Highly cited research has landed one of Griffith’s most prolific academics a world-renowned honour.
The accolade is a first for Griffith University and underlines Prof Zhao’s reputation as one of the most influential scientists in the world.
“Normally people work for their whole life to get citations of a few thousand, so it’s a huge honour to know that papers I have worked on have been cited over 4000 times per year for the past few years,” he said.
“But my team and I are lucky because we’re in the right research field. Clean energy is a very hot research topic.”
“We are now working on three research fields; one is water resource management, which develops management tools for water facilities; the next is natural product chemistry, we have a team here that are extracting natural chemicals from Australian unique animal and plants for medical use.
“And the third is likely the major contributor to the high citations, which is clean environment and energy, where we’re working on the function of nanomaterials and their applications for renewable energy sources like energy storage, solar energy conversion and solar fuel production for instance converting carbon dioxide into carbon fuel and converting nitrogen into ammonia.
“We just do what we do without looking for honours like this along the way, but the research from our team has likely contributed to Griffith’s recent Nature Index Rising Star accolade, which is very exciting.”
Prof Zhao’s research focuses on clean environment and energy applications, including solar cells, turning water into hydrogen fuel and the role nanotechology can play in this field.
Last year Prof Zhao was awarded $513,210 from the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects scheme to develop a window that contains a glass able to change its colour and the amount of light or heat it transmits.
The 2018 Highly Cited Researchers list identifies the world’s most influential scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence through publication of multiple highly cited papers during the past decade.
Prof Zhao also earned the Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science badge, which serves as the basis for regular listings of researchers whose citation records position them in the top 1% by citations for their field and year.
Australian research institutes continued to impress in the 2018 rankings; the number of researchers recognised as Highly Cited has more than doubled in four years, from 80 in 2014 to 170 in 2018, among those selected in one or more of the 21 fields.
Australian research institutions appear to have recruited a significant number of HCRs since 2014 as well as increasing their number of homegrown HCRs.