Alumni Focus: Zhenwei Wang (Ph.D. '18)

KAUST alumnus Zhenwei Wang (right) (Ph.D. '18) is pictured here in the lab on campus with his supervisor Professor Husam Alshareef (left). Wang completed his Ph.D. in material science and engineering in Alshareef's Functional Nanomaterials & Devices research group. File photo.

​-By David Murphy, KAUST News

KAUST alumnus Zhenwei Wang graduated from the University with a Ph.D. in material science and engineering in June 2018. Wang's Ph.D. at KAUST mainly focused on developing oxide semiconductors for transparent electronics. The Chinese native joined KAUST in 2013 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), an interdisciplinary graduate school in Okinawa, Japan.

Wang's KAUST supervisor was Husam Alshareef, professor of material science and engineering, and he completed his Ph.D. in Alshareef's Functional Nanomaterials & Devices research group. Before joining KAUST, Wang received his master's degree in materials engineering from Xiamen University and his bachelor's degree in material chemistry from Central South University, China.

KAUST alumnus Zhenwei Wang (right) (Ph.D. '18) and his supervisor Professor Husam Alshareef (left) work together in the KAUST lab on their work in developing oxide semiconductors for transparent electronics. File photo.

After discovering KAUST through a colleague, Wang decided to join the University due to the abundance of "state-of-the-art research resources, high-quality faculty and students and the international environment. Also, I joined for the beautiful Red Sea," he said.

At OIST, Wang and his research group are developing novel biological sensing (bio-sensing) devices using tiny nanoparticles. Their research explores the bio-sensing performance of these devices, which can be greatly enhanced by the nanoparticles the group use in their experiments.

"In the future, I envisage my research moving towards developing novel biological sensors for better medical detecting performance," Wang explained.

'Sweet as a dream'

Wang describes his five years at KAUST "as sweet as a dream—[my time there] was a pleasant [and] peaceful and [KAUST is an] efficient place."

He believes that the state-of-the-art facilities on campus and the outstanding support from the KAUST Core Labs team enabled him to face the challenges that arose during the course of his research project. Wang also fondly recalls the immense guidance and support he received on a daily basis from Alshareef.

Zhenwei Wang (Ph.D. '18) and his supervisor KAUST Professor Husam Alshareef showcase one of their transparent devices in the KAUST lab. File photo.

"My Ph.D. advisor Professor Husam Alshareef provided me with tremendous help and understanding in both my research and life. I will always cherish his input and advice," Wang said.

Looking back, he also has some advice for current and future students of the University: "Please cherish your time at KAUST. It is the best place to conduct your research, enjoy your life and build your professional circles," Wang enthused. "The University's campus is well-designed and capable of cultivating great minds and people in various fields. I feel lucky to be a member of the KAUST family. At KAUST, I learned—and still hold—the spirit of curiosity and the bravery to discover the unknown."

"Zhenwei was a very efficient and hardworking Ph.D. student. His skills in electronic device fabrication are very impressive. He is a responsible, mature and kind person. We will always miss him at KAUST," Alshareef said.

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