Zhongchao Tan

Chair Professor

Fellow, Canadian Academy of Engineering

Fellow, Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering

Vice Provost and Director for Academic Affairs


Background Information: 

Dr. TAN, Zhongchao received his BSc and MSc degrees from Tsinghua University, Beijing in the 1990s, and PhD degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA in 2004. He was a Professor at University of Waterloo, the founding Executive Director of Tsinghua-Waterloo Joint Research Centre for Energy and Environmental Technologies, and the Associate Dean (International) of Waterloo Engineering. In addition, Tan has provided dedicated services to several international professional societies, including the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering, Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering, International Association for Green Energy, Standard Council Canada/ISO, etc. 

Research Field:

Dr. Tan’s contribution to chemical engineering and clean energy has been recognized by international peers, as evidenced by the popularity of his technical books in his fields of research. His single-authored textbook, Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases, was downloaded 1.7+ million times globally, and another coauthored textbook was recognized as “the top-used publications on SpringerLink that concern one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals”. His impact on his peer groups and the wider society is also evidenced by numerous domestic and international awards, including Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering, Outstanding Performance Award (UWaterloo), Early Research Excellence Award (UCalgary), Editor’s Choice papers, Highly Cited Paper (top 1%) from Clarivate Analytics, and Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Tsinghua University.  Tan's dedication to higher education also won him multiple teaching awards, including those from UIUC and UCalgary. 

Educational Background:

•2004, PhD in Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA

•1999, MSc in Thermal Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China 

•1996, BSc in Thermal Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Work Experience:

•2022-2024 Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of Energy and Power Engineering, Tsinghua University

•2017 Senior Visiting Professor, Department of Thermal Engineering (now Energy and Power Engineering), Tsinghua University

•07/2015-08/2023 Professor, Department of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo

•09/2010-06/2015 Associate Professor, Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo; tenured position

•04/2009-08/2010 Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, appointed through the Centre for Environmental Engineering Research & Education, University of Calgary, tenured position.

•07/2004-03/2009 Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, appointed through the Centre for Environmental Engineering Research and Education, University of Calgary, tenure track.

Professional Services:

•2021-Present: Member of Board of Directors; Member of Nominating Committee, International Association for Green Energy (IAGE)

•2017-Present: Member at Large, Executive Committee of Division of Energy, 

•2018-2019: Chair of Division of Energy, CIC, Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering (CSChE) 

•2022-2023/09: Chair, ISO/TC 142, representing Canada on ISO standard voting, Standard Council Canada (SCC) ; 2021-2022: Vice Chair, ISO/TC 142. 

•2018-2021: Member of Board of Directors, Member AFS; Member of Chapter Affairs Committee, American Filtration and Separation Society (AFS)

•2022-Present: Member of Editorial Board, International Journal of Green Energy  

•2012-Present: Associate Editor. Sustainable Environment Research 

•2017-Present: Associate Editor, Nanotechnology for Environmental Engineering 

Awards and Honors:

2022: Fellow, The Canadian Academy of Engineering (FCAE), elected in 2022.

2022: Fellow, The Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineering (FCSME), elected in 2022.

2022-2024: Distinguished Visiting Professorship, honorary appointment, Tsinghua University. 

2021: University of Waterloo Outstanding Performance Award 


General Information

More than 150 SCI papers; 7 main works other works

Google Scholar:




10 Representative Works 

1. J Liu, X Huang, L Jia, L Liu, Q Nie, Z Tan*, H Yu*, 2023. Microwave-assisted rapid substitution of Ti for Zr to produce bimetallic (Zr/Ti)UiO-66-NH2 with congenetic “shell-core” structure for enhancing photocatalytic removal of nitric oxide, Small: 2207198 

2. Y Li, H Yu, X Jiang, G Deng, Z Wen, Z Tan*, 2023. Techno-economic analysis for hydrogen-burning power plant with onsite hydrogen production unit based on methane catalytic decomposition, Energy Conversion and Management 277: 116674.

3. L Hu, X Huang, Q Nie, T Wang, P Liu, J Liu, Z Tan*, H Yu*, Single Pd atoms supported on ultra-thin bismuth tungstate nanosheets with oxygen vacancy as an efficient photocatalyst, Journal of Materials Chemistry A 11: 1723-1733 

4. Y Zhang, Y Huang, Y Li, H Yu*, Z Tan*, 2022. Free energy barrier in wetting parallel-structured surfaces, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 655: 130214.

5. Y Li, Y Zhang, N Zhou, H Yu*, Z Tan*, 2022 . Electrospun nanofibrous redox-active separator for enhancing the capacity of Lithium-ion batteries, Chemical Engineering Science 260: 117873.

6. Y Li, H Yu, Y Zhang, N Zhou, Z Tan*, 2022. Kinetics and characterization of conductive nanofibrous membrane by in-situ polymerization of Polypyrrole on electrospun nanofibers, Chemical Engineering Journal, 433: 133531.

7. M Khodabakhshi, JZ Wen, Z Tan*, 2021. Coefficient of restitution for silver nanoparticles colliding on a wet silver substrate, Applied Surface Science 554: 149607

8. Y Li, Z Tan*, 2020. Effects of separator on the electrochemical and thermal performances of lithium-ion battery: a numerical study. Energy & Fuels 34: 13209-15078 

9. Y Li, Q Li, Z Tan*, A review of electrospun nanofiber-based separators for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Journal of Power Sources 443: 227262.

10. Y Li, L Wang*, Z Tan*, Z Zhang, X Hu, 2019. Experimental studies on carbon dioxide absorption using potassium carbonate solutions with amino acid salts, Separation & Purification Technology 219: 47-54