Assistant Professor Pilgyu Kang


Dr. Pilgyu Kang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University (GMU). His research at GMU focuses on fundamental studies of Mechanics and Photonics with Nanomaterials at Micro and Nano scale. His research aims to create high performance materials with new functionalities in mechanical, optical, and electrical properties. The main approach for creating the functionalities is nanostructuring of nanomaterials by using micro-/nanomanufacturing and micro-/nanofabrication techniques. Nanomaterials explored include atomically-thin 2D materials such as graphene and Transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) monolayers (e.g. MoS2) as well as photonic materials such as silicon, silicon nitride, and dielectrics. Based on the approach, he explores various fields including Nanophotonics, Optofluidic, Optoelectronics, and Plasmonics to achieve high performance materials and devices for broad applications of Nano Bio Sensors.  


  • 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

Courses Teaching
Fall 2018 - ME 313 Materials Science

Fall 2018 - ME 498: Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering



Latest News


Dr. Kang attends 2018 OSA Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science APS/DLS (FiO + LS) held in Washington DC during 9/17-9/20.



Seung Min Lee, recently graduated from Virginia Tech wtih a major in biochemistry and a minor in mathematics joined Kang Lab as Research Assistant Intern.

His main research project is "high performance glucose sensing based on 3D hierarchical porous graphene". Welcome to Kang Lab, Seung Min!



Dr. Kang gives a talk with the title "Mechanics and Photonics at Nanoscale" in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Hong Kong. (Link)


Farbod Moghaddam's proposal for the Fall 2018 Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) was accepted by The Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR). The OSCAR supports undergraduate research and creative activity, both within and beyond the classroom, at George Mason University.

Congratulations, Farbod!


Farbod Moghaddam and Daniel Mitchell, undergraduate research assistant students in the Kang Lab, received one of the 3 outstanding project awards from the 150 participating groups for our presentation at the OSCAR Celebration of Student Scholarship. Congratulations!

Poster Title: “Highly Sensitive, Wireless Gas Sensing Based on 3D Nanoporous Graphene and RFID
Farbod is an OSCAR Federal Work Study (FWS) Research Assistant in the Kang Lab and the President of the ASME at GMU and Daniel is an undergraduate research assistant in the Kang Lab and the Treasurer of ASME at GMU.

For information about the OSCAR and the OSCAR Celebration of Student Scholarship,
The Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR) supports undergraduate research and creative activity, both within and beyond the classroom, at George Mason University.
The OSCAR Celebration of Student Scholarship is OSCAR’s annual university-wide event that showcases the most outstanding undergraduate scholars from all schools and colleges at Mason.



Dr. Kang (PI) is awarded for COS-VSE (College of Science - Vogenau School of Engineering) Seed Funding on the project entitled “Atomically-thin Photodetectors by Crumple-Nanostructuring of Graphene-MoS2 Heterostructures” with his collaborator, Dr. Patrick Vora (co-PI, Physics Department, GMU).


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.



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

*** Last Update: 09/17/2018

View Plgyu Kang's profile on LinkedIn