College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

CBE’s Shao promoted to associate professor

Associate Professor Zengyi Shao

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) faculty member Zengyi Shao has been promoted to associate professor, with tenure.

Shao, who is also the Jack R. and Carol A. Johnson Faculty Fellow, joined Iowa State CBE as an assistant professor in 2013. She received her B.S. from Nankai University in 2002, and her Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009. Her research focuses on using bacteria to develop manufacturing platforms to enhance a sustainable biorenewable chemical industry; design principles to streamline nonconventional microbial host development; and engineering microbes to perform complex tasks. Much of her research is done as a member of Iowa State’s Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC).

Shao received the Iowa Energy Center Impact Award in 2016. It’s presented by Mufit Akinc of ISU’s College of Engineering, who was serving as interim director of the Iowa Energy Center.

In 2018 Shao received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award, a highly-prestigious honor that recognizes the nation’s very best early career faculty members. The research project that led to the award involves using yeast as a testbed for studying cellular behavior and creating synthetic genetic elements. It also features a uniquely-structured undergraduate research program that focuses on mentoring next-generation STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers and promoting the participation of underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities in STEM fields.

Shao also received the Iowa Energy Center Impact Award in 2016 and the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Award in 2010.

More information about her teaching and research can be found here.