Short BiographyDr. Yi-Heng Percival Zhang (张以恒) is a tenured full professor in the department of Biological Systems Engineering of Virginia Tech (USA). He received his degrees of bachelor and master from East China University of Science and Technology (Shanghai, China) in 1993 and 1996, respectively. He received his Ph.D. of Chemical Engineering from Dartmouth College in 2002. He joined Virginia Tech in 2005 as a tenure tracked assistant professor, was tenured as associate professor in 2010, and promoted as full professor in 2014.
His research interests include biofuels production, biomass conversion, biorefinering, synthetic biology (in vitro and in vivo), protein engineering, biocatalysis, life cycle analysis, sustainable agriculture, and so on. He is a pioneer of in vitro synthetic biosystems for new generation biomanufacturing. Via this technology platform, he hope (i) to replace crude oil with sweet hydrogen (i.e., 1 kg of carbohydrate equals 1.2 kg of gasoline for driving), (ii) to feed the world through out-of-the-box solutions, and (iii) to power electronics by using sugars. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal papers and more than 10 invited book chapters, and received six patents, and filed more than 20 patents disclosures. He has the SCI citations of 4,000+ and an H-index of 33. Five of the patent and disclosures have been licensed to four biofuels companies (i.e., Mascoma, BioMethodes/Optafuel, Gate Fuels, and Cell-Free Bioinnovations). He founded two startup companies – Gate Fuels and Cell-free Bioinnovations.
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.
He serves as deputy editor-in-chief of a Wiley Journal -- Energy Science and Engineering, academic editor of PLoS One, and editorial board members for a few journals: Biotechnology for Biofuels (BMC), Process Biochemistry (Elsevier), Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering (Springer), Bioresources and Bioprocessing (Springer), International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Frontiers in Energy Research.