Office of Research

Yuanhui Zhang named Innoventor Professor in Engineering

Published April 4, 2011

The College of Engineering and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, announced the Investiture of Professor Yuanhui Zhang as the Innoventor Professor in Engineering. The ceremony was held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 4, 2011 at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

Dr. Zhang is a professor and Associate Department Head in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the U of I. He is also an affiliate professor in the Departments of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Bioengineering, and Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Dr. Zhang is internationally known for his innovative research in biomass conversion to energy. Zhang was the first researcher to develop a hydrothermal liquefaction (or HTL) reactor and process that converts 70 percent of swine manure into a crude oil. His work has been widely published in numerous prestigious scientific publications and featured in newspapers (the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune) and on television (Fox News, CNN, NBC, MSN and the BBC).

Dr. Zhang has also made major contributions to indoor air quality research. His team has developed and continued research on aerodynamic filter-less air cleaning; and three-dimensional, near-real-time volumetric particle tracking velocimetry (VPTV) for room air flow measurement and modeling.

Dr. Zhang is an active and highly motivated teacher. Fifteen Ph.D. students and 14 master's students have completed their degrees under his supervision, and he has written a 638-page textbook entitled Indoor Air Quality Engineering that is widely used in this area of engineering.

Dr Zhang has received numerous awards, including Fellow of American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers; Henry Giese Structure and Environment Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers; Bliss Faculty Scholar; and Everitt Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois.