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Professor Wei Zhang Earns Prestigious NSF Career Award

Dr. Wei Zhang honored for efforts to reduce structural damage from wind storms

Dr. Wei Zhang, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Cleveland State University, has been selected to receive the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award, the highest recognition NSF gives to early-career faculty. The award includes a five-year grant to advance innovative research to address the nation’s grand challenges, while also providing mentoring and training to develop the next generation of higher education leaders.

“The NSF CAREER program is highly competitive and only awarded to the top early-career researchers in the nation,” says Jerzy Sawicki, vice president for research at CSU. “This announcement exemplifies the excellence and dedication of our faculty, and I would like to personally congratulate Professor Zhang for this tremendous accomplishment.”

Zhang, will conduct fluid mechanics research to understand the physics of conical vortices, or delta-wing vortices, that form around roof edges and corners of low-rise buildings during high winds. These vortices are a main factor in creating peak suction and can lead to roofs ripping off during tornados and hurricanes, initiating structural damage and significantly endangering bystanders. She will also explore nature-inspired designs that could be implemented into home construction to decrease the possibility of vortices and ultimately reduce damage and injury. She will receive $580,000 for the five-year project. 

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