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People of SRP: Dr. Lihua Zhao

by SRP on February 13, 2023
Leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Lihua joined HP in 2009 and now leads an R&D team that strategically advances HP’s 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing technologies. HP’s groundbreaking 3D printing technologies enable products to be designed, prototyped, and manufactured in a fraction of the time needed by conventional manufacturing.

The Path to HP

After earning a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and Materials Science from the University of California, Irvine Dr. Zhao was hired as an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. In this role, she led research to develop new materials for flexible displays in a collaborative effort with the tech industry and was invited to work with HP Labs as a visiting scientist.

Lihua shares HP’s vision and mission to create technology that helps make life better for everyone everywhere, and she believes passionately in working on closing the gap between invention and innovation to get there.

We want to create and build technology that represents all of us. We bring different perspectives and ideas from different angles and are contributing to making technologies with less bias that are more representative of the real world.

Dr. Lihua Zhao, Global Head of HP Personalization and 3D Printing Labs

Building Inclusive Technologies

When Dr. Zhao started leading the 3D team, she was the only woman in the group. Now, her team consists of several dozen men and women from across the globe who bring their multicultural, multi-gendered, and multi-technological backgrounds and perspectives to the very research that they’re working on. She is also keen on encouraging, mentoring, developing, and sponsoring junior scientists and engineers, especially women, minorities, and introverts to pursue their dreams in technology fields.


To those colleagues who find themselves to be one of only a few on a team, Lihua says, “Remember you're there because you're qualified to be there professionally. Once you embrace that, you will bring ideas and results just like everyone else on the team.” She also reminds herself and her two teenage daughters to “Continue to stay who you are. You can grow all the time, but do not compromise to fit in. Instead shape the environments where we all can fit in.”


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