Charles DeLisi Award and Lecture

The College of Engineering Charles DeLisi Award and Lecture celebrates high-impact research in engineering and annually honors one of our faculty engaged in outstanding research. This showcasing event allows all members of the Boston University community to meet a distinguished scholar selected from the College of Engineering faculty discussing a topic of recognized excellence.

Widely considered the father of the Human Genome Project, DeLisi was an early pioneer in computational molecular biology, and also made seminal contributions to theoretical and mathematical immunology. He currently serves as Metcalf Professor of Science and Engineering, and continues to direct the Biomolecular Systems Laboratory, where more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students have trained.

As Dean of the College of Engineering from 1990 to 2000, he recruited leading researchers in biomedical, manufacturing, aerospace and mechanical engineering, photonics and other engineering fields, establishing a research infrastructure that ultimately propelled the College into the top ranks of engineering graduate programs. In 1999 he founded—and then chaired for more than a decade—BU’s Bioinformatics Program, the first such program in the nation.

Current Recipient

Professor Xin Zhang

Professor Xin Zhang (ME, ECE, BME, MSE) is the recipient of this year’s Charles DeLisi Award and Lecture. Zhang presented the Charles DeLisi Distinguished Lecture, “Tailoring Electromagnetic and Acoustic Waves with Microelectromechanical Systems and Metamaterials” on Thursday, April 12 at 4 p.m. in the Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering.

Zhang has been a member of the faculty since 2002, and is a professor of mechanical engineering, electrical & computer engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science & engineering, and the Photonics Center. She leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers focused on fundamental and applied aspects of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS and its descendent NEMS or micro/nanosystems). Her research group—the Laboratory for Microsystems Technology—seeks to understand and exploit interesting characteristics of physics, materials, mechanics, and manufacturing technologies with forward-looking engineering efforts and practical applications ranging from energy to health care to homeland security.

Zhang has published more than 140 papers in interdisciplinary journals. She served as associate chair for mechanical engineering graduate programs at BU from 2008 to 2011, and is now associate director of the BU Nanotechnology Innovation Center and director of both the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates and the NSF Research Experiences for Teachers Sites in Integrated Nanomanufacturing at BU.

She has received numerous awards for research and education excellence and was both a U.S. and E.U.-U.S. National Academy of Engineering Invitee. In 2009, she was named the inaugural Distinguished Faculty Fellow, an appointment given to tenured engineering faculty at Boston University who are on a clear trajectory toward an exemplary career in all dimensions of science and engineering. In 2016, she was selected as the recipient of the IEEE Sensors Council Technical Achievement Award (advanced career) for distinguished contributions to micro/nanoelectromechanical systems. She is a Fellow of AAAS, AIMBE, ASME, IEEE, and OSA, and an Associate Fellow of AIAA.


Above: A playlist of recent lectures

Recent Recipients