Previous Story Next Story

Civil engineering faculty member awarded Auburn Alumni Engineering Council professorship

By Brian Wesley

Published: Sep 10, 2019 1:43:00 PM

Dongye Zhao Dongye Zhao

Dongye Zhao has been named the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council Professor in Auburn University’s Department of Civil Engineering.

The professorship supports the teaching and research programs of high-achieving faculty like Zhao, who has been on the Auburn faculty since 2001.

“Dongye is certainly a fitting recipient of this honor,” said Christopher B. Roberts, dean of engineering. “He is an exceptional scholar who is dedicated to students and is on the forefront of high-quality research in civil engineering.”

Zhao’s research interests include nanomaterials and nanotechnologies for environmental cleanup, novel technologies for remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, and photocatalytic degradation of persistent organic pollutants in the environment. Zhao’s group is internationally recognized for its original work on in situ remediation of soil and groundwater using stabilized nanoparticles. The technologies have been field-tested and used worldwide.

In addition to his work at Auburn University, Zhao also serves as an editor for two major international journals – Water Environment Research and Frontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering – and as a board member for three other journals. Zhao has published extensively, including more than 170 papers in Science Citation Indexed journals, and he has seven U.S. patents. His h-index, a measure that represents both the productivity and impact of a particular scientist, is 49, which is in the “outstanding” range, according to the index’s founder.

“I appreciate the college’s efforts to promote a stimulating academic environment here,” Zhao said. “Our students work so hard because of their curiosity for knowledge and their desire to learn. I believe this honor also belongs to my hardworking colleagues, and I hope my colleagues and I will continue to make Auburn a great place for educating high-quality students and for conducting cutting-edge innovative research.”

The Auburn Alumni Engineering Council is an alumni advisory group that supports and promotes the vision of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. Its members meet twice a year to consult the college on academics, development, governmental affairs and public relations.

“We created this professorship as a testament to the elite group of educators and researchers who pool their talents for the College of Engineering,” said Walt Woltosz, chair of the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council. “Through this honor, the College of Engineering can continue to attract and retain distinguished faculty and support the work of valued professors like Dongye Zhao.”

Zhao joined Auburn University as an assistant professor within the Department of Civil Engineering. He earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees at Taiyuan University of Technology in China, where he ranked at the top of his class in 1984. He earned his doctoral degree at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and completed his postdoctoral work at Virginia Tech and the Connecticut Agricultural and Experiment Station.

Media Contact: Austin Phillips,, 334.844.2444

Recent Headlines