Archive for the ‘Emerging Investigators’ Category

Emerging Investigator Series: Liwu Zhang

Prof. Liwu Zhang joined the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering at Fudan University in November 2014. Prior to his faculty appointment, he did his postdoctoral work under the supervision of Prof. Jeremy J. Baumberg (FRS) at the Nanophotonics Centre in Cavendish Laboratory and collaborated with Dr. Erwin Reisner from the Department of Chemistry at University of Cambridge. Before that, he was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow under the supervision of Prof. Detlef Bahnemann in the Hannover University. He received a PhD in Chemistry from Tsinghua University under the supervision of Prof. Yongfa Zhu. He is a recipient of the Marie Curie Intra-European Research Fellow award. He has over a decade of experience in environmental chemistry and a strong background in environmental nanotechnology and has published more than 50 highly cited papers in this field. His work have been cited for >3000 times, and he has an h-index of 25.

Read his Emerging Investigators series article: ‘Heterogeneous reactions of sulfur dioxide on mineral dust nanoparticles: from single component to mixed components” and find out more about him in the interview below:

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on heterogeneous reactions of sulfur dioxide on mineral dust nanoparticles. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

My first article focused on fabricating nanoparticles for photocatalytic pollutants decomposition. Before I joined Fudan University in 2014, most of my research work were related to photocatalysis for environment and energy application. In 2014, I went back from UK to China and begun my independent research career, it was also the time that haze problem was very serious in China and attracting wide public attention. I am very curious about the chemistry process during the formation of particulate matters (PM2.5) in the atmosphere. The heterogeneous reaction plays an important role in the formation and growth of PM2.5. Therefore, I started my research in this field, as reported in this Emerging Investigator Series paper.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

Find the reason and make the sky blue again in China.

In your opinion, what is the most important environmental implication of heterogeneous reactions of sulfur dioxide on mineral dust nanoparticles?

Formation of sulfate aerosols through heterogeneous conversion of SO2 is of great concern worldwide; however, the detailed mechanism is still not comprehensively understood. Particles in haze are complex mixtures comprising various species, and limited attention has been paid to the heterogeneous oxidation of SO2 on multi-composition aerosols up to now. This work could help understand the adsorption of SO2 on multicomposition aerosols and provide important parameters for atmospheric chemistry models.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

Sensitive in situ techniques for the study of heterogeneous reaction.

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

Conference on Environmental Science or Environmental nanotechnology.

How do you spend your spare time?

Play with my 3 years old daughter and 10 months old son.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Electronic engineer.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Emerging Investigator Series – Peng Wang

We are delighted to introduce our first Environmental Science: Nano Emerging Investigator of 2018, Peng Wang!

Professor Peng Wang is currently an associate professor in the Environmental Science and Engineering program at KAUST. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 2008 and started his independent research as an assistant professor at KAUST in 2009. His research focuses on rational design, synthesis, and application of nanomaterials toward sustainable-energy driven clean water production.

Read his Emerging Investigator Series article The rise of nano-enabled photothermal materials for water evaporation and clean water production by sunlight and find out more about him in the interview below:

1. Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on the rise of photothermal materials for clean water production. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

Solar-driven water evaporation and distillation is an ancient technology, but has been rejuvenated in the past four years thanks to the contribution from nanotechnology. I did not work on this until early 2015. Ever since, my group has been working on photothermal nanomaterial selection and optimization along with photothermal structural design. Our first paper on this topic was in July 2015 in which we reported a solar-to-water-evaporation efficiency of 56%. In our latest work, we could achieve a nearly 100% energy efficiency. We have very recently extended our research on photothermal materials into new applications, including atmospheric water harvesting, highly viscous oil spill cleanup, smart windows, etc.

2. What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

The potential to produce more energy efficient water production/treatment technologies and to bring benefits to the society.

3. In your opinion, what is the biggest advantage of solar-driven nano-enabled clean water production over traditional methods?

The CO2 emission free is the biggest advantage of solar-driven nano-enabled clean water production. It also offers hope towards green and zero-liquid discharge desalination processes.

4. What do you find most challenging about your research?

Scaling up of the technologies is very challenging as cost consideration along with other unexpected problems often come along and frustrate me.

5. In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I will be attending IWA LET at Nanjing this may and Gordon Research Conference on Solar Energy Conversion at Hong Kong in June. I, along with my colleague, Professor Suzana Nunes, are putting together a symposium on Nano-Enabled Water Technologies: Opportunities and Challenges, to be held at KAUST tentatively in March 2019.

6. How do you spend your spare time?

I do and enjoy regular mid-distance running and play regular badminton games with friends.

7. Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Probably a lawyer, which is my wife’s profession. Haha, I actually never give this possibility any serious thoughts.

8. Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

As a passionate environmental nano scientist who actually spent his entire PhD working on soil, I would say ‘it takes very bold courage to give up on the old and start the new. However, your passion will always take you to the right place.’

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Emerging Investigator Series in Environmental Science: Nano

Environmental Science: Nano is pleased to announce the launch of an Emerging Investigator Series, aimed at highlighting some of the best research being conducted by early career scientists in the field of environmental nanotechnology. This Series complements the Emerging Investigator Series in our sister journals, Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology and Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, which are already providing early career environmental scientists with a high-quality, society platform to showcase their best research to a broad audience.

Articles published in the Series will be heavily advertised, including an interview with the lead author on our blog, highlighting in our table of contents alerts and further publicity. The Series is ongoing, with articles being published once they are accepted and collated online, meaning that there are no submission deadlines.

To be eligible for the Emerging Investigator Series you will need to have completed your PhD (or equivalent degree) within the last 10 years*, have in independent career and appear as corresponding author on the manuscript. If you are interested in contributing to the Series please contact the Editorial Office (esnano-rsc@rsc.org) and provide the following information:

  • Your up-to-date CV (no longer than 2 pages), which should include a summary of education and career, a list of relevant publications, any notable awards, honours or professional activities in the field, and a website URL;
  • A synopsis or abstract of the article intended to be submitted to the Series, including a tentative submission date. This can be an original research or review article. Please visit the journal website for more details on article types. All articles submitted to the journal for the Series will undergo the usual peer-review process.

Keep up to date with the latest papers added to this Series on our twitter feed (@EnvSciRSC) with the hashtags #EmergingInvestigators #ESNano

*Appropriate consideration will be given to those who have taken a career break or followed a different study path

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)