rof Tianshou Zhao, Chair Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and his research team have won one of Mainland China's most prestigious science and technology awards for the second consecutive year. Internationally, the eminent academic has also been selected as a World's Most Influential Scientific Mind and a Highly Cited Researcher 2014 by Thomson Reuters.
The team received a 2013 State Natural Science Award (Second Class) from the State Council for pioneering work on Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells (DAFC). Fuel cell technology is efficient and clean, and has a variety of applications including mobile phones, computers, automobiles and buildings.
Prof Zhao's research is focused on the physical and chemical process of fuel cells, successfully revealing the underlying mechanism of coupled heat/mass energy transfer and electrochemical kinetics in fuel cells and establishing a new theoretical framework. This significant breakthrough has improved the performance of direct alcohol fuel cells, and has driven this type of fuel cell closer to commercialization. The research has made a seminal contribution to the creation of a new interdisciplinary field between thermo-fluid sciences and electrochemistry.
The Highly Cited Researcher honor is a new accolade announced recently to identify influential and contemporary researchers who have contributed significantly to highly cited publications in a given field. Researchers earn the distinction by publishing the greatest number of papers ranked among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication between 2002 and 2012. The 2014 list contains some 3,200 researchers in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences. Prof Zhao is among only 187 researchers worldwide to be included in the list's engineering field.