Explore the Nano World 

 Wen's Research Group​

Wen Zhang, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE

Principal Investigator

Phone: (973) 596-5520 
Fax: (973) 596-5790
Email: wen.zhang@njit.edu

Office Location: Colton Hall 211

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from gastrointestinal, respiratory, and neurological diseases caused by waterborne and airborne viruses. It offers a compelling solution to combat the persistent threat of viral illnesses, paving the way for a safer future. This research is funded by the United States Department of Interior via Bureau of Reclamation (Agreement number: R19AC00106), EPA P3 Phase I and II (SU84015001 and SV84041901), NSF Molecular Separation (Award number: 2025374), NJ Health Foundation. Award#: PC 27-23 and NJIT TITA Seed Grant.

Qingquan Ma, a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Wen Zhang’s group shares two posters which focus on PFAS removal with electrochemical membrane and RO/NF membrane. His research is funded by 2021-2023 NJIT-BGU Seed Grants and MAST center (#22-05).

In the afternoon session, Dr. Cliff Davidson, an expert in civil and environmental engineering from Syracuse University, delivered a distinguished lecture talk on "The Interactions of Airborne Particles with Surfaces." Dr. Davidson, who holds the Thomas and Colleen Wilmot Professorship in Civil and Environmental Engineering and serves as the Director of Environmental Engineering Programs at Syracuse University, shed light on the complex dynamics of airborne particles and their interactions with various surfaces. 

Dr. Davidson highlighted the importance of both modeling and measurement in improving our understanding of the deposition process. He discussed the use of well-controlled experimental surfaces in wind tunnels as well as in real-world ambient atmospheres to gather data and insights. Dr. Davidson's talk provided a comprehensive overview of the interactions of airborne particles with surfaces, emphasizing the complexity and challenges associated with predicting and understanding the deposition process. His insights and research findings contribute to our understanding of the fate of airborne particles in the environment and their potential impacts on human health and ecosystems.

Shan Xue, a PhD candidate in Dr Wen Zhang’s research group, presented a poster titled “Use of Nanobubble Watering Processes for Enhanced Plant Growth “during the AEESP DL event at New Jersey Institute of Technology on April 14th. Through discovering and characterizing nanobubble intriguing nanoscale phenomena and processes in the plant growth, this project will deliver new insight into novel sustainable agricultural practices using NB water that may increase crop production and reduce water, chemical fertilizer and herbicide uses. This research is partially supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AFRI project [2018-07549] and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) under Assistance Agreement No. 83945101 and 84001901 (EPA P3 phase I and II).

Zhang’s group successfully hosted an engaging workshop on Professional Engineering (PE) and Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) credentials, presided over by Dr. Wen Zhang. The workshop, held on April 14 at NJIT, brought together professionals, educators, and students from the engineering community to discuss the significance of licensure and certification in environmental engineering, and the essential training and experiences required to achieve these credentials.

Jianan Gao, a PhD candidate in Dr Wen Zhang’s research group, presented a poster titled “Electrified membrane flow-cell for nitrate reduction and ammonia recovery”. This study investigated the potential of electrochemical upcycling of nitrate to ammonia the simultaneous ammonia recovery from the wastewater.  This study was financially supported by the NSF/BSF project (award number: 2215387) and New Jersey Water Resources Research Institute (award number: G21AP10595-01).

The workshop commenced with a warm welcome and introduction of the workshop objectives and the missions of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES), followed by an overview of the importance of professional licensure and certification in engineering. Dr. Zhang introduced the esteemed panelists (John Civardi, PE, Principal at Mott Macdonald, George H. Hollerbach, P.E., CSP, BCEE, Senior Principal at Geosyntec Consultant and Richard Calbi, PE, Director for Ridgewood Water Treatment) and set the stage for an informative and dynamic discussion. The highlight of the workshop was the keynote speech delivered by John Civardi, Principal at Mott Macdonald, who shared his insights on the evolution of licensure in environmental engineering, taking the audience from theory to reality. His extensive experience in the field provided valuable perspectives on the importance of PE and BCEE credentials in today's engineering landscape.

The panel discussion, featured a diverse panel of industry experts, PE/BCEE holders, and educators. The panel engaged in a thought-provoking discussion on the significance of PE/BCEE credentials, highlighting the benefits and opportunities that come with these certifications. They also emphasized the essential college training and engineering design experiences necessary to achieve these credentials, providing valuable guidance to aspiring engineers in the audience.

The Q&A session with the audience was a lively interaction, with participants actively engaging in discussions and seeking insights from the panelists. Breakout groups were organized, providing an opportunity for participants to connect with industry experts and educators in a more intimate setting, facilitating further discussions and knowledge sharing. The informal networking session also allowed students to connect with professionals and learn about internships, job opportunities, and mentorship programs.

The day ended with a luncheon and networking session, providing a relaxed atmosphere for further interactions and connections among the participants. The workshop proved to be a resounding success, providing invaluable insights and guidance on the importance of PE and BCEE credentials, and the essential college training and engineering design experiences necessary to achieve them.

During the panel discussion at the workshop, three distinguished panelists will share their expertise and insights on the importance of Professional Engineering (PE) and Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) credentials.

Fangzhou Liu, a Ph.D candidate in Dr Wen Zhang’s research group, presented a poster titled “High-efficient Inactivation of Waterborne and Airborne Viruses Using Microwave Catalytic Membranes and Filters”. This study presents a breakthrough solution through a novel microwave-enhanced membrane filtration process that generates localized heating and radicals to effectively inactivate waterborne and airborne viruses. This cutting-edge research has the potential to revolutionize water treatment strategies, safeguarding communities 

Zhang’s group members presented their poster talks in this event.

Lili Li, a doctoral student in Dr Wen Zhang’s research group, presented a poster titled “Parallel filtration for solid-liquid separation: A case study of highly efficient algal removal under parallel configuration driven by magnetic force” during the AEESP DL event at New Jersey Institute of Hydrobiology on April 14th. The study proposed a novel parallel filtration configuration, which is driven by magnetic force, for the removal of Microcystis flos-aquae. 

The study also disclosed the principle behind the enhancement of filtration flux, which has the potential for rapid, efficient and large-scale applications in product purification, contaminant removal, and resource recycling in the future. This research is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China [2018YFE0110600].

Guangyu Zhu, a PhD student in Dr. Wen Zhang’s group presented a poster titled “Omniphobic interfacial heating membranes with robust antifouling, antiwetting performance and superior thermal efficiency in membrane distillation”. This study developed a novel interfacial heating membranes coated with a combination of induction responsive materials and fluoroalkylsilanes (FAS) providing excellent hydrophobic and oleophobic properties to enhance the robustness and sustainability of the induction assisted membrane distillation processes. His research is funded by us bureau of reclamation (Award number: R22AC00433).

Yihan Zhang, a PhD candidate in Dr Wen Zhang’s research group, presented a poster titled “Impacts of Nanobubbles in Pore Water on Heavy Metal Pollutant Release from Contaminated Soil Columns“ during the AEESP DL event at New Jersey Institute of Technology on April 14th. This study investigated the release of heavy metals from polluted soil under the pore water flow containing nanobubbles (NBs) to simulate natural ebullition. The findings could provide new insights into soil pollutant release under ebullition and soil remediation using water wash containing NBs. This study was supported by the New Jersey Water Resources Research Institute (NJWRRI) Grant (Project Number: 2020NJ027B).