Engineering researcher receives the President's Award for Outstanding Research

Dec 9th, 2020

By Jackey Locke

Dr. Helen Zhang
Engineering researcher receives the President's Award for Outstanding Research

Dr. Baiyu Helen Zhang, Canada Research Chair in Coastal Environmental Engineering and professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, has been honoured with the President's Award for Outstanding Research for 2020.

The award recognizes young researchers who have made significant contributions to their scholarly disciplines.

“I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Dr. Zhang. “Memorial is a warm home for giving rise to the perception of innovation, and to be recognized by my peers for work on advancing knowledge means a lot to me.”

Dr. Zhang received the award for her exceptional contributions to the field of environmental engineering, her prolific track record for research dissemination and her establishment of Memorial’s Coastal Environment Laboratory.

The laboratory is among a select group of worldwide facilities developing novel and environmentally friendly bio-products for marine oil spill response.

Dr. Zhang is also a key researcher with Memorial’s Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control Laboratory, the first of its kind in Canada recognized worldwide for its pioneering research on emerging and toxic organic pollutants.

She is widely lauded for her innovative research focused on the development of new methodologies for studying and mitigating coastal oil pollution under cold and harsh conditions.

Since joining Memorial in 2010, Dr. Zhang has become one of the university’s most dynamic researchers. Her wide range of expertise also includes offshore environmental monitoring and analysis, transport and fate of emerging contaminants, coastal wastewater treatment and offshore reservoir souring control.

Dr. Zhang has led or co-led 30 research grants and contracts totalling more than $9 million. She has an exemplary record of research productivity, co-authoring nearly 300 publications, including more than 90 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals. She has also co-supervised over 40 thesis-based graduate students, including six post-doctoral fellows.

She continues to forge international partnerships with colleagues from countries such as China, France, Norway and the U.S., and has served on prestigious boards and committees, such as senior expert of the United Nations’ Development Programme.

“This award is not just about me,” she said. “It’s about each of my students and team members, collaborators and mentors, as well as my research funders and project facilitators for all they are doing to contribute to the field.”

With files from Jeff Green.



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