Prof. Dr. Y-H Percival Zhang
210-A Seitz Hall, Biological Systems Engineering Department (Campus email: 0303)
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Phone: 540-231-7414; Fax: 540-231-3199
Email: ypzhang at VT.EDU
Dr. Yi-Heng Percival Zhang (张以恒) is an associate professor with tenure in the department of Biological Systems Engineering of Virginia Tech (USA). He joined Virginia Tech as a tenure-tracked assistant professor in Aug. 2005. Also, he is an affiliated investigator of the DOE BioEnergy Science Center (BSEC) (2007-now). Prior to joining Virginia Tech, he was a research scientist (2004-2005), postdoc associate (2002-2004), Ph.D. student at Dartmouth College (2002), working with a biofuel pioneer – Prof. Lee R. Lynd. He received his degrees of bachelor (1993) and master (1996) in biochemical engineering department of East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China.
His major research goals are (i) replacing crude oil with sugars and (ii) feeding the world. For implementing Goal One, his research topics cover biomass pretreatment and saccharification, biorefinery design, cellulase engineering, cellulose hydrolysis modeling, consolidated bioprocessing microorganism development, synthetic biology (in vitro and in vivo), enzymatic fuel cells (sugar batteries), and energy efficiency analysis. For example, he has achieved the highest hydrogen yield from sugars. What is more important, a significant amount of hydrogen can be generated from low-temperature waste heat without a temperature gradient. For implementing Goal Two, he accomplished low-cost conversion of non-food cellulose to edible starch for the first time and is working on in vitro artificial photosynthesis for CO2 fixation. In a word, he is a pioneer of in vitro synthetic biology, a new high-product yield and low-cost biomanufacturing platform.
He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed journal papers and chapters, and filed 18 patents disclosures. He has a SCI citation of more than 2,000 and an H-index of 23 (Dec. 2011). Five of the patent disclosures have been licensed to three biofuels companies (Mascoma, BioMethodes/Optafuel, and Gate Fuels). He received several distinctions, such as College of Engineering Faculty Fellow Award (Virginia Tech, 2011), Biotechnology and Bioengineering Daniel IC Wang Award (ACS BIOT, 2010), Sunkist Young Designer Award (2009), College of Engineering Outstanding New Faculty Award (Virginia Tech, 2008), BP young scientist Award (2008), Dupont Young Faculty Award (2008), Air Force Young Investigator Award (2008), ACS PRF New Faculty Award (2007), Best and Bright People of Year 2006 by Esquire, Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (2006), to name a few.
Prof. Zhang is teaching courses: