DR. KEith Choon Chiang Foo

About Me

I am a Principal Scientist in the Engineering Mechanics Department at A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC). With more than 15 years of post-PhD research experience, I work in the field of theoretical and computational solid mechanics. I have led various projects on multifunctional materials and smart structures, managed scientists, and supervised FYP/PhD students. More info on my research is available here.

Prior to my current position, I was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University. I hold a PhD in mechanical engineering from NTU, where I graduated top of my cohort for my B.Eng. (Mech.) degree.

Latest NEWS

Multiphysics modelling of structural battery composites

Structural battery composites are a type of multifunctional materials specially designed to bear mechanical loads while simultaneously storing electrical energy. In this review paper, we highlight recent progress in multiphysics models, and discuss opportunities and possible directions for future development. 24.07.23 | Link

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High-speed soft actuators

Scientists and engineers often look to Nature to draw inspiration in the design of machines and robots. Here we took a lesson from plants: the rapid closure (~100 ms) of a Venus flytrap is made possible by harnessing a snap-buckling instability. 02.02.20 | Link

Instabilities of dielectric elastomers

Dielectric elastomers experience different modes of instability upon loss of tension – buckling, wrinkling and crumpling, depending on the loading conditions. We report such phenomena in Soft Matter. 08.11.19 | Link

A transparent soft robot

We report a transparent soft robot in Advanced Functional Materials. One day, such moving robots may be used for surveillance and spying, where adaptive motion and camouflaging are required in unstructured environments. 20.07.19

ABAQUS User elements to model dissipative electroactive polymers

We publish a method to model dissipative dielectric elastomers with current leakage and viscoelasticity. 25.02.19 | Link

A soft origami robot

We report a soft origami robot driven by electricity. Under AC voltage, the paper robot vibrates and propels forward. Because it is cheap, light, and easy to make, we hope it offers a potential solution for space and/or swarm robots. 18.08.18 | Link

Untethered soft robot capable of stable locomotion

We report a soft moving robot made largely of dielectric elastomers and paper. 14.03.18 | Link

Soft fluidic pumps harnessing instabilities for large-volume pumping

We report new designs of soft pumps made of dielectric elastomers, which allows for large-volume pumping across a wide range of hydrostatic pressures. Two versions of pumps: Single membrane and dual membranes. | 21.11.17

Reuters feature - Robots are getting softer

Our NUS collaborators' work on soft robots inspired by origami and inchworms are featured in the news! Delighted for Jian Zhu and his group, and honoured to be involved in their projects. 19.06.17 | Reuters Feature & (0:35 to 1:10 in this video)

Third prize in the Soft Material Robot Challenge at ICRA 2017

ICRA Soft Material Robot Challenge was held in Singapore from 30 May to 31 May. The “Origami Robot” developed by our NUS collaborators, led by Asst. Prof. Jian Zhu, won the third place in the Soft Component Technology Showcase. 02.06.17 | Link

High-performance electromechanical transduction using laterally-constrained dielectric elastomers

We report an analysis of laterally-constrained actuators in Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids. 10.05.17 | Link

Dynamic pattern of wrinkles in a dielectric elastomer 

We combine experiments, modeling, and simulation to show dynamic pattern of wrinkles in a dielectric elastomer. Our work is published in Soft Matter. 22.03.17 | Link

Design tool beefs up artificial muscles

Our work on viscoelastic dielectric elastomers is featured on A*STAR Research. 29.06.16 | Link

A gel that is clearly revolutionary

Our work on stretchable ionics is featured on A*STAR Research. 22.01.14 | Link

Transparent gel speaker plays music through the magic of ionic conduction.

30.08.13 | Reported on Engadget.

Bio-inspired speaker uses clear gel to play music.

29.08.13 | Reported on New Scientist.

This “ionic” speaker is stretchable, see-through and mind-blowing

29.08.13 | Reported on Gizmodo.

Transparent artificial muscle plays Grieg to prove a point

Gel-based audio speaker demonstrates capabilities of ionic conductors, long thought limited in application. 29.08.13 | Harvard SEAS release

My Areas of expertise

Theoretical modelling

Engineering simulation

Scientific computing

My scientific Involvement & Achievements in Numbers

35 (3)

Completed projects (industrial)


Funding in projects involved as PI / Co-I


Peer-reviewed publications

>4,700 (27)

Citations (H-index)


Collaborator Teams


PhD & FYP students co-supervised