As a researcher..

I have a multi-disciplinary background in Mechanical Engineering and Automation (B.Eng.) at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, CN, Robotics (M.Sc.) at King’s College London, UK, and Material Perception (Ph.D.) at TU Delft, NL.

In November 2013, I joined the Delft Perceptual Intelligence Lab ( as a Ph.D. candidate in the section of Human Information Communication Design (HICD) in the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. The Ph.D. project is within the EU FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) project PRISM – Perceptual Intelligence of Illumination, Shape and Material. We also collaborated with P&G (Germany) consumer market knowledge division in a user research project to study how consumers perceive visual-tactile information for their products.

The main aim of my Ph.D. project is to measure the visual perception of materials. During my Ph.D., I developed a novel interactive probing method for purely visually and quantitatively measuring material perception and its interaction with lighting perception. For the summary of my PhD, please see here.

I am experienced in Experimental Design, Interactive Interface Design, Data Analysis, Computer Vision, 3D Modelling & Rendering, and Computer-Aided Design & Manufacturing.

In December 2019 I joined the Computational Psychology Lab as postdoc to work with Dr. Dietmar Heinke. The aim of the current project is to understand the interaction between attentional selection and action selection. My main work is to develop a plausible computational model (an extended version of CoRLEGO) for characteristics in target selection and reaching action.

Contact me via vanzh89 [at] gmail [dot] com

Also, as an amateur footballer..

As an “amateur” footballer, I’m recovering from quite “professional” knee injuries since 2016, progressing well and now aiming to return to pitch in near future.

Fun fact 1: When people ask me to repeat my name in a phone call I always say “Fan, F-A-N, as in ‘football fan’ “. Yet in most cases they still think it is Sam.

Fun fact 2: I’m a fan of the English football club Arsenal and also a club Beijing Guo-An(国安) from my hometown. They have many in common:

  • Both won quite a few domestic cup titles, not so many league titles, and none continental cup..
  • Both from the capital cities.
  • Both rank 1st in the league table alphabetically.
  • Arsenal in English can also mean “a place where weapons and military equipments are stored“, whereas Guoan(国安) in Chinese can also be directly translated as “the Ministry of State Security”.

-update Jul. 2020:

After 10 months rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction, I finally returned to pitch earlier this month for casual football, during a very special (COVID19) time.

…mixed feelings…