By Mark Dwortzan
Associate Professor Xin Zhang (ME, MSE) is one of about 60 engineers from academia, government and industry selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) second annual European Union (E.U.) – U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium. Held November 3-5, 2011 in Irvine, California, the three-day event will bring together exceptional engineering researchers and practitioners aged 30 to 45—roughly 30 from the U.S. and 30 from Europe—to discuss leading edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors.
“I’m proud to be selected to participate in such an important event,” said Zhang, who in 2007 was invited to attend the NAE U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium. “The 2011 symposium will be timely because participants will discuss cutting-edge developments in many different areas, and not surprisingly, all of them fall within the realms of human health and energy.”
A College of Engineering faculty member since 2002, Zhang leads an interdisciplinary team of young researchers at BU focused on fundamental and applied aspects of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology. Her research group—the Laboratory for Microsystems Technology—seeks to understand and exploit interesting characteristics of micro/nanomaterials, micro/nanomechanics, and micro/nanomanufacturing technologies with forward-looking engineering efforts and practical applications ranging from energy to health care to homeland security. In 2009 Zhang was named the College’s inaugural Distinguished Faculty Fellow, a five-year appointment given to tenured ENG faculty on a clear trajectory toward an exemplary career in all dimensions of science and engineering.
The NAE’s newest Frontiers offering, the E.U.-U.S. Frontiers of Engineering program aims to convene outstanding, early-career European and American engineers to share their expertise with one another, thus facilitating international, cross-disciplinary research collaboration and the transfer of new techniques and approaches across disparate engineering fields. The 2011 symposium will examine leading edge developments in sustainable cities, manufacturing, the smart grid and networks in biology.
The National Academy of Engineering is an independent, nonprofit institution that serves as an adviser to the U.S. government and citizens on engineering and technology issues. NAE members consist of the nation’s premier engineers, who are elected by their peers for their distinguished achievements.