Zuankai Wang 王鑽開

  • Senior Research Fellowship in 2023 at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

About Professor Zuankai Wang’s work

Professor Zuankai Wang's research interests span the fields of engineering, applied physics and materials sciences. His research focuses on unravelling the surface-structure-function relationship and applying this knowledge to design new physics-guided and bio-inspired surfaces. These surfaces can dynamically change their interfacial and transport processes, such as wetting, adhesion, and thermal-fluid transport, for a wide range of applications.

His current research is focused on the Leidenfrost effect, where a liquid droplet placed on a hot surface vaporises quickly and forms a cushion of vapour that prevents further contact between the droplet and the surface. Despite its fundamental interest and entertaining aspect, the Leidenfrost effect imparts dual effects in applications. It is beneficial for some applications such as drag reduction, whereas it is a formidable enemy when it comes to the rapid cooling of hot surfaces.

Professor Wang’s current project aims to improve our understanding of the Leidenfrost effect and its practical applications. The goal is to design hierarchical STAs (surface textures and coatings) that can either suppress or promote the Leidenfrost effect, which could have practical applications in ultra-high heat flux pool boiling, cryogenic cooling using liquid nitrogen, and drag reduction at extreme high temperatures. The impact of the project is expected to be significant in addressing a number of scientific and technological challenges.


Professor Wang Zuankai is the Associate Vice President (Research and Innovation) and Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He received his BSc from Jilin University, his MSc from the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, and his PhD from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He has served as a Chair Professor at City University of Hong Kong and was the Associate Dean in the College of Engineering and founding Deputy Director of the Research Center for Nature-inspired Engineering. He is also the Executive Editor-in-Chief of Droplet (Wiley) and an advisory board member for more than 10 journals.

Professor Wang is a founding member of the Hong Kong Young Academy of Sciences, RGC Senior Research Fellow, Fellow of the International Society of Bionic Engineering (ISBE), and was made a Changjiang Chair Professor by the Ministry of Education of China in 2016. He has won numerous awards, including the BOCHK Science and Technology Innovation Prize, Green Tech Award, Xplorer Prize, and the 35th World Cultural Council Special Recognition Award. His innovations have also won a Gold Medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. His current research is being supported by a Croucher Senior Research Fellowship.