Two NTU professors in Thomson Reuters' list of the world's 19 hottest researchers

January 14, 2016

Two scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Professor David Lou and Professor Zhang Hua - have made it into the ranking of the World's Hottest Researchers 2015 by Thomson Reuters.

In its second year, the global ranking recognises 19 scientists who published at least 14 papers in 2015 with notably high levels of citations.

Also on this list is NTU's Visiting Professor Michael Graetzel, Chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board of the Energy Research Centre @ NTU (ERI@N) and also the Director of its Centre for Nanostructured Photosystems.

Professor Michael Graetzel, Professor David Lou and Professor Zhang Hua were ranked 7th, 8th, and 12th respectively.

In a ranking dominated by scientists from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, NTU scientists are the only ones from Asia.

This is Prof Zhang Hua's second time on the list, as he was ranked 13th last year in Thomson Reuters' inaugural list.

The Hottest Researchers 2015 ranking is the first part of The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds report, a citation analysis by Thomson Reuters which identifies the world's scientists who have made the most significant global impact in their respective fields of study.

The second part of Thomson Reuters report lists the world's Highly Cited Researchers. This list of nearly 3,000 scientists, split into specific disciplines recognises those who had the most number of their published papers ranked among the top one per cent by citation. In the Highly Cited Researchers list, NTU has nine researchers.

NTU Provost Prof Freddy Boey said that the Thomson Reuters' World's Most Influential Scientific Minds report shows that NTU is home to world-class scientists doing cutting-edge research.

"To solve the problems of the 21st century, we need scientists who are able to think out of the box, combine solutions from different disciplines, and are good in working and leading a diverse group of researchers. These are the hallmarks of the NTU researchers who have been cited as the world's most influential scientists."

Hottest Researchers of 2015

Prof David Lou is one of NTU's youngest full professors at the age of 37. A professor in the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, he has had many breakthroughs in the areas of supercapacitors and next-generation batteries. Since 2008, he has published about 210 research papers in high impact journals. His papers have been cited over 23,500 times according to the Web of Science, with about 7,500 citations in 2015 alone. He has a H-index of 87, which measures the scientific productivity and citation impact of a researcher.

Most recently, he won the prestigious Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) investigatorship 2016 award. His other awards include the Austin Hooey Prize and the Liu Memorial Awards from Cornell University, the TR35@Singapore 2012 by MIT Technology Review and also the Young Scientist Award 2012 by the Singapore National Academy of Sciences.

Prof Zhang Hua is among the world's best materials scientists and chemists, having developed various types of nanomaterials for applications in biosensing, opto-electronic devices, water treatment and clean energy. These nanomaterials include graphene (single sheet of carbon atoms), noble metal nanostructures such as gold and various types of material-organic composites.

Since he joined NTU's School of Materials Science and Engineering in July 2006, he has filed over 60 patents and published over 350 papers in top tier journals, with over 22,500 citations and a H-index of 74.

In addition to being listed in the Top 17 Hottest Researchers 2014 by Thomson Reuters, his achievements include his election as an Academician of the Asia Pacific Academy of Materials in 2015 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 2014. Others awards include the ACS Nano Lectureship Award in 2015, the World Cultural Council (WCC) Special Recognition Award in 2013, and the SMALL Young Innovator Award in 2012.

NTU Visiting Prof Michael Graetzel is the Chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board of the Energy Research Centre @ NTU (ERI@N) and also the Director of its Centre for Nanostructured Photosystems. He received an honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa) from NTU in 2011.

A Swiss scientist best known as the father of "artificial photosynthesis", Prof Graetzel is the inventor of the Dye-Sensitised Solar Cell. This low-cost solar cell unlike traditional silicon solar cell, actually mimics the ability of plants to capture photons of light and turns them into electricity.

This invention won him the prestigious 2010 Millennium Technology Prize which recognised his solar cells as a more affordable way of harnessing solar energy. At NTU, Prof Graetzel is working on new types of solar cell and nanomaterials, such as Perovskites, a new class of wonder material that was shown by NTU scientists to have many functions.

It can efficiently generate electricity from most types of light as a solar cell, emit light, assist in splitting water into hydrogen (clean fuel) and be used in spintronics for memory storage.

Highly Cited Researchers

In Thomson Reuters' Highly Cited Researchers list, NTU has nine researchers.

Among them, Assoc Prof Huang Guang-Bin, Prof David Lou and Prof Zhang Hua are listed in two separate fields.

The ten NTU researchers are:
Media contact:

Lester Kok
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes - the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering - and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

Ranked 13th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world's top young university for the last two years running.

The University's main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore's medical district.

For more information, visit

Nanyang Technological University

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