engineering Building, College Park, MD 20742-2111

Dr. Po-Yen Chen is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at University of Maryland (UMD), College Park. Dr. Chen is also affiliated in Maryland Robotics Center (MRC). He received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University (NTU) and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After his Ph.D., he was awarded Hibbitt Early Career Fellowship and served as an independent researcher at Brown University for 2 years, and then he worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at National University of Singapore (NUS) for 2.5 years before he joined UMD. He received AME Young Investigator Award in 2018 and AIChE SLS Outstanding Young Principal Investigator Award in 2019. In 2020, Po-Yen was named as Innovators Under 35 in Asia by MIT Technology Review and received AIChE 35 under 35 Award. Recently, he is elected to Global Young Academy (GYA) and Fellow of Vebleo. His research focuses on the intersections of nanomaterials self-assembly, machine intelligence, and soft robotics/machines. He seeks to create the synergy between machine intelligence and automated robots to construct high-accuracy prediction models enabling automatic design of functional soft matter for soft robot/machine applications. By implementing data augmentation and statistical analyses, he can reveal the underlying nanomaterial self-assembly mechanisms that dictate data-driven design principles. The insights gained from machine intelligence-guided experiments can be utilized to fabricate stretchable electronics for wearable technologies and smart soft machines.


  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University (NTU)
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Hibbitt Independent Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brown University


  • Member of Global Young Academy (GYA) (2021)
  • Finalist for UMD’s Invention of the Year Award (2020–2021)
  • Editorial Board Members for Robotics journal (2021)
  • MIT Technology Review (MIT TR) Innovators Under 35 in Asia (2020)
  • AIChE 35 under 35 Award (2020)
  • Inspiring Research Mentor Award in NUS High (2020)
  • AIChE-SLS Outstanding Young Principal Investigator Award (2019)
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry B Emerging Investigator (2019)
  • A*STAR AME Young Investigator Award (2018)

Dr. Po-Yen Chen's research group focuses on Developing Soft Robotic Materials via Machine Intelligence and Human–Robot Teaming. Here are the ongoing research topics:

  • Programmable Texturing of 2D Materials for Stretchable/Wearable Electronics;

  • Accelerated Materials Design via Machine Intelligence/Learning and Lab Automation;

  • Metal Ion Intercalation and Assembly of 2D Materials;

  • Assembling Nanomaterials into Soft Machines.


Please see our full publication list on Our Group Website.


1. H. Yang, J. Li, K. Z. Lim, C. Pan, T. V. Truong, Q. Wang, K. Li, S. Li, X. Xiao, M. Ding, T. Chen, X. Liu, Q. Xie, P. Valdivia y Alvarado, X. Wang*, P.-Y. Chen*, “Automatic Strain Sensor Design via Active Learning and Data Augmentation for Soft Machines.” Nature Machine Intelligence 4, 84 (2022). (link)

2. Y. Li, H. Yang, T. Zhang, S. Li, S. Li, T. Chen, S. He, T. Chen, J. Y. Lee, Y. Zhao*, P.-Y. Chen*, “Stretchable Zn-Ion Hybrid Battery with Reconfigurable V2CTx and Ti3C2Tx MXene Electrodes as A Magnetically Actuated Soft Robot.” Advanced Energy Materials 11, 2101862 (2021). (link)

3. M. Ding, S. Li, L. Guo, L. Jing, S.-P. Gao, H. Yang, J. M. Little, T. U. Dissanayake, K. Li, J. Yang, Y.-X. Guo, H. Y. Yang, T. J. Woehl, P.-Y. Chen*, “Metal Ion-Induced Assembly of MXene Aerogels via Biomimetic Microtextures for Efficient Capacitive Deionization and Microsupercapacitors.” Advanced Energy Materials 11, 2101494 (2021). (link)

4. L. Jing, Q. Xie, H. Li, K. Li, H. Yang, P. L. P. Ng, S. Li, Y. Li, E. H. T. Teo, X. Wang*, P.-Y. Chen*, “Multigenerational Crumpling of 2D Materials for Anticounterfeiting Patterns with Deep Learning Authentication.” Matter 3, 2160 (2020). (link)

5. H. Yang, B. S. Yeow, Z. Li^, K. Li, T.-H. Chang, L. Jing, Y. Li, J. S. Ho, H. Ren, P.-Y. Chen*, “Multifunctional Metallic Backbones for Origami Robotics with Strain Sensing and Wireless Communication Capabilities.” Science Robotics 4, eaax7020 (2019). (link)

Chen and Raghavan Nominated for UMD Invention of the Year

The winner will be announced at a ceremony on May 10.

Machine Intelligence Builds Soft Machines

UMD research team publishes study in Nature Machine Intelligence.