Dr. Hanchen Huang Accepts Professorship in Sustainable Energy

PHOTOThe School of Engineering is pleased to announce that Dr. Hanchen Huang has accepted the UConn School of Engineering Professorship in Sustainable Energy. Dr. Huang is currently a professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. He will join UConn as a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in August 2009.

Dr. Huang’s position is associated with the Eminent Faculty Initiative in Sustainable Energy, an initiative funded by a State of Connecticut allocation of over $2.8 million annually, with additional support of $5.5 million from UTC Power, FuelCell Energy, Northeast Utilities and the Clean Energy Fund/Connecticut Innovations. The goal of this program is to hire 10 to 12 faculty members to form the core of an interdisciplinary, integrated team working in the strategic areas of sustainable energy with emphasis on fuel cells, energy conversion and storage, alternative energy and fuels, power and energy harvesting.

Prior to joining RPI in 2002, Dr. Huang served as a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU). Professor Huang also conducted research in advanced materials and nano-mechanics at the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) facilities in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1995 to 1998.

Dr. Huang earned his M.S. in theoretical physics at the Institute of Atomic Energy of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at UCLA. His research efforts – funded by DoE, the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Laboratory, Hong Kong RGC, national labs and industry consortia – involve nanomaterials for energy storage, atomistic simulation methods, semiconductors, materials processing, interfacial phenomena and nuclear fusion. Dr. Huang has nearly 100 refereed journal publications and more than 1,000 SCI citations based on his work. He is a guest editor of the journals MRS Bulletin, Philosophical Magazine, Computational Materials Science, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, and the Journal of Computer-Aided Materials Design.

Dr. Huang’s research involves surface/interface processing at the atomistic level that has tremendous potential to advance materials required for fuel cells, solar cells and catalyst development. In the area of nanofabrication, his efforts focusing on nanowires and nanorods aim to reveal atomistic mechanisms of growth, including both kinetic and thermodynamic factors. These materials can play a major role in developing supercapacitors for energy storage. His research involving the mechanics of nanowires, nanotubes and nanoplates seeks to reveal anomalies with respect to continuum mechanics, including both elastic deformation and structural changes.

He has received several awards, including the 2007 RPI School of Engineering Excellence in Research Award, the 2002 President’s Award for Outstanding Performance in Research and Scholarship (HPKU), the 2001 Bole Award for Professional Leadership (Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society) and the 1992 Scientific Progress Award (China Department of Energy).