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HomeEducationQueen's University to welcome renowned nuclear materials scientist

Queen’s University to welcome renowned nuclear materials scientist

Queen’s University has announced the appointment of Yanwen Zhang as the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Impact of Radiation in Energy and Advanced Technologies.

Zhang comes to Queen’s as part of the CERC program, which was established in 2008 to help attract top tier researchers to Canadian institutions to improve Canada’s competitiveness on .

The federal government provides $8 million or $4 million grants to universities in an effort to recruit top researchers to Canada, Queen’s now has two for a total of $16 million – with Dr. Zhang joining Dr. Paul Kubes, who was appointed last year.

In a release from the university, Dr. Zhang said she’s excited to be moving her research to Queen’s.

“For nearly three decades, I have dedicated my work to understanding defect dynamics and radiation effects in materials,” said Dr. Zhang.

“I am excited to be continuing this research at Queen’s – a university with a long history of expertise in materials science and a commitment to advancing research to combat climate change.”

Dr. Zhang will relocate her research program from Knoxville, Tennessee and will be teaching classes in the engineering faculty.

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville’s website says that Dr. Zhang’s research has been focused on radiation effects in alloys and ceramics, ion beam modification of materials, nanoscale defect/interface engineering, and materials under extreme environments.

Vice-Principal Research at Queen’s University, Dr. Nancy Ross says while students will benefit from having the expertise of Dr. Zhang, so will she from being at the university and having a constant stream of new students with new ideas.

“This is a wonderful thing for our undergrads and our graduate students, when they come to Queen’s they know they can be exposed to folks like Dr. Zhang,” Dr. Ross said.

“And for Dr. Zhang’s perspective she gets to come to a university that concentrates really smart young people… she gets the benefit of our students and our students get the benefit of her work which is at the highest, level so it’s a perfect synergy.”

The CERC program that makes this possible was announced in November 2023, with the federal government committing $248 million for the appointment of 34 new chairs at 18 post-secondary institutions in Canada.

Dr. Zhang will begin at Queen’s in May.

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporterhttp://ygknews.ca
Born and raised in Whitby, Ontario, Owen has been living in Kingston for about three years after starting the band Willy Nilly. Prior to that he worked at CKLB radio in Yellowknife and completed studies in Niagara College's Broadcasting program.

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