Dr. TieJun (TJ) Zhang

Dr. TieJun (TJ) Zhang

Associate Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Phone: +971 2 810 9424
Email: tiejun.zhang@ku.ac.ae


Dr. TieJun (TJ) Zhang is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Masdar Institute, Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi UAE. He is also the Principal Scientist leading the Alibaba Cloud-Khalifa University Joint Innovation Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence for Clean Energy. He was a visiting assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. He has mentored over 35 PhD/MSc students and postdoctoral research fellows as well as many intern students.


Dr. Zhang is the recipient of the UAE National Research Foundation University-Industry Research Collaboration Award and the US National Academy of Sciences Arab-American Frontiers Fellowship Award. In the past few years, he has been the principal investigator of multiple research projects on energy and micro/nanotechnologies (US$10+M). Dr. Zhang has over 130 peer-reviewed publications on phase-change heat transfer and microfluidics, nanomaterials synthesis and advanced micro-fabrication, solar power generation and refrigeration cooling, subsurface multiphase flow and water treatment, energy process dynamics and intelligent control. He is an active member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) NanoEngineering for Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee and ASME Heat Transfer Division K18 Technical Committee. As a member of ASME and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), he has organized and chaired many conference sessions. He is also a member of the American Physical Society (APS), American Chemical Society (ACS) and Materials Research Society (MRS).


Dr. Zhang was the co-chair (Arab-side) of the Fourth Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering and Medicine Symposium between USA and 22 Arab countries (organized by the US National Academies). He was also the co-chair of 2018 MRS Spring Meeting Symposium EN11 Nanomaterials for the Water and Energy Nexus in USA.


Advisor to the following Staffs and Students:

 Research Scientist

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Research Engineer

PhD Students

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA (2008-2011)
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong (2008)
  • MSc & BEng, Thermal Power Engineering, Southeast University, China (2004 & 2001)
  • MEEN613 Advanced Heat Transfer
  • MEEN744 Interfacial Transport and Phase Change Heat Transfer
  • MEEN761 Advanced Process Dynamics and Control
  • MEEN356 Computer Controlled Systems
  • ENGR113 Introduction to Computing using Matlab

Research Topics

  • Phase-Change Heat Transfer and Microfluidic Flow
  • Micro 3D Printing and Functional Nanomaterials
  • Concentrated Solar Power Generation and Cooling
  • Subsurface Multiphase Flow and Water Treatment
  • Intelligent Process Control and Machine Learning

Recent Research Projects

  • “Alibaba Cloud-Khalifa University Joint Innovation Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence for Clean Energy” (Sponsor: Alibaba Cloud, Principal Scientist, managing multiple AI-Energy projects, 9/2018-8/2023)

This Joint Lab focuses on three research themes: AI-enabled subsurface energy production and processing, machine learning-assisted energy materials development and manufacturing, and AI/cloud computing-powered smart renewable energy systems.

  • “Environmentally Friendly Refrigeration Cooling” (Khalifa University Competitive Internal Research Award, Principal Investigator, with Co-I: Profs. Lourdes Vega, Maryam Khaleel, Nahla AlAmoodi, 7/2018-6/2021)

  • “Pore-scale Wettability Changes on Three-Phase Relative Permeability Characterization in Carbonate Reservoirs” (Sponsor: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company R&D Department – Reservoir Characterization and Modeling Program, Principal Investigator, with Co-I: Profs. Mohamed Sassi and Mustapha Jouiad at Masdar Institute, Kean Wang at Petroleum Institute, 12/2015-12/2019)

  • “Energy Efficiency via Nanostructured Condensers for Natural Gas Processing” (Sponsor: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company R&D Department – Energy Efficiency and Environment Program, Principal Investigator, with Profs. Evelyn Wang at MIT and Kean Wang at Petroleum Institute, 10/2015-12/2018)

  • “High-Performance Compact Solar Thermal Power and Cooling Systems” (Masdar Institute-MIT Flagship Research Project, Principal Investigator, with Profs. Evelyn Wang, Gang Chen, Nicholas Fang at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Profs. Amal Al Ghaferi, Weidong Xiao, Peter Armstrong at Masdar Institute, 7/2013-6/2016)

  1. H. Li, T.J. Zhang, “Imaging and Characterizing Fluid Invasion in Micro-3D Printed Porous Devices with Variable Surface Wettability,” Soft Matter, vol.15, pp. 6978-6987, 2019.
  2. J. Y. Lu, Q.Y. Ge, A. Raza, T.J. Zhang, “Quantum Mechanical Prediction of Wettability of Multiphase Fluids-Solid Systems at Elevated Temperature,” Journal of Physical Chemistry C, vol.123, no.20, pp.12753-12761, 2019.
  3. H. X. Li, A. Aili, M.H. Alhosani, Q. Ge, T.J. Zhang, “Directional Passive Transport of Micro-Droplets in Oil-Infused Diverging Channels for Effective Condensate Removal,” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, vol.10, pp.20910-20919, 2018.
  4. J.Y. Lu, Q. Ge, H.X. Li, A. Raza, T.J. Zhang, “Direct Prediction of Calcite Surface Wettability with First-Principles Quantum Simulation,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, vol.8, pp.5309-5316, 2017.
  5. K. L. Wilke, B. Barabadi, Z. Lu, T.J. Zhang, E.N. Wang, “Parametric Study of Thin Film Evaporation from Nanoporous Membranes,” Applied Physics Letters, vol.111, 171603, 2017.
  6. J. Y. Lu, A. Raza, …, N.X. Fang, G. Chen, T.J. Zhang, “Near-Perfect Ultrathin Nanocomposite Absorber with Self-Formed Topping Plasmonic Nanoparticles,” Advanced Optical Materials, vol.5, 1700222, 2017.
  7. H. X. Li, W.L. Yang, A. Aili, T.J. Zhang, “Insights into the Impact of Surface Hydrophobicity on Droplet Coalescence and Jumping Dynamics,” Langmuir, vol.33, pp.8574-8581, 2017.
  8. M. H. Alhosani, T.J. Zhang, “Dynamics of Microscale Liquid Propagation in Micropillar Arrays,” Langmuir, vol.33, pp.6620-6629, 2017.
  9. A. Aili, Q.Y. Ge, T.J. Zhang, “How Nanostructures Affect Water Droplet Nucleation on Superhydrophobic Surfaces,” Journal of Heat Transfer, vol.139, 112401, 2017.
  10. G. Ni, G. Li, …, T.J. Zhang, G. Chen, “Steam Generation under One Sun Enabled by a Floating Structure with Thermal Concentration,” Nature Energy, vol.1, 16126, 2016.
  11. A. Aili, H.X. Li, M.H. Alhosani, T.J. Zhang, “Unidirectional Fast Growth and Forced Jumping of Stretched Condensing Droplets on Nanostructured Microporous Surfaces,” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, vol.8, pp.21776-21786, 2016.
  12. Y. Zhu, D.S. Antao, …, T.J. Zhang, E.N. Wang, “Surface Structure Enhanced Microchannel Flow Boiling,” Journal of Heat Transfer, vol.138, 091501, 2016.
  13. H. R. Liu, A. Raza, …, T.J. Zhang, “Sunlight-Sensitive Anti-Fouling Nanostructured TiO2 coated Cu Meshes for Ultrafast Oily Water Treatment,” Scientific Reports, vol.6, 25414, 2016.
  14. W. L. Yang, J.W. Gao, G. Feng, T.J. Zhang, “An Optimal Approach to Output-feedback Robust Model Predictive Control of LPV Systems with Disturbances,” International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, vol.26, pp.3253-3273, 2016.
  15. F. Xiao, S. Yuan, …, T.J. Zhang, “Superhydrophobic CuO Nanoneedle-covered Copper Surfaces for Anti-corrosion,” RSC Journal of Materials Chemistry A, vol.3, pp.4374-4388, 2015.
  16. T. J. Zhang, S. Mohamed, “Conceptual Design and Analysis of Hydrocarbon-Based Solar Thermal Power and Ejector Cooling Systems in Hot Climates,” Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, vol.137, 021001, 2015.
  17. T. J. Zhang, J.T. Wen, et al., “Stability Analysis and Maldistribution Control of Two-Phase Flow in Parallel Evaporating Channels,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, vol.54, pp. 5298-5305, 2011.
  18. T. J. Zhang, Y. Peles, et al., “Analysis and Active Control of Pressure-Drop Flow Instabilities in Boiling Microchannel Systems,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, vol.53, pp.2347-2360, 2010.
  19. T. J. Zhang, T. Tong, et al., “Ledinegg Instability in Microchannels,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, vol. 52, pp. 5661-5674, 2009.
  20. T.J. Zhang, G. Feng, X.J. Zeng, “Output Tracking of Constrained Nonlinear Processes with Offset-Free Input-to-State Stable Fuzzy Predictive Control,” Automatica, vol.45, pp.900-909, 2009

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