Technology Review has named Xiaolin Zheng, an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, to its annual TR35 list honoring the year’s top young innovators.
The magazine honored Zheng as a pioneer for developing what it called an "ingenious solar sticker" that could turn almost any surface into a source of solar power. The flexible, decal-like solar panels can be peeled off like band-aids and applied to a window, a business card, the back of a mobile phone and other materials, yet they produce just as much electricity as rigid ones made of the same materials.
Traditional solar panels are often deployed in stiff and often heavy fixed panels, limiting their applications.
The TR35 recognizes the world’s top innovators under age 35, spanning biotechnology, computer and electronics hardware and software, energy, the web, and nanotechnology, among other emerging fields.
Zheng, who joined Stanford in 2007, has previously been honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the U.S. government's highest honor for early-career engineers and scientists; the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research; and the Young Faculty Award from DARPA. She received a Terman Fellowship from Stanford in 2007 and the Bernard Lewis Fellowship from the Combustion Institute in 2004.
This year, she received a nontenured-faculty grant award from 3M.
Zheng's research focuses on bridging combustion science and nanotechnology to provide innovative and revolutionary solutions to solve some of today’s most challenging problems, such as energy and the environment.
Zheng received her PhD and Master's degree in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and her BS in Thermal Engineering from Tsinghua University.
Jamie Beckett is Director of Communications and Alumni Relations for the School of Engineering.