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Dr. Zhengdong Cheng

Dr. Zhengdong Cheng


Office Number: 219
Office Phone: +974.4423.0207

Prof. Zhengdong Cheng is a professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University at Qatar, and a professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas (USA). He is a faculty member in the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center in the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and a faculty member of the Professional Program in Biotechnology at Texas A&M. His research primarily focuses on complex fluids and soft matter. He studies the self-organization of anisotropic particles and intelligent colloids in earth gravity as well as the microgravity on board of the International Space Station, the fabrication of photonic crystals, solar hydrogen production via water splitting, solar membrane distillation of salt water and atmosphere water harvest, and the application of microfluidics to nano-encapsulation. The techniques developed are applicable to the modeling of phase transitions and liquid crystal materials, the engineering of nanocomposites and semiconductors of light, solar energy harvesting, sea water desalination, enhance oil recovery, chemical process safety, and a wide range of therapeutic treatments. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles in prestigious publications including Nature, Science, PNAS and Phys. Rev. Letters that have received more than 5,000 citations, and a textbook for graduates and undergraduates, Colloids, Drops, and Cells. He has been granted eight U.S. patents. Cheng is an associate editor of Gravitational and Space Research, the flagship journal of the American Society for Gravity and Space Research. He also works closely with numerous industry stakeholders in the energy and environment sectors.

Current research:

  • Self-assembly of 2D colloidal materials: Liquid crystals (1g and microgravity on ISS), gel
  • Energy: Solar hydrogen production, desalination
  • Enhanced Oil Recovery, nano petroleum surfactants, acid encapsulation
  • Soft matter (high expansion foam, etc.) for LNG safety
  • Biomimic materials, photonic crystals
  • Microfluidics for artificial kidney, water treatment and green energy production


Princeton University (USA), Ph.D. 1999, Physics (Condensed Matter Physics)
Institute of High Energy Physics, Beijing, M.S. 1993, Particle Physics
University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China), B.S. 1990, Modern Physics


2019-present: Professor, Chemical Engineering Program, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Doha, Qatar

2017-present: Professor, Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering (dual appointment), Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

2017-present: Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

2010- 2017: Associate Professor, Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering ,Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

2004-2010: Assistant Professor, Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

2005-2010: Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

2004-present: The Professional Program in Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

2002-2004: Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, USA.

2001-2002: Engineer, Dicon Fiberoptics, Richmond, California, USA.

2000-2001: Postdoctoral Fellow, Exxonmobil Research and Engineering, Annandale, NJ, USA

1999-2000: Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton Materials Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.


  • William Keller Memorial Award 2014 for overall contributions to engineering education at Texas A&M University (2015)
  • Dean of Engineering Excellence Award (2018)
  • Joseph Wang Award 2015 (Nano Materials) by Cognizure-Publishing Division
  • Undergraduate Aggie Challenge project, “Mitigation Methods for Accidental Offshore Oil Spillages” won the Top Overall Prize at the 2016 Engineering Project Showcase (29 April 2016), Texas A&M University; also won the “Best Aggie Challenge Project”
  • Graduate student Andres Mejia honored with the inaugural Dwight Look College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Award


  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Harvard University, 2002-2004
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Exxonmobil, 2001
  • Research assistantship, Princeton University, 1993-1998
  • Ilida Scholarship on Experiment, University of Science and Technology of China, 1989


“Autonomous Catalytic Nanomotors Based on 2D Magnetic Nanoplates” M Zeng*, D Huang*, P Wang, D King, B Peng, J Luo, Q Lei, L Zhang*, L Wang#, A Shinde*, M Shuai#, N Clark, Z Cheng, ACS Applied Nano Materials DOI: 10.1021/acsanm.8b02153, Publication Date (Web): January 3, 2019.

“Effective hydrogen production from partial oxidation of propane over composite Ni/Al2O3SiC catalyst” C Wang, M Liao*, E Bu, Z Jiang, Y Chen, Z Cheng, X Luo, B Liang, R Shu, Q. Song, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 44, 2019, 680-693.

“Natural Halloysites-Based Janus Platelet Surfactants for the Formation of Pickering Emulsion and Enhanced Oil Recovery” L Zhang*, Q Lei, J Luo, M Zeng*, L Wang#, D Huang*, X Wang*, S Mannan, B Peng, Z Cheng, Scientific reports 9, 2019, 163.

“Non-iridescent, crack-free, conductive structural colors enhanced by flexible nanosheets of reduced graphene oxide” L Song*, X Chen, Y Xie, L Zhong, X Zhang, Z Cheng, Dyes and Pigments 164, 2019, 222-226.

“Determining the dispersion stability of black phosphorus colloids by 3D light scattering” X Ding (Undergraduate student), Z Wei*, Y Chen, P Lin, Q Yan, Y Fan, X Chen, Z Cheng, Optical Materials Express 9, 2019, 423-434.

“Upgrading phenolic compounds and bio-oil through hydrodeoxygenation using highly dispersed Pt/TiO2 catalyst” R Shu*, B Lin*, C Wang, J Zhang, Z Cheng, Y Chen, Fuel 239, 2019, 1083-1090.

“Improving the stability of high expansion foam used for LNG vapor risk mitigation using exfoliated zirconium phosphate nanoplates” P Krishnan*, A Al-Rabbat*, B Zhang#, D Huang*, L Zhang*, M Zeng*, S Mannan, Z Cheng, Process Safety and Environmental Protection 123, 2019, 48-58.

“Enhanced photoreforming hydrogen production: Pickering interfacial catalysis from a bio-derived biphasic system” C Wang, E Bu*, Y Chen, Z Cheng, J Zhang, R Shu, Q Song, Renewable Energy 134, 2019, 113-124.