GA Tech nanotech professor honored as SURA Distinguished Scientist


Washington, DC – SURA today announced that Zhong Lin Wang, the Hightower Chair in Materials Science and Engineering Regent's Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, will receive its 2016 SURA Distinguished Scientist Award.

The annual honor goes to a research scientist whose extraordinary work fulfills the SURA mission to "advance collaborative research and education" in the Southeast and nation. The award and its $10,000 honorarium will be presented to Dr. Wang on April 13 at the SURA Board of Trustees meeting being held at the North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

"Professor Wang represents the very finest in research leadership among our SURA member institutions," said E. Gordon Gee, President of West Virginia University and Chair of the SURA Council of Presidents. "His work in the field of nanoscience is both exciting and cutting-edge – bringing distinction to himself, his institution and our nation."

Wang has authored and co-authored six scientific reference and textbooks and over 1,100 peer reviewed journal articles (16 in Nature and Science, 15 in Nature sister journals), 45 review papers and book chapters, edited and co-edited 14 volumes of books on nanotechnology, and held over 100 US and foreign patents. Dr. Wang is the world's top 5 most cited authors in nanotechnology. His entire publications have been cited for over 91,000 times [an updated report from SCI data base can be found at: ResearcherID; from: Google Scholars]. The H-index of his publications is 146 per SCI data base, which is the highest among his peers worldwide. He has delivered over 850 plenary, keynote, invited and seminar talks at international and national conferences as well as universities and research institutes worldwide.

Dr. Wang made pioneering contributions to the synthesis, characterization, and fundamental understanding of physical properties of nanostructures. This led to his discovering and developing various nano-generator devices that represent an unprecedented and innovative technology for energy harvesting. This work has established the technological road map, and inspired worldwide efforts in academia and industry for harvesting ambient energy for micro-and nano-scale systems. Major multinational corporations like Samsung, Hyundai, Lenovo, and Medtronic are investing in these technologies. He has three start-up companies exploring the development of small-signal measurement systems and security senors.

Dr. Wang has received numerous honors and awarding, including: 2015 Thomas Router Citation Laureate in Physics; 2014 World Technology Award (Materials); 2014 Distinguished Professor Award (Highest faculty honor at Georgia Tech); 2014 NANOSMAT prize (United Kingdom); China International Science and Technology Collaboration Award, China (2014); The James C. McGroddy Prize in New Materials from American Physical Society (2014); ACS Nano Lectureship (2013); Edward Orton Memorial Lecture Award, American Ceramic Society (2012); MRS Medal from Materials Research Soci. (2011); and the Dow Lecture, Northwestern University (2011).

During the course of his academic career at Georgia Tech, he has graduated 41 Ph.D. students and mentored 40 post-doctoral fellows, 60 visiting research scientists, and 20 faculty. Dr. Wang has received funding from NSF, DOE, DARPA, NIH, NASA, Air Force, Samsung, NIMS (Japan) and industry. The total funding for supporting his research from 1995 to date is $22M.

Born in Shaanxi, China, Dr. Wang received his bachelor's degree in applied physics at Xidian University in China and his Ph.D. in physics from Arizona State University. His early career included being a visiting lecturer at Stony Brook University, a research fellow at Cavendish Laboratory in the University of Cambridge, followed by research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The SURA Distinguished Scientist Award was established in 2007, commemorating the organization's 25th Anniversary. SURA's Development & Relations Committee manages the solicitation, screening and selection of the recipient from a SURA member institution. The president and trustee of each of SURA's 62 member research universities is eligible to make one nomination for the Distinguished Scientist Award.

The award and honorarium will be presented to Dr. Wang at the SURA board meeting in Raleigh on April 13.


The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) is a consortium of over 60 leading research institutions in the southern United States and the District of Columbia established in 1980 as a non-stock, nonprofit corporation. SURA serves as an entity through which colleges, universities, and other organizations may cooperate with one another, and with government and industry in acquiring, developing, and using laboratories and other research facilities and in furthering knowledge and the application of that knowledge in the physical, biological, and other natural sciences and engineering. For more information, visit

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