Professor Zuankai Wang

Zuankai Wang is currently a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean (Internationalization & Industry Engagement) of College of Engineering at City University of Hong Kong.

Over billions years’ of evolution, many biological systems have orchestrated a variety of principles to process and manage information, materials and energy using the least materials while high efficiency. In particular, many phenomena in nature, ranging from the ways that natural materials self-assemble and respond to external stimuli to the manifestation of directional liquid flow on the surfaces of materials are underpinned by elegant surface topographical mechanisms.

My research interest lies in the seeking, unraveling and conceptualizing of the power of these evolved mechanisms and then translating the learned understandings to design nature-inspired surfaces that dynamically change their interfacial and transport properties such as wetting, adhesion, thermal-fluid transport for water-energy nexus and biomedical applications.

Research Interests

  • Thermal-fluid
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Nature-inspired engineering
  • Soft matter


  • Postdoc in Biomedical Engineering—Columbia University, US, 2009
  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering -- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US, 2008
  • M.S. in Microelectronics -- Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, 2003
  • B.S. in Mechanical Engineering -- Jilin University, China, 2000

Professional Employment

  • Full Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, 07/ 2018 ~ present.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, 07/ 2014 ~ 06/2018.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, 07/2011 ~ 06/2014.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, 09/2009 ~ 06/2011.

Awards & Honours

For Academics and Research

  • Among the 15 favorite Nature Physics papers selected by Nature Physics editors over the past 15 years’ publication, 2020
  • Xplorer Prize, 2020
  • Top 10 Hong Kong Innovation & Technology News (Droplet-based energy generator), 2020.
  • President Lectureship, City University of Hong Kong, 2020
  • 2020 Premium Award for Best Paper in Biosurface and Biotribology, Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

For Training and Teaching

  • Gold Award and Merit Award-The Best Engineering Solution Award in Chun Wo Innovation Student Awards 2020 (CWISA) for the innovation of Fog-based Self-powered System (FSS).
  • Outstanding Supervisor Award, City University of Hong Kong, 2020.
  • HKIS-Towngas Young Scientist Award, Hong Kong Institution of Sciences (HKIS, Jing Li), 2020.
  • Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies Outstanding Doctoral Research Award (Dr. Wanghuai Xu), City University of Hong Kong, 2020 (The only one winner in the category of Engineering & Technology throughout the university).
  • Best Doctoral Thesis Award (Dr. Wanghuai Xu), City University of Hong Kong, 2020

Professional Activities

  • Editorial Board Member, iScience (Cell Press), since 12/2017.
  • Associate Editor, Biosurface and Biotribology, since 07/2017.
  • Editorial Board Member, Coatings, since 2017.
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Bionic Engineering (Elsevier), since 2017.
  • Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group, since 08/2014).
  • Advisory Board Member, Advanced Engineering Materials (Wiley), since 09/2014.
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Colloid Science and Biotechnology, since 2013.

Selected Publications

  1. Yuankai Jin, Wanghuai Xu, Huanhuan Zhang, Huanxi Zheng, Yaqi Cheng, Xiantong Yan, Shouwei Gao, Daoai Wang, Yunlong Zi, Feng Zhou, Zuankai Wang . Complete prevention of contact electrification by molecular engineering. Matter , 4, 290 (2021).
  2. Wanghuai Xu, Zuankai Wang. Fusion of slippery interfaces and transistor-inspired architecture for water kinetic energy harvesting. Joule, 4, 2527 (2020) (Invited perspective).
  3. Wanghuai Xu, Huanxi Zheng, Yuan Liu, Xiaofeng Zhou, Chao Zhang, Yuxin Song, Xu Deng, Michael Leung, Zhengbao Yang, Ronald X. Xu, Zhonglin Wang, Xiao Cheng Zeng, Zuankai Wang. A droplet-based electricity generator with high instantaneous power density. Nature, 578, 392 (2020).
    Highlighted as the Headline of Physics World, featured as The Paper of the Month by the Latest Science, and reported by over 50 news outlets.
  4. Qiangqiang Sun, Dehui Wang, Yanan Li, Jiahui Zhang, Shuji Ye, Jiaxi Cui, Longquan Chen, Zuankai Wang, Hans-Jürgen Butt, Vollmer Doris, Xu Deng. Surface charge printing for programmed droplet transport. Nature Materials, 18, 936 (2019) (Co-corresponding author)
    Highlighted by Nature.
  5. Wanbo Li, Miao Yu, Jing Sun, Kentaro Mochizuki, Siyu Chen, Huanxi Zheng, Jiaqian Li, Shuhuai Yao, Hongkai Wu, Satoshi Kawata, Beng S. Ong, Zuankai Wang, Kangning Ren. Crack engineering for the construction of arbitrary hierarchical architectures. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, 116,23909 (2019) (co-corresponding author).

For more publications, please visit:


Hong Kong
Mechanical Engineering
Academic discipline: