PolyU’s Associate Vice President (Research and Innovation) and Chair Professor of Department of Mechanical Engineering Prof. Wang Zuankai receives the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 2023
8 Dec 2022
Prof. WANG Zuankai, Associate Vice President (Research and Innovation) and Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), has received the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 2023 in recognition of his outstanding achievements in nature-inspired engineering and his breakthrough research on inhibiting the Leidenfrost effect. Each award carries a value of HK$2 million over one year towards the award winner's research expenses.
Nature-inspired innovation is an interdisciplinary science that integrates biology, physics, chemistry, materials, engineering and other disciplines. It draws inspiration from living creatures and learning from nature to find innovative solutions.
Prof. Wang’s research centres on nature-inspired engineering with a particular focus on exploring and observing the surface properties of natural creatures to develop novel nature-inspired materials for a wide range of applications such as water and energy harvesting, thermal cooling, fluid transport, and flexible electronics.
For example, by observing the lotus leaves that enable water to drain away, Prof. Wang and his team have developed a new material that can quickly repel water, which helps prevent the accumulation of ice on metal surfaces such as aircraft wings and engines, thus reducing the occurrence of accidents.
One of the most impactful scientific breakthroughs of Prof. Wang’s research is to identify an innovative solution to addressing the liquid cooling of high-temperature surfaces by suppressing the classical physical phenomenon- the Leidenfrost effect, a challenge that scientists have been unable to overcome for centuries.
Honored to receive the Fellowship from the Croucher Foundation, Prof. Wang said, “I am grateful for the Croucher Foundation for recognising my research efforts on nature-inspired engineering and studies into the Leidenfrost effect. I hope the recognition will motivate more scholars to seek inspiration from nature and draw innovation in related research”.
Professor Wang received his B.S. degree from Jilin University in 2000, M.S. degree from the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2003, and Ph.D. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008. After one-year postdoctoral training at Columbia University, he joined the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) as Assistant Professor in 2009 and was promoted to Chair Professor in 2021. He was also the Associate Dean of the College of Engineering from 2019 to 2022 and the founding Deputy Director of the Research Centre for Nature-Inspired Engineering from 2021 to 2022 at CityU. He is currently the Executive Editor-in-Chief of Droplet journal (Wiley), and Associate Editor and Advisory Board Member for ten journals.
Professor Wang is a founding member of the Hong Kong Young Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the International Society of Bionic Engineering (ISBE), Croucher Senior Research Fellow (2023), RGC Senior Research Fellow (2022), Highly Cited Researcher (Cross-field) as recognized by Clarivate (2022), and Changjiang Chair Professor as conferred by the Ministry of Education of China (2016). His work has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records and two of his inventions have won the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva Gold Medal and Gold Medal with Congratulations of Jury, respectively. He has received many other awards including the Green Tech Award (2021), Xplorer Prize (2020), Hall of Fame (Advanced Engineering Materials, 2019), 35th World Cultural Council Special Recognition Award (2018), President's Lectureship (2020, 2018), Outstanding Research Award (Senior, 2017), and President's Award at CityU (2017, 2016). Ph.D. students he supervised have won many prestigious awards including the Grand Prize and First Prize of the Hong Kong University Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition (2022), Hong Kong Young Scientist Award (2015, 2019, 2022), Materials Research Society Graduate Student Gold Award (2016) and Silver Award (2015, 2021), and Hiwin Doctoral Dissertation Award (2016, 2019, 2021).
Ms Annie Wong
Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
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