In 2014, Zhao (Orange) graduated from Dalian Maritime University in China with a degree in Software Engineering that she studied between 2010 - 2013. During her final year, she was offered the opportunity to complete her final undergraduate year at Loughborough University (2013 - 2014).
For her final project, Zhao designed an application for an Omani company to detect air pollution through image processing. Between her Undergraduate and he Master’s courses, she undertook an eight-week paid R&D project at BP and contributed towards a VR-based training tool for oil rig workers. BP took this work forward to a further stage in collaboration with Loughborough University, which applied for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership Grant.
The following year, Zhao completed a Master’s Degree of Advanced Computer Science, and in 2016 she enrolled onto a PhD project under the CDT in Embedded Intelligence. Both her Master’s and he PhD projects were co-sponsored by Apical Ltd. In her Master's work she combined the output of all the sensors in a mobile device in order to predict user behaviour and the environment, to enable the device to respond accordingly.
For her PhD project she developed video resolution upscaling algorithms that intelligently adapt to video scene content, environment in which the videos are viewed and devices used for display.
Even before she graduated in 2020, she was already working as a Applied Scientist for a large corporation.