Yijiang Huang bio photo

Yijiang Huang

Postdoc with Prof. Stelian Coros at ETH Zurich

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I’m a postdoc at ETH Zurich’s Computational Robotics Lab, led by Prof. Stelian Coros. I do research at the intersection between architectural design, computing, and robotic fabrication. My work centers on designing construction with computation: the modeling and automated planning of the construction process so that various aspects of it can be precisely controlled, simulated, and encoded quantitatively. This means not only that the construction becomes flexible to upstream design changes, but the architectural design process can be informed by the construction logic. As a part of this vision, I am interested in enabling materially efficient design solutions with the use of construction robotics.

I earned my Ph.D. degree in 2022 from MIT’s Building Technology Program of the Department of Architecture. My advisor was Prof. Caitlin Mueller, and I enjoyed being a part of her Digital Structures research group. Previously, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Math at the University of Science and Technology of China. I was fortunate to have received MIT Presidential Fellowship twice (2016, 2018) and I am currently supported by ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship.

My Ph.D. thesis develops task and motion planning algorithms that offload tedious programming work from designers and advance the capability of robotic assembly systems. I have formed invaluable research collaborations with experts across MIT, Princeton, and ETH Zurich to test my algorithms on real robot fabrication systems in various physical scales, including spatial printing of trusses, assembly of bar systems, Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) of metal connections, and the assembly of three two-story-high timber structures with integral joints.

In addition, I developed optimal matching algorithms to support circularity-driven structural design workflow that utilizes traditionally undervalued, discarded natural resources like tree branches and reclaimed building elements. One of these upcycling projects was featured on Dezeen.

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