About Me


Dr. Pilgyu Kang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University. Prior to joining GMU, he was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). At UIUC with Prof. SungWoo Nam, he investigated mechanics and nanomanufacturing of atomically-thin two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene and MoS2 atomic layers for flexible optoelectronic devices and integrated Nano-Bio Sensors. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, advised by Prof. David Erickson. His Ph.D. research focused on developing resonant optical nanostructures for Nano-biotechnology. He earned a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2009 from Carnegie Mellon University with research focus in Microfluidics and Interfacial Sciences, advised by Prof. Shelley Anna. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Electrical Engineering at Seoul National University in 2007.
Dr. Kang has published many papers in high impact journals, and his work has been recognized through two journal front covers and the reception of awards including the ASME Paper Award in the Micro/Nano Forum in IMECE 2016, the Postdoctoral Presentation Award in the 5th Annual MRL Biological Conference Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory UIUC, the Chemistry and Micro-Nano Systems (CHEMINAS) Young Researcher Poster Award Micro-Total Analysis Systems (MicroTAS) in the 17th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences, and the Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society (CBMS) Student/Young Researcher Grant MicroTAS.


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University, 2014
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2009
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering (Minor: Electrical Engineering), Seoul National University, 2007

Research Areas

  • Nanomaterials and Atomically-thin Two-dimensional (2D) Materials
  • Micro and Nano Mechanics
  • Micro and Nano Manufacturing
  • Nano-Photonics and Opto-Fluidics
  • Optoelectronics and Plasmonics
  • Nano-Bio Sensors

Research Description
Dr. Pilgyu Kang’s research at the George Mason University pursues scientific advancements and engineering innovations based on the fundamental studies of mechanics and optics at micro and nano scale. His research motivation is to create high performance materials with new functionalities in mechanical, optical, and electrical properties. The main approach for creating such functionalities is nanostructuring of nanomaterials by using micro-/nanomanufacturing and micro-/nanofabrication techniques. Nanomaterials explored include atomically-thin 2D materials such as graphene and MoS2 atomic layers as well as photonic materials such as silicon and dielectrics. Based on the approach, he explores various fields including nano-photonics, opto-fluidic, optoelectronics, and plasmonics to achieve high performance materials and devices for nano-bio sensors.  

Courses Teaching
Fall 2017 & Spring 2018- ME 313 Materials Science

Email: pkang7@gmu.edu

Latest News


Alex Walter joins Kang Lab as an undergraduate research assistant. He will be working on the project of a photodetector based on crumpled layered 2D materials heterostructures with our collaborator Dr. Patrick Vora (Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, George Mason University). Wecome to the team!


Dr. Kang's paper, Pilgyu Kang, Kyoung-Ho Kim, and Hong-Gyu Park, and SungWoo Nam, "Mechanically Reconfigurable Architectured Graphene for Tunable Plasmonic Resonances" is accepted in Light: Science & Applications (Nature Publishing Group, Impact Factor = 14.098). Tune in the paper that will be avaialbe online soon.


Dr. Kang's review paper (Bioelectronics with two-dimensional materials, 161, 2016) selected as Editor’s choices for top 7 review papers on Micro-Nano-Bio Fabrication - Editors' Choice - Elsevier (Link)


Dr. Kang teaches a course of ME313 Materials Science for 2017 Fall semester.

Dr. Kang teaches a course of ME221 Thermodynamics for the first two weeks of 2017 Fall semester.


Pilgyu Kang joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at George Mason University as a tenure-track assistant professor.


Minsu Kim and Pilgyu Kang's Nanoscale paper is featured as the front cover in Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 4037-4037.



Wang, M. C., Leem, J., Kang, P., Choi, J., Knapp, P., Yong, K., Nam, S., “Mechanical Instability Driven Self-assembly and Architecturing of Two-dimensional Materials" is published in 2D Materials.



Minsu Kim and Pilgyu Kang's Nanoscale paper has been included in the Hot Article 2017 web collection for Nanoscale.



Minsu Kim*, Pilgyu Kang*, Juyoung Leem*, and SungWoo Nam, “Stretchable Crumpled Graphene Photodetector with Plasmonically-Enhanced Photoresponsivity” Nanoscale,2017, 9, 4058-4065 (* Authors with equal contributions) is publisehd in Nanoscale.



Pilgyu received an IMECE Paper Award in the Micro & Nanotechnology Forum of ASME IMECE 2016, Phoenix, Arizona.


Pilgyu received a Postdoctoral Presentation Competition Award at the 5th Annual MRL Biological Conference, Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, Univertiy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, November 3, 2016


Pilgyu Kang's new article is featured as a Front Cover in the journal of Advanced Materials.



Please feel free to contact me via an email (pkang7@illinois.edu), should you have any question about my research.

*** Last Update: 02/08/2018

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