Jessica Zhang is the George Tallman Ladd and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) with a courtesy appointment in Department of Biomedical Engineering. She received her B.Eng. in Automotive Engineering and M.Eng. in Engineering Mechanics from Tsinghua University, China; and M.Eng. in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and Ph.D. in Computational Engineering and Sciences from Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES, now Oden Institute), The University of Texas at Austin. After staying two years in ICES as a postdoctoral fellow, she joined CMU in 2007 as an assistant professor, and then was promoted to an associate professor in 2012 and a full professor in 2016.

Zhang's research interests include computational geometry, isogeometric analysis, finite element method, data-driven modeling, image processing, mesh generation, and their applications in computational biomedicine, materials science and engineering. Professor Zhang's group develops novel algorithms on biomodeling at molecular, cellular, tissue and organ scales, and explores applications in various application fields. She has co-authored over 230 publications in peer-reviewed international journals and conference proceedings, and received the Best Paper Award 1st Place in Solid and Physical Modeling Conference 2018, Autodesk Best Paper Award 1st Place in SIAM Conference on Solid and Physical Modeling 2015, the Best Paper Award in CompIMAGE'16 conference, Top Cited Article in International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering during 2021-2022, one of the 5 Most Highly Cited Papers Published in Computer-Aided Design during 2014-2016, and one of 10 Most Cited Articles Published in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering during 2005-2008. She published a book entitled "Geometric Modeling and Mesh Generation from Scanned Images" with CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group in 2016.

Zhang is the recipient of Simons Visiting Professorship from Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach of Germany, US Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, NSF CAREER Award, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and US Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM) Gallagher Young Investigator Award. At CMU, she received David P. Casasent Outstanding Research Award, George Tallman Ladd and Florence Barrett Ladd Professorship, Clarence H. Adamson Career Faculty Fellow in Mechanical Engineering, Donald L. & Rhonda Struminger Faculty Fellow, and George Tallman Ladd Research Award. She is a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineers (IAMBE), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), International Association for Computational Mechanics (IACM), USACM, Solid Modeling Association (SMA), and Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES) at Drexel.

Zhang has been playing active leadership roles in her research societies. At USACM, she is the current Secretary/Treasurer and will rotate to Vice President in 2024 and President in 2026, was a Member-at-Large of the Executive Council. She served on the General Council of IACM, and was elected to the Vice Chair of ASME Applied Mechanics Division (AMD) Committee on Computing in Applied Mechanics (CONCAM, rotate to the Chair in 2025). As a woman faculty, Zhang has made significant efforts on promoting diversity and young researchers in her research societies. In particular, she is the founding chair of USACM Female Researchers Group. In addition, she chaired the Executive Committee of SMA where she launched SMA Young Investigator Award and SMA Fellow to recognize outstanding junior and mid-career researchers in solid modeling. At AIMBE, she is the Chair of College of Fellows in 2024-2025 and serving on its Board of Directors. She is currently the Program Director of SIAM Activity Group on Geometric Design (SIAG/GD) and chaired the SIAG/GD Early Career Prize Committee. Zhang also serves on the editorial board of many leading journals including Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Computer-Aided Design and Computer Aided Geometric Design. She is the current Editor-in-Chief of Engineering with Computers.