Dongxiao Zhang

Chair Professor

Member, U.S. National Academy of Engineering

Distinguished Young Scholars

Executive VP and Provost

Background Information

Prof. Dongxiao Zhang is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the winner of “The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars”, a Fellow of Geological Society of America, an Honorary Member of Society of Petroleum Engineers, and once served as a distinguished professor of the Ministry of Education. 

He had served as Provost and Vice President (Academic Affairs) at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech). He had held positions as Senior Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Miller Chair Professor at the Department of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, Gordon S. Marshall Professor at the University of Southern California, Executive Dean of Graduate School, Dean of College of Engineering and Founding Chair of Department of Energy and Resources Engineering at Peking University. Prof. Zhang is an internationally well known expert in unconventional oil and gas production, groundwater hydrology, and geological carbon sequestration, whose research achievements in stochastic modeling, numerical simulation, inverse modeling and machine learning are widely adopted by his peers. 

Prof. Zhang has authored 3 books and published over 260 peer-reviewed papers (including 250+ SCI papers), of which “Stochastic Methods for Flow in Porous Media: Coping with Uncertainties” (American Academic Press), published in 2002, has become a classic work in the field. He earned both his Master’s degree and Ph.D. in hydrology and water resources in 1992 and 1993, respectively, from the University of Arizona. Prof. Zhang has been an associate editor for SPE Journal, Water Resource Research, Advances in Water Resources, SIAM Multiscale Modeling and Simulation, Journal of Computational Geosciences, Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, and Vadose Zone Journal. He has served as a panelist on the RCUK Review of Energy, UK Research Councils, a member of US National Research Council’s Committee on New Research Opportunities in the Earth Sciences, and a council member of World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on New Energy Architecture. Moreover, Prof. Zhang was elected as the Secretary General of the Association of Chinese Graduate Schools (ACGS), the Director of Liberal Arts and Science Working Committee of the Chinese Society of Academic Degrees and Graduate Education (CSADGE), and the Associate Director of the 6th Evaluation Committee of the CSADGE.

Download complete CV here.


1/93-12/93: Ph.D. in Hydrology. Dissertation: Conditional Stochastic Analysis of Solute Transport in Heterogeneous Geologic Media. Advisor: Regents’ Professor Shlomo P. Neuman. Dept. of Hydrology and Water Resources, College of Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson.

8/91-12/92: M.Sc. in Hydrology. Thesis: Some Aspects of Stochastic Flow and Transport in Complex Geologic Media. Advisor: Regents’ Professor Shlomo P. Neuman. Dept. of Hydrology and Water Resources, College of Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson.

8/90-7/91: Graduate Studies in Geological Engineering. Dept. of Mining and Geological Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson.

8/88-7/89: Graduate Studies in Rock Mechanics. Dept. of Civil and Mining Engineering. Northeastern University, Shenyang, China.

8/84-7/88: B.Sc. in Engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang, China.

Employment History

02/22-Present: Chair Professor, Executive Vice President and Provost, Eastern Institute for Advanced Study (EIAS), Ningbo, China. 

07/19-01/22: Provost and Chair Professor, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), Shenzhen, China.

11/17-08/19: Executive Dean, Graduate School, Peking University (PKU), Beijing, China.

07/13-07/19: Dean, College of Engineering; Chair Professor, Dept. of Energy and Resources Engineering, Peking University (PKU), Beijing, China; Director, PKU Institute of Ocean Research.

08/10-06/13: Executive Dean, College of Engineering; Chair Professor, Dept. of Energy and Resources Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China.

08/07-08/10: Gordon S. Marshall Professor of Water Resources & Petroleum Engineering, the Sonny Astani Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Mork Family Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.

07/05-08/10: Guest Professor, and Founding Chair (2005-2007, Consulting), Dept. of Energy and Resources Engineering; Founding Vice Dean (2005-2007, Consulting), College of Engineering, Peking University (PKU), Beijing, China.

03/04-07/07: Miller Chair Professor, Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma, USA.

09/96-03/04: Senior Research Scientist, and Team Leader (1999-2003), Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA.

08/02-12/02: Visiting Faculty, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Sabbatical leave from Los Alamos National Lab. Teaching: Stochastic Subsurface Hydrology. Research: Coupling of Surface/Subsurface Flows.

06/03-12/10: Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.

12/00-12/09: Associate Editor, Water Resources Research, American Geophysical Union.

08/02-12/12: Associate Editor, Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal (SPE Journal).

07/03-12/08: Associate Editor, Vadose Zone Journal, the Soil Science Society of America.

07/04-Present: Editorial Board, Advances in Water Resources Research, Elsevier.

01/05-12/11: Associate Editor, SIAM Multiscale Modeling and Simulation.

01/07-Present: Associate Editor, Journal of Computational Geosciences, Springer.

01/10-Present: Consultant Editor, Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology.

03/95-08/96: Senior Hydrologist, Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc.

01/94-02/95: Assistant Research Scientist, Dept. of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Arizona, USA.

01/93-12/93: Graduate Research Associate, Dept. of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Arizona, USA.

08/91-12/92: Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Arizona, USA.

08/90-07/91: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Mining and Geological Engineering, University of Arizona, Arizona, USA.

Awards and Honors

2017: Elected Member, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

2017Honorary Membership Award & Distinguished Member Award, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

2011: Recipient of “Top 100 Most Cited Chinese Papers Published in International Journals” Award.

2011: Elected Member, The Phi Tau Phi Scholastic Honor Society of America.

2009: Elected Fellow, Geological Society of America.

2007: Outstanding Review Chair Award, Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal.

2006: Outstanding Technical Editor Award, Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal.

2007-2011: Outstanding Young Researcher Award, Natural Science Foundation of China.

2002: Elected Member, IPACES (International Professionals for the Advancement of Chinese Earth Sciences).

1999: Los Alamos Award, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1997: LANL Outstanding Asian Employee, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1984-1988: Top Student Awards.

Professional Membership

2017: Member, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

2005: Society of Industrial and Applies Mathematics (SIAM).

2003: Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

2001: Member, Geological Society of America (GSA); Fellow, since 2009.

1999: Member, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE); Honorary Membership, since 2017.

1992: Member, American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Researcher ID:

Google Scholar Author Profile: 

Dongxiao Zhang (

Representative Publications (*indicates corresponding author)

  • Chen, Y., Luo, Y., Liu, Q., Xu, H., & Zhang, D*. (2022). Symbolic genetic algorithm for discovering open-form partial differential equations (SGA-PDE). Physical Review Research, 4(2), 023174.

  • Xu, H., Chen, Y*., & Zhang, D*. (2022). Semantic interpretation for convolutional neural networks: What makes a cat a cat? Advanced Science. 2204723.

  • Wang N, Chang H, Zhang D*. Deep‐learning‐based inverse modeling approaches: A subsurface flow example[J]. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 2021, 126(2): e2020JB020549. 

  • Wang N, Chang H, Zhang D*. Efficient uncertainty quantification for dynamic subsurface flow with surrogate by Theory-guided Neural Network[J]. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 2021, 373: 113492.

  • Chen Y, Huang D, Zhang D*, et al. Theory-guided hard constraint projection (HCP): A knowledge-based data-driven scientific machine learning method[J]. Journal of Computational Physics, 2021, 445: 110624.

  • Chen Y, Zhang D*. Theory-guided deep-learning for electrical load forecasting (TgDLF) via ensemble long short-term memory[J]. Advances in Applied Energy, 2021, 1: 100004.

  • Li S, Zhang D*. Development of 3‐D Curved Fracture Swarms in Shale Rock Driven by Rapid Fluid Pressure Buildup: Insights From Numerical Modeling[J]. Geophysical Research Letters, 2021, 48(8): e2021GL092638.

  • Xu H, Zhang D*, Wang N. Deep-learning based discovery of partial differential equations in integral form from sparse and noisy data[J]. Journal of Computational Physics, 2021, 445: 110592.

  • Liao Q, Lei G, Zhang D*, et al. Estimation of macrodispersivity in bounded formations by circulant embedding and analysis of variance[J]. Water Resources Research, 2021, 57(7): e2020WR029385.

  • Zheng S, Li S, Zhang D*. Fluid and heat flow in enhanced geothermal systems considering fracture geometrical and topological complexities: An extended embedded discrete fracture model[J]. Renewable Energy, 2021, 179: 163-178.

  • Xu R, Wang N, Zhang D*. Solution of diffusivity equations with local sources/sinks and surrogate modeling using weak form Theory-guided Neural Network[J]. Advances in water resources, 2021, 153: 103941.

  • Li S, Firoozabadi A, Zhang D*. Hydromechanical modeling of nonplanar three‐dimensional fracture propagation using an iteratively coupled approach[J]. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 2020, 125(8): e2020JB020115.

  • Xu H, Chang H, Zhang D*. DLGA-PDE: Discovery of PDEs with incomplete candidate library via combination of deep learning and genetic algorithm[J]. Journal of Computational Physics, 2020, 418: 109584.

  • Wang N, Zhang D*, Chang H, et al. Deep learning of subsurface flow via theory-guided neural network[J]. Journal of Hydrology, 2020, 584: 124700.

  • Wu T, Zhao J, Zhang W, Zhang D*. Nanopore structure and nanomechanical properties of organic-rich terrestrial shale: An insight into technical issues for hydrocarbon production[J]. Nano Energy, 2020, 69: 104426.

  • Chen Y, Chang H, Meng J, Zhang D*. Ensemble Neural Networks (ENN): A gradient-free stochastic method[J]. Neural Networks, 2019, 110: 170-185.

  • Li S, Feng X T, Zhang D*, et al. Coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis of stimulation and production for fractured geothermal reservoirs[J]. Applied Energy, 2019, 247: 40-59.

  • Teng Y, Zhang D*. Long-term viability of carbon sequestration in deep-sea sediments[J]. Science Advances, 2018, 4(7): eaao6588.

  • Zhang D, Chen Y, Meng J. Synthetic well logs generation via Recurrent Neural Networks[J]. Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2018, 45(4): 629-639.

  • Chen Y, Jiang S, Zhang D*, et al. An adsorbed gas estimation model for shale gas reservoirs via statistical learning[J]. Applied Energy, 2017, 197: 327-341.