Carnegie Mellon University

Pei Zhang

Pei Zhang

Adjunct Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Room 218
Address Carnegie Mellon University


Pei Zhang is an associate research professor in the ECE departments at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Zhang’s research interest is in cyber physical systems, internet of things, and sensor networks. He received his bachelor's degree with honors from California Institute of Technology in 2002, and his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 2008. While at Princeton University, he developed the ZebraNet system, which is used to track zebras in Kenya. It was the first deployed, wireless, ad- hoc, mobile sensor network. His recent work includes SensorFly (focus on groups of autonomous miniature-helicopter based sensor nodes) and MARS (Muscle Activity Recognition). Beyond research publications, his work has been featured on popular media including CNN, NBC, Science Channel, Discovery Channel, CBS News, CNET, Popular Science, BBC Focus, etc. He is also a cofounder of the startup Vibrado tech. In addition, he has won several awards including the NSF CAREER, Edith and Martin B. Stein Solar Energy Innovation Award, and a member of the Department of Defense Computer Science Studies Panel.


Ph.D., 2008 
Computer Engineering 
Princeton University

M.E., 2004 
Computer Engineering 
Princeton University

B.S., 2002 
Electrical Engineering 
California Institute of Technology


Embedded systems have become pervasive in everyday life and have largely decentralized computing onto distributed devices. These heterogeneous devices, from sensor networks to mobile phone systems, each has different sensing and communication capabilities. Given their wide distribution and deployment, together they can be used in a large range of applications, ranging from assisted living and home monitoring, to city traffic management and emergency response. One common challenge for these applications is the need for context that cannot be reliably obtained from just static, personal, or controlled mobile sensors. My research focuses on distributed sensing and processing in/between these heterogeneous systems. As a part of this effort, we are developing a new controlled mobile sensor network platform, which provides a new dimension to future applications.


  • Sensor networks
  • Embedded systems

Related News

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Bannis Receives ACM SIGBED Frank Anger Memorial Award

This prestigious award was given in recognition of her research contributions and leadership in the areas of software engineering and embedded systems.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Building Smart Cities With Taxis

Pei Zhang has turned a fleet of taxis into a mobile sensing platform to collect data required to develop applications for a smart city.
Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Zhang Featured in Scientific American

Pei Zheng was featured in Scientific American for developing sensors that analyze footsteps by measuring floor vibrations.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Feet Beyond Fiction

Carnegie Mellon’s Pei Zhang is part of a team blurring the line between science and magic with a footstep-sensing invention inspired by Harry Potter’s Marauder’s Map.
Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Detecting good vibrations, with pigs

ECE and CEE researchers use vibrational sensors to detect sick pigs and improve farm efficiency.
Friday, November 17, 2017

Zhang receives Test of Time Award 2017

ECE/INI associate research professor Pei Zhang recently received the ACM SenSys Test of Time Award (ToTA) 2017 for his 2004 research paper, “Hardware design experiences in ZebraNet.”
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Researchers develop fall-prevention sensors

Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering conducted a survey on falls among the elderly, and discovered that Americans are very worried about their elderly parent falling—and that this worry leads to action.