Prof Xudong Zhao

Hull professor named in list of world's top researchers

A University of Hull professor has been included in a list of the world’s most influential researchers.

Professor Xudong Zhao is one of only five UK-based academics to be included in the engineering category of the Highly Cited Researchers Report, compiled by Clarivate Analytics.

To be included in the report, researchers must have a “markedly high” number of papers that rank in the top 1% most cited for a field over an 11 year-period from 2005-15.

Inclusion in the list is seen by Clarivate as “a measure of the value of the work done by those researchers and the extent to which they have inspired or challenged other research.”

Professor Zhao is a globally-recognised energy researcher in the fields of sustainable building services, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Over a 30-year career, he has led or participated in 54 research projects worth £14m, 40 engineering consultancy projects worth £5m and claimed five patents.

One of his recent innovations was a solar-powered bed which has the potential to transform living standards for millions on people in rural China. The innovative solar system is designed to replace the traditional coal and wood-fired kangs – a brick platform used for sleeping and family meals. He currently teaches ‘Renewable Energy Technologies for Buildings'.

Professor Zhao said: “We are doing research that has generated important outcomes and has had significant international impact. Being recognised as a highly-cited researcher will help me develop international collaborations and secure more research grants to further our work in helping to protect the environment and raise living standards across the globe.”

This is the first time that Professor Zhao has been included in the report.

Professor David Atkinson, Associate Dean for Research for the Faculty of Science and Engineering, said: “This recognition of Xudong’s highly impressive citation figures reflects his research excellence and his growing influence in international research.  We are delighted to support the further development of his team, and we look forward to his continued impact on global research and policies in sustainable and efficient-energy solutions for our shared future.”    

It’s estimated that more than 2 million research papers worldwide are published in academic journals each year.

One way of qualifying the value of these papers is by measuring how often they are referred to – or cited – by other researchers in their papers.

Clarivate Analytics describes itself as a global, information-led company with a mission to deliver products and services that support every phase of the innovation lifecycle.

Its Highly Cited Researchers Report lists more than 3,300 academics across 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences.

Between them they represent more than 900 institutions and have published more than 130,000 highly-cited papers.

The US leads the way with more than 1,660 entries, a 13 per cent increase on the previous year. The UK ranks second with almost 350 entries. China is gaining fast in third place with a 34% per cent increase to 237 authors. In the engineering field, China led the way with 51 researchers out of a total of 175 worldwide.

Highly Cited Papers are defined as those that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in Clarivate’s Web of Science database.

“We are doing research that has generated important outcomes and has had significant international impact. Being recognised as a highly-cited researcher will help me develop international collaborations and secure more research grants to further our work in helping to protect the environment and raise living standards across the globe.”

Professor Xudong Zhao, Professor of Engineering

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