Brown University School of Engineering

Professor Huajian Gao Elected to Chinese Academy of Sciences

December 16, 2015

Huajian Gao, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Engineering at Brown University, has been elected as a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) for his scientific achievements and contributions made to promoting and developing science and technology in China.

“This is a wonderful honor for Professor Gao,” said Dean Larry Larson. “He is one of the leading scholars in his field, and that continues to be recognized on both a national and international level. We are fortunate to have him at Brown.”

He has been invited to the 18th General Assembly to be held next June in Beijing. The CAS is a merit-based academic society similar to the National Academy of Sciences, and now has 777 Members and 82 Foreign Members.

“This is the highest honor from the Chinese scientific community,” said Gao, “and I am pleased and humbled to receive it.”

Gao has been honored by several professional societies for his work. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2012 for contributions to micromechanics of thin films and hierarchically structured materials. In 2015, he received the William Prager Medal from the Society of Engineering Science (SES) made in recognition of his outstanding research contributions in theoretical solid mechanics. Gao was awarded the 2015 Nadai Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for groundbreaking contributions to hierarchical nanotwinned metals, energy storage materials, metallic glasses, and diffusional creep of metal thin films. His previous awards and honors include the Rodney Hill Prize in Solid Mechanics (highest international award in mechanics; only one awardee every four years), the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award (highest German award for international scientists), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (for exceptional scholarship or creativity; only 1-2 awards in engineering per year).

Professor Gao received his B.S. degree from Xian Jiaotong University of China in 1982, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in engineering science from Harvard University in 1984 and 1988, respectively. He served on the faculty of Stanford University between 1988 and 2002, where he was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1994 and to full professor in 2000. He was appointed as Director and Professor at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart, Germany between 2001 and 2006. He joined Brown University in 2006. Professor Gao has a background in applied mechanics and engineering science. He has more than 25 years of research experience and more than 300 publications to his credit.

Professor Gao’s research group is generally interested in understanding the basic principles that control mechanical properties and behaviors of both engineering and biological systems. His research spans over solid mechanics, nanomechanics, and biomechanics. He works on mechanics of thin films and hierarchically structured materials, mechanics of biological and bio-inspired materials, mechanics of nanostructured and nanotwinned materials, mechanics of cell adhesion, mechanics of cell-nanomaterials interactions, mechanics of energy storage systems, and mechanics of metallic glasses.