Mechanical engineering Associate Professor Jiangtao Cheng has been named a fellow by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The status of fellow is bestowed upon members of the society with 10 or more years of active practice and at least 10 years of active corporate membership, as described by the organization. Roughly 3,000 fellows have been chosen out of the more than 100,000 members.

“I'm honored to be named a fellow,” Cheng said. “Since joining Virginia Tech in 2015, I feel my research has been elevated to a higher level because I can collaborate with the best people in their specialities.”

Cheng puts much of his research effort into the study of opto-micro-nanofluidics, a novel research and technology frontier that combines the advantages of micro and nanofluidics and optics. Unique tools and techniques for enabling the simultaneous delivery of light and fluids with microscopic precision have developed steadily through the years, allowing Cheng to work with new applications such as sustainable energy, heat transfer, thermal sciences, nano and bio-photonics, and lab-on-a-chip techniques. These methods allow his team to apply knowledge to successful designs for a wide range of engineering problems.

Cheng has served as the principal investigator of 11 federally supported or industry-funded projects with total funding exceeding $3.2 million. Those projects have included very competitive Department of Energy (DOE), NASA, and National Science Foundation grants and several industry projects. At Virginia Tech, Cheng has been awarded four National Science Foundation grants as sole principal investigator and won the 2016 Junior Faculty Award from the Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science.

One of his projects, using fluids to control the movement and orientation of solar panels, was announced by the DOE in 2009 as one of the “six transformational energy research and development projects that could revolutionize how the country uses, stores, and produces energy.”

Cheng has published more than 70 papers in high-impact journals and high-profile conferences. His students have won five best paper and poster awards in various conferences, including the 2016 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. In 2020 and 2021, Cheng filed three patent applications based on cutting-edge optofluidic technologies.

He has also collaborated extensively, working alongside colleagues from interdisciplinary research teams such as the Macromolecules Innovation Institute and Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics. He has also enjoyed close collaboration with Oak Ridge National LaboratoryLos Alamos National Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory.

Cheng is one of 12 faculty from the Department of Mechanical Engineering currently holding the title of fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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