Zhang to Receive Fitzroy Medal at the Honors Assembly

Xiang Zhang, Ph.D.

Xiang Zhang, Ph.D., the Ernest S. Kuh endowed chair professor at the University of California Berkeley, and seven other engineering luminaries will be recognized by the Society this year at the ASME Honors Assembly. The ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, which is being held in Montreal from Nov. 14 to 20.

Dr. Zhang, an ASME Fellow and resident of Alamo, Calif., will receive the Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy and Roland V. Fitzroy Medal for his pioneering contributions in metamaterials and the creation of the first optical superlens to overcome the fundamental diffraction limit in imaging; and for the invention of plasmonic lithography technology to advance nanoscale manufacturing, which is important for microelectronics and data storage applications.

Established in 2011, the Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy and Roland V. Fitzroy Medal recognizes pioneering contributions to the frontiers of engineering leading to a breakthrough in existing technology or leading to new applications or new areas of engineering endeavor.

In addition to the position of Ernest S. Kuh endowed chair professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley, Zhang is a distinguished researcher, a pioneer in metamaterials and a world leader in nanomanufacturing. Zhang also serves as director of the Center for Scalable and Integrated Nanomanufacturing, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, and director of the Materials Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Zhang's transformative research in optical metamaterials, nano-optics and photonics has had a profound impact on optical science and technology. His groundbreaking demonstrations of optical metamaterials include the first magnetic response of metamaterials at far-infrared frequencies, which opened the door to the worldwide pursuit of optical metamaterials.

Using composite metamaterials, Zhang was the first researcher to overcome the fundamental limit of diffraction, solving a 200-year-old problem and bringing about a shift in engineering materials design and applications. Based on this breakthrough, he created the first optical superlens, the first 3-D bulk metamaterials with a negative optical refractive index, and the first optical invisibility cloak.

Zhang also pioneered a new nanofabrication technology and coined the term plasmonic lithography. With its ability to reach down to 10 nanometer scale, this technology will provide an effective solution for nanoscale manufacturing, which is critical for electronics manufacturing and the magnetic storage industry.

In addition to having his work covered widely in the international media, Zhang's negative refraction breakthrough was selected by Time magazine as one of the Top 10 Scientific Discoveries and one of the Best 50 Inventions of 2008. The superlens was among Discover magazine's Top 100 Science Stories of 2007 and R&D Magazine's Top 25 Most Innovative Products of 2006.

A member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and China's Academia Sinica, Zhang is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Optical Society, and the International Society for Optics and Photonics Engineers (SPIE). He has been a member of the ASME Nanotechnology Institute since 2003.

Zhang earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in solid state physics from Nanjing University, China, in 1985 and 1988, respectively. He earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1992; and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley in 1996.

The ASME Foundation is the proud supporter of the ASME Honors and Awards program through the management of award endowment funds set up by individuals, corporations or groups. For more information on the 2014 Honors Assembly and each of this year's award recipients, visit www.asmeconferences.org/Congress2014/Honors.cfm.