Bio of Prof. Xi-cheng Zhang
Xi-Cheng Zhang – Parker Givens Chair of Optics, was Director of The Institute of Optics, University of
Rochester, NY, a foremost institution in optics and optical physics research and education (Jan. 2012 –
June 2017). Prior to joining UR, he pioneered world-leading research in the field of ultrafast laser-
based terahertz technology and optical physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY (‘92-‘12). At
RPI, he is the Eric Jonsson Professor of Science; Acting Head at the Department of Physics, Applied
Physics & Astronomy; Professor of Electrical, Computer & System; and Founding Director of the Center
for THz Research. He is
he earned the MS (‘83) and
Dr. Zhang served as Editor-in-Chief of Optics Letters, OSA (‘14-‘19). Previous positions included visiting
scientist at MIT (‘85), Physical Tech. Division of Amoco Research Center (‘87), EE Dept. at Columbia
University (‘87–‘91); Distinguished Visiting Scientist at Jet Propulsion Lab, Caltech (2006). He holds 29
US patents, and is a prolific author and speaker.
His honors and awards include: Humboldt Prize (’18); Australian Academy of Science Selby Fellow (’17);
IRMMW-THz Kenneth Button Prize (‘14); OSA William F. Meggers Award (‘12); IEEE Photonics Society
William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award (‘11); Rensselaer William H. Wiley 1866 Award (‘09);
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship & NRC-CIAR Distinguished Visiting Scientist,
Canada (‘04); First Heinrich Rudolf Hertz Lecturer, RWTH, Aachen, Germany (‘03). He also served two
years as a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE/LEOS. He received Rensselaer Early Career Award (‘96),
Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award (‘95), NSF Early Career Award (‘95), K.C. Wong Prize, K.C.
Wong Foundation, Hong Kong (‘95), NSF Research Initiation Award (‘92). In ‘93-‘94, he was an AFOSR-
SRPF Fellow at Hanscom Air Force Base.