MSE alum, an expert in advanced materials, has also been recognized by AAAS, NAI, and TMS for career impact

Materials science and engineering alum Ji-Cheng ‘JC’ Zhao ’95 PhD has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in recognition of his contributions to computational alloy design, integrated computational materials engineering, and high-throughput methods used in industrial products.

In a press release from the University of Maryland (UMD), where Zhao is Minta Martin Professor of Engineering and Chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department, Zhao said, “This great honor inspires me to work hard as an engineer to make more real-world impact and help overcome the grand challenges of our society to deserve this incredible honor.”

His election to the NAE, an elite distinction in the field of engineering, comes on the heels of a number of recent recognitions, including Fellow status in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS). He is also a Fellow of ASM International and the Materials Research Society.

“Zhao is a pioneer in the development of accelerated methodologies for materials discovery and rapid screening,” according to the press release. “He is an inventor on 49 issued U.S. patents, most of which cover new alloys and processes; one of the alloys he co-invented is widely used in General Electric (GE) electricity-generation gas turbines.”

Prior to joining the UMD faculty, Zhao was a professor at Ohio State University and also served as a program director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy. Earlier in his career, he spent more than a decade as a materials scientist at GE Research Center in New York.

He holds a BS and MS in materials science and engineering (physical metallurgy) from Central South University, in addition to his Lehigh PhD. 

Read more about Zhao’s research, accomplishments, and recognitions on the UMD website.

Ji-Cheng “JC” Zhao ’95 PhD

Materials science and engineering alum Ji-Cheng “JC” Zhao ’95 PhD has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). He will be formally inducted during the NAE's annual meeting on Oct. 1, 2023. (Photo: University of Maryland)