Skip to main content


Shijing Sun

Faculty Photo

Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering


Dr. Shijing Sun is an assistant professor at the University of Washington. She completed her academic studies at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. At Cambridge, she obtained her B.A. in Natural Sciences, as well as M.Sci. and Ph.D. degrees in materials science.

Dr. Sun joined UW from Toyota Research Institute (TRI) in Silicon Valley, where she held the position of senior research scientist. During her time at TRI, she focused on developing AI-powered solutions aimed at accelerating development of electric vehicle (EV) batteries and fuel cells for carbon neutral mobility. Previously, Dr. Sun worked as a research scientist at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. In this role, she led a team that specialised in developing high-throughput synthesis and characterisation methods for thin-film solar cells.

Dr. Sun is passionate about materials informatics education. She served as an instructor for data science tutorials at the Materials Research Societies Fall (2021, 2022) and Spring (2023) Meetings. She also currently serves as an associate editor for APL Machine Learning.


  • Ph.D. Materials Science, University of Cambridge, 2017
  • M.Sci. Materials Science, University of Cambridge, 2013
  • B.A. Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, 2012

Previous appointments

  • Senior Research Scientist, Energy & Materials Division, Toyota Research Institute
  • Research Scientist, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Statement

Dr. Sun's research lies at the crossroads of materials science, data science, and robotics, driving interdisciplinary studies into autonomous design for clean energy technologies. With a vision to address global energy, climate, and sustainability challenges, Dr. Sun’s interests span from understanding the fundamental structure-function relationships of inorganic materials to tool development incorporating artificial intelligence for amplified research capacities and efficiency.

Current research themes revolve around three areas:

  • Autonomy - developing collaborative frameworks combining human and artificial intelligence to make scientific decisions, such as designing lab workflows, testing protocols, and synthetic recipes.
  • Materials - exploring new material and interface functionalities for next-generation solar cells, batteries, and fuel cells.
  • Informatics - to better understand how materials design impact device performance and durability for energy conversion and storage applications. In this realm, data-driven approaches are coupled with advanced characterization to bridge spatial, temporal, and chemical complexity.

Select publications

  1. Ansari, M., Torrisi, S. B., Trewartha, A., & Sun, S. ChemRxiv, 10.26434/chemrxiv-2023-sm0lj
  2. Montoya, J., Grimley, C., Aykol, M., Ophus, C., Sternlicht, H., Savitzky, B. H., Minor, A. M., Torrisi, S., Goedjen, J., Chung, C-C., Comstock, A., & Sun, S. ChemRxiv, 10.26434/chemrxiv-2023-n4pz9
  3. Torrisi, S. B., Bazant, M. Z., Cohen, A. E., Cho, M. G., Hummelshøj, J. S., Hung, L., Kamat, G., Khajeh, A., Kolluru, A., Lei, X., Ling, H., Montoya, J. H., Mueller, T., Palizhati, A., Paren, B. A., Phan, B., Pietryga, J., Sandraz, E., Schweigert, D., Shao-Horn, Y., Trewartha, A., Zhu, R., Zhuang, D., & Sun, S. "Materials cartography: A forward-looking perspective on materials representation and devising better maps." APL Machine Learning 1.2 (2023)
  4. Sun, S., Brown, K., & Kusne, A. G. Matter 5.6 (2022): 1620-1622.
  5. Sun, S., Liu, M., Thapa, J., Hartono, N. T. P., Zhao, Y., He, D., Wieghold, S., Chua, M., Wu, Y., Bulović, V., Ling, S., Brabec, C. J., Cooper, A. I., & Buonassisi, T. Chemistry of Materials 34.21 (2022): 9384-9391.
  6. Sun, S., Tiihonen, A., Oviedo, F., Liu, Z., Thapa, J., Zhao, Y., Hartono, N. T. P., Goyal, A., Heumueller, T., Batali, C., Encinas, A., Yoo, J. J., Li, R., Ren, Z., Peters, I. M., Brabec, C. J., Bawendi, M. G., Stevanovic, V., Fisher, J., & Buonassisi, T. Matter 4.4 (2021): 1305-1322
  7. Hartono, N. T. P., Thapa, J., Tiihonen, A., Oviedo, F., Batali, C., Yoo, J. J., Liu, Z., Li, R., Marrón, D. F., Bawendi, M. G., Buonassisi, T., & Sun, S. Nature communications 11.1 (2020): 4172
  8. Sun, S., Hartono, N. T. P., Ren, Z. D., Oviedo, F., Buscemi, A. M., Layurova, M., Chen, D. X., Ogunfunmi, T., Thapa, J., Ramasamy, S., Settens, C., DeCost, B. L., Kusne, A. G., Liu, Z., Tian, S. I. P., Peters, I. M., Correa-Baena, J-P., & Buonassisi, T. Joule 3.6 (2019): 1437-1451
  9. Correa-Baena, J-P., Luo, Y., Brenner, T. M., Snaider, J., Sun, S., Li, X., Jensen, M. A., Hartono, N. T. P., Nienhaus, L., Wieghold, S., Poindexter, J. R., Wang, S., Meng, Y. S., Wang, T., Lai, B., Holt, M. V., Cai, Z., Bawendi, M. G., Huang, L., Buonassisi, T., & Fenning, D. P. Science 363.6427 (2019): 627-631
  10. Sun, S., Tominaka, S., Lee, J-H., Xie, F., Bristowe, P. D., & Cheetham, A. K. "Synthesis, crystal structure, and properties of a perovskite-related bismuth phase,(NH4) 3Bi2I9." APL Materials 4.3 (2016)
  11. Sun, S., Fang, Y., Kieslich, G., White, T. J., & Cheetham, A. K. "Mechanical properties of organic–inorganic halide perovskites, CH 3 NH 3 PbX 3 (X= I, Br and Cl), by nanoindentation." Journal of Materials Chemistry A 3.36 (2015): 18450-18455.
  12. Kieslich, G., Sun, S., & Cheetham, A. K. "Solid-state principles applied to organic–inorganic perovskites: new tricks for an old dog." Chemical Science 5.12 (2014): 4712-4715.