ME Graduate Student Wins China Award

Hu “Tiger” Tao (center) with his advisors, Assistant Professors Xin Zhang (ME) and Richard Averitt (Physics)
Hu “Tiger” Tao (center) with his advisors, Assistant Professors Xin Zhang (ME) and Richard Averitt (Physics)

Mechanical engineering graduate student Hu “Tiger” Tao has received the most prestigious student award issued by the Chinese government, the National Award for Outstanding Overseas Chinese Students. The $5,000 award honors outstanding academic achievement across the globe in the arts, science, engineering, medicine, commerce and other subject areas. Tao is the first Chinese student studying at Boston University to receive the award.

A top undergraduate at the University of Science and Technology of China, Tao received his M.S. degree at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Electronics before joining Assistant Professor Xin Zhang’s (ME) group as a Dean’s Fellowship student in 2006. In just three years, he has contributed to about 10 journal publications and earned several prestigious honors and awards.

Tao won a top award for graduate students, the Provost’s Award, at the BU Science and Engineering Research Symposium in March, 2008; the Best Paper Award at the BU Future of Light Symposium in November, 2008; and the Incubic/Milton Chang Award at the 29th International Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) in June, 2009.

“Since Tiger joined my group, I have been pleasantly surprised by his outstanding learning rate and capacity for research,” Zhang said. “It has been a privilege to see him blossom so well, and I just hope he gets the right opportunities to fully realize his potential.”

In collaboration with Zhang and Assistant Professor Richard Averitt (Physics), Tao is completing his Ph.D. thesis, which focuses on creating active structures and materials to enhance the ability to manipulate and detect far-infrared, or terahertz, radiation by combining electromagnetic meta-materials with MEMS technologies. He will be defending his dissertation on April 9.