Lei Zuo, associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Energy Harvesting and Mechatronics Research Lab in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been awarded the John R. Jones III Faculty Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Jones Faculty Fellowship was established in 2006 to acknowledge and reward mid-career faculty who have shown exceptional merit in research, teaching, and/or service. Jones, a member of the Class of 1967 who earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, is a retired executive of American Electric Power. He has been a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board since 1998.

Recipients hold the title of Jones Faculty Fellow for a period of five years.

Zuo conducts research on energy harvesting and storage. His personal research portfolio has reached $8 million in external grants from both government and industry sponsors, including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Naval Research, state agencies, and industry.

Earlier this year, The U.S. Department of Energy confirmed a $2 million grant for Zuo to produce a prototype new generation of ocean wave generator.

Zuo received the 2015 R&D 100 Award for his innovation on ocean wave energy harvesting and a 2011 R&D 100 Award for his research on energy-harvesting shock absorbers. R&D recognizes the top 100 most significant technology innovations of the year around the world.

He has written more than 130 research papers, more than 40 of which have appeared in journals. He holds five U.S. patents.

Zuo currently supports three postdoctoral students, 11 Ph.D. (six at Virginia Tech, four at Stony Brook University, and one in China), eight master’s degree students and 5 undergraduate students, as well as hosting two visiting professors in his lab.

Since 2014 he has received the ASME Thar Energy Design Award for pioneering research on energy harvesting, the Society of Automotive Engineers Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, a P3 Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the ASME Best Paper Award on Structures and Structural Dynamics, and the Winner of the Best Technology Development of Energy Harvesting from Harvesting and Storage USA Conferences.

He was selected as an American Society of Mechanical Engineers Fellow earlier this year.

Zuo joined Virginia Tech in 2014 after six years at Stony Brook, and four years as a senior research scientist at Abbott Laboratories in Chicago.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing (China), two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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