Zhang awarded International Award for Innovation

Dr. Xiong Zhang, a former student of the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, was recently awarded the International Award for Innovation in Unsaturated Soil Mechanics at the Third European Conference on Unsaturated Soils.

This award was given by the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Technical Committee TC-106 in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the development of a photogrammetry-based method to measure total and local volume changes of unsaturated soils during triaxial testing. This new capability makes the characterization of the properties of an unsaturated soil sample a matter of a few hours rather than the days or weeks it took using older models.

Zhang, an associate professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Texas A&M in 2004. He began his doctoral studies at Texas A&M after earning a master’s from the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research. In his time at Texas A&M, Zhang was a graduate research assistant from 2000 to 2004, a graduate teaching assistant from 2003 to 2004 and a postdoctoral research associate from 2004 to 2005.

While a postdoctoral research associate Zhang worked with Dr. Robert Lytton, Benson Chair Professor in civil engineering, who is a co-author of the research the award was received for.

Zhang completed the innovation in 2015 while serving as an associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Contributing author: Ryan Terry