- Title: Assistant Professor
- Group: Autonomous Materials Systems
- Status: Beckman Part-time Faculty
- Home: Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering
- 3355 Beckman Institute
- 405 North Mathews Avenue
- Urbana, Illinois 61801
Professor Yang Zhang received a B.S. in Electrical Science and Technology from University of Science and Technology of China in 2004, and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. He then worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as the recipient of the Clifford G. Shull Fellowship from 2010 to 2012. In fall 2012, he joined the faculty of the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with affiliate appointments from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the Program of Computational Science and Engineering, and the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. His research focuses on the study of non-equilibrium matter, especially liquids and soft matter, using integrated atomistic theory, computation, and simulation and neutron and synchrotron light experimental probes. The structure and dynamics of these systems are either intrinsically complex or driven away from equilibrium by extreme conditions. His current interests include a range of fundamental and technical problems involving long timescale phenomena and rare events, which can be roughly divided into two categories: extreme and non-equilibrium properties of liquids; glassy, jammed, and kinetically trapped soft matter. [http://zhang.npre.illinois.edu/]
American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award (2015); List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent (2013-2015); Collins Fellow, UIUC (2013); Clifford G. Shull Fellowship, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2010); Manson Benedict Award, MIT (2008); Neutron Scattering Society of America Prize (2008)
The understanding of collective phenomena is, and will remain for a long time, one of the major intellectual challenges in many research fields, from physics to economics. Conventional statistical methods have been successfully applied to describe systems at or near equilibrium, but they fail to provide accurate predictions for systems and processes away from equilibrium, where time reversal symmetry and ergodicity are readily broken. Yet, patterns of amazing complexity spanning an immense range of hierarchical spatial and temporal scales—ubiquitous in the world around us—are formed from non-equilibrium conditions, such as turbulent flow, structure of the universe, social activities, and life itself. Research on such systems and processes may help identify the rule of randomness and recognize the role of correlated degrees of freedom in the organization and transport of energy and matter. Such quest for universality is motivated by a hope of identifying emergent principles governing non-equilibrium systems.
Our research focuses on the study of non-equilibrium matter, especially liquids and soft matter, using integrated atomistic theory, computation, and simulation and neutron and synchrotron light experimental probes. The structure and dynamics of these systems are either intrinsically complex or driven away from equilibrium by extreme conditions. Our current interests include a range of fundamental and technical problems involving long timescale phenomena and rare events, which can be roughly divided into two categories:
- Extreme and non-equilibrium properties of liquids: metallic, molecular, ionic, macromolecular, colloidal, granular, etc.
- Glassy, jammed, and kinetically trapped soft matter: heterogeneity, hierarchy, self-organization, functionality, programmability, controllability, etc.
- Publications listed: http://zhang.cse.illinois.edu/publications.html
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