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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    The Kenneth S. Stoller Award, designed for graduate students with a research emphasis on hazardous wastes, encompasses an NJWEA certificate and a cash reward of $1,500. Jianan has been chosen due to his exceptional academic achievement, merit, scholarly aptitude, and a strong demonstrated interest in the study of nitrogen pollution control and resource recovery. 

The CAPEES Founding President Best Paper Award aims to honor two remarkable peer-reviewed publications in the sphere of environmental science and engineering. The winning paper must be spearheaded by a student or a postdoctoral scholar within the CAPEES student chapter. Both the leading student author and the corresponding author, typically the advisor, will be honored with an award certificate or a plaque. Additionally, a monetary prize of $500 will be bestowed upon the lead author.

    We are proud to announce that Jianan Gao, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NJIT, was selected as a co-recipient of 2023 Kenneth S. Stoller Award from New Jersey Water Environment Association (NJWEA) and 2023 CAPEES Founding President Best Paper Award from the Chinese-American Professors in Environmental Engineering and Science (CAPEES).

   Under the guidance of Professor Wen Zhang, Jianan has devoted himself to the research of solving energy, environmental, and sustainability problems related to wastewater treatment and resource recovery from wastewater. The dominant use of fossil fuels and inadequate access to clean water are increasing global concerns due to the climate change, natural resource depletion and population explosion. Thus, sustainable water and molecular reactions attract substantial attention to addressing energy and environmental issues. Jianan’s research focuses on emerging electrocatalytic technology, a more sustainable and environmentally benign strategy to convert renewable feedstocks and energy sources into transportable fuels and value-added chemicals compared to modern fossil-fuel-based refineries. Specifically, Jianan’s design and study the electrified membrane flow-cell system, a potentially game-changing filtration technology to transform current physical filtration processes into chemically reactive systems that proactively react with water contaminants. Jianan evaluate electrocatalytic upcycling of nitrate in wastewater from municipal, industrial or agricultural systems to valuable commodity chemicals (ammonia gas or ammonium sulphate). The research goal is to improve the removal efficiency of water pollutants to safeguard human health and to increase membrane filtration durability and stability of safe drinking water production and adoption of water reuse in small communities. This electrified membrane process demonstrates synergistic nitrate decontamination and nutrient upcycling/recovery using real nitrate wastewater with durable catalytic activity and stability. The relevant studies have been published on Environmental Science & Technology (2021, 55(15), 10684–10694; 2022, 56(16), 11602–11613), Advanced Energy Materials (2023, 2203891), Applied Catalysis B: Environmental (Volume 254, 5 October 2019, Pages 391-402) and Chemical Engineering Journals (2020, 382, 123034; 2023, 455, 140959) with Jianan as first-author.

CEE PhD student, Jianan Gao, received the 2023 Kenneth S. Stoller Award and 2023 CAPEES Founding President Best Paper Award