Dr. Lihua Zhao leads an elite research team to advance technology for future industry revolution, while continuing her own technical contributions in inventing and innovating materials, processes and hardware for HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology for 3D printing.

As a senior research project manager and scientist, Zhao successfully balances business drivers with multi-milliondollar research to guide decisions. Her colleagues say she stands out both for her extraordinary depth and more importantly her ability to explain the science in business terms and business impact. In her groundbreaking contributions to technology, Zhao is driving the future of materials/processes direction as integrated solutions and advancing HP’s technologies and strategies that impact the manufacturing industry.

With a career dedicated to science and chemistry, her applications include flexible electronics, displays, security ink, energetic materials; and polymeric materials formulation as well as process research for 3D printing. Zhao is a well-published and sought after expert who is active with mentoring and developing young scientists and engineers, especially women. She is a member of the American Chemistry Society, Material Research Society, Sigma Xi and Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers.

In the words of Dr. Lihua Zhao:

Where do you see women in STEM in five years?
“There is still a long way to really close the gender gap in STEM, but with more awareness from all entities, I see women have a unique opportunity to shine in many areas, such as big data and analytics, additive manufacturing, technology integration, etc.”

How is the world changing with respect to STEM?
“STEM is always the basic elements to advance people’s life and the world productivity. More and more sophisticated machines and smart devices are entering the world, affecting how things are made, distributed and used, and impacting how people live, interact and work like never before. STEM advancement among countries in the world becomes a big factor to their economic achievement and national security.”

What barriers are in the way to closing the gender gap in STEM?
“Mindset, mindset, and mindset; leadership position; society sponsorship; family responsibility; and pay equality.”

What can be done to move women forward in STEM?
“Promote women based on not only their current performance and achievement, but also their potential. Women leaders in STEM participate in more role-modeling, mentoring sponsoring and inspiring young women adults and grade-school students. Educate women to put away our own unconscious bias on ourselves and embrace our ability to be excellent in the STEM field. Develop better society support to encourage growth mindset to both men and women to free our mind from many stereotype family duties, and encourage companies to be more inclusive and considerate.”

Words I live by:
“Be strong and independent. Aim high and put action in place. Learning is an everyday thing.”