Professor Zhao combines his expertise in research and technological innovation with a commitment to creating clean energy production and storage devices for a sustainable future. He has made seminal contributions in the areas of fuel cells, advanced batteries, multi-scale multiphase heat and mass transport with electrochemical reactions, and computational modeling. In addition to 4 edited books, 9 book chapters and over 70 keynote lectures at international conferences, he has published 330 papers in various prestigious Journals. These papers have collectively received more than 14,100 citations and earned Prof Zhao an h-index of 64 (Web of Science). In recognition of his research achievements, Prof Zhao has in recent years received many awards, examples include:
2014 Distinguished Research Excellence Award (HKUST),
State Natural Science Awards (2012, 2013),
The Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for Scientific and Technological Advancement,
Croucher Senior Fellowship award,
2018 Science Bulletin Best Paper Award,
Overseas Distinguished Young Scholars Award (NSFC),
Yangtze River Chair Professorship, among others.
In the international community, Prof Zhao serves as:
Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer (Elsevier) 2019-
Editor-in-Chief, Applied Thermal Engineering (Elsevier) 2003-2019
Member of Advisory Board, Energy & Environment Science (RSC) 2008-
Member of Advisory Board, Science Bulletin (Elsevier)
Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Power Sources (Elsevier) 2006-
Member of Editorial Board, Advanced Materials Technologies (Wiley) 2015-

Teaching Activities

MECH 4340 Air Conditioning Systems
MECH 3300 Energy Conversion


Research Interests

Energy Engineering (Fuel cells & Advanced batteries)
Heat and mass transfer
Lattice Boltzmann methods for multicomponent/multiphase transport

Research Projects

  • RGC Theme-based Research Scheme (2018-2022): Creation of regenerative electron-fuels for stationary power supplies and electric vehicles
  • RGC Collaborative Research Fund (2012-2015): Understanding the coupling of mass-transport and electrochemical reactions in the nanostructured fuel cell electrodes
  • 2014-2017: (RGC General Research Fund: 16213414) Simultaneous transport of mass, lithium ions, and electrons through the porous electrode of lithium-air batteries
  • 2013-2016):  (RGC General Research Fund: 623313) Understanding coupled mass and charge transfer in liquid electrolyte flows through porous electrodes with redox reactions at solid-electrolyte interfaces
  • 2012-2015: (RGC General Research Fund: 622712) Coupled mass, electron, and charge transport phenomena in lithium-ion flow batteries
  • 2011-2014: (RGC General Research Fund: 623311) Mass transport phenomena in anion-exchange membrane direct ethanol fuel cells
  • 2010-2013: (RGC General Research Fund: 623010) Integrated Microfluidic Systems for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells Operating with Neat Methanol
  • 2009-2012: (RGC General Research Fund: 623709) Microscopic Probing and Modeling of Water Transport and Distribution in Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
  • 2008-2011: (RGC General Research Fund: 623008) Microfluidic Water-Management Systems for Air-Breathing Fuel Cells