Faculty Profile


  • Ph.D., Environmental Chemistry, Nankai University, 1995
  • M.S., Environmental Chemistry, Nankai University, 1992
  • B.S.E., Chemical Engineering, Northern China Institute of Technology, 1986

Dr. Yongsheng Chen joined School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009. Dr. Chen has served as principal and co-principal investigator on grants totaling about $10 million. He has also published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal papers.


  • The potential environmental applications of nanotechnology, including synthesizing novel nanomaterials for removal of contaminants from different media and monitoring environmental pollutants
  • Environmental implications of nanotechnology addressing potentially adverse impacts of nanomaterials, especially the fate, transport, transformation, bioaccumulation, and toxicity of nanomaterials in the environment
  • Urban sustainability, including water/energy use efficiency and sustainable biofuels, focusing on algae related biofuel downstream issues


  • 2015 SIGMA Xi Best PhD. Thesis Advisor Award
  • 2012, American Environmental Engineering and Science Professors’s recipient of the 2012 CH2M Hill/AEESP Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Advisor Award.
  • 2012, “Thanks for being a great teacher” certificate for excellence in teaching, The Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL), Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 2012, Selected as a member of Chinese Thousand Talents Program
  • C&EN feature papers: http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/89/8911sci2.html
  • Certificate of Merit for Presentation at ACS 242th National Meeting, 2011
  • Certificate of Appreciation for the Peer Review Contribution, ACS, 2011
  • Publication in 2010 News: http://nanotechweb.org/cws/article/lab/43670
  • 2007, Top viewed article in Scripta Materialia for January - March 2007
  • 2006, Runner-up for the editors choice award for the most significant technology based paper that was submitted to the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
  • 2005, Most Accessed Articles from Environmental Science & Technology
  • 2000, Exceptional Advising in Student Life, Michigan Technological University
  • 1997, Motorola Teaching Award


  • Yang Zhang*, Jie Wang, Fei Gao, Hui Tao, Y. S. Chen and Hongwei Zhang (2017), “Impact of Sodium Hypochlorite (NaClO) on Polysulfone (PSF) Ultrafiltration Membranes: The Evolution of Membrane Performance and Fouling Behavior” Separation and Purification Technology, 175:238-247
  • Xin Wang*, Xuejiang Wang, Jianfu Zhao, Jingke Song, Lijie Zhou, Jiayi Wang, Xin Tong, Y. S. Chen (2017), “An alternative to in situ photocatalytic degradation of microcystin-LR by worm-like N, P co-doped TiO2/expanded graphite by carbon layer (NPT-EGC) floating composites”, Applied Catalyst B: Environmental, 206:479-489
  • Bopeng Zhang, Jin Gi Hong, Shihua Xie, Shuman Xia, Y. S. Chen (2017) “An integrative modeling and experimental study on the ionic resistance of ion-exchange membranes”, Journal of Membrane Science, 524:362-369
  • Yang Zhang*; Yongsheng Chen, Fei Gao; Jie Wang, Hongwei Zhang (2017), “A comparison study: The different impacts of sodium hypochlorite on PVDF and PSF ultrafiltration (UF) membranes”, Water Research, 109:227-236
  • Ruzhen Xie, Xiaoyang Meng, Peizhe Sun, Junfeng Niu, Lawrence Bottomley, Y. S. Chen, Duo Li and John Crittenden (2017), “Electrochemical Oxidation for Ofloxacin Degradation on TiO2 based SnO2 - Sb/polytetrafluoroethylene Resin (FR) - PbO2 Electrode”, Applied Catalyst B: Environmental, 203:515-525
  • David Capco and Yongsheng Chen, “Nanomaterial: Impacts on Cell Biology and Medicine”, published by Springer, (2014), XI, 278 p. 70 illus., 42 illus. in color.
  • Liz Minne, Arka Pandit, John C. Crittenden, Miroslav M. Begovic, Insu Kim, Hyunju Jeong, Jean-Ann James, Zhongming Lu, Ming Xu, Steve French, Muthukumar Subrahmanyam, Douglas Noonan, Marilyn A. Brown, Jess Chandler, Yongsheng Chen, Eric Williams, Reginald Desroches, Bert Bras, Ke Li, and Michael Chang, Chapter 8 -- “Energy and Water Interdependence, and Their Implications for Urban Areas”, Book – Electrical Transmission Systems and Smart Grids, published by Springer (2013).
  • Jiangxin Wang, Xiaoshan Zhu, Yongsheng Chen, Yung Chang, Chapter 20 – “Application of Embryonic and Adult Zebrafish for Nanotoxicity Assessment”, Book – Nanotoxicity: Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 926, 2012, pp317-329
  • Wang, J. X., Zhu, X. S., Chen, Y. S. and Chang, Y. Chapter 7 – “The application of embryonic and adult zebrafish for assessing nanotoxicology”, Book- Methods in Nanotoxicity, published by Humana Press, USA (part of the Springer publishing group) (2011).
  • Westerhoff, P., Zhang, Y., Crittenden, J. C. and Chen, Y. S. Chapter 4 - “Properties of Commercial Nanoparticles that Affect Their Removal during Water Treatment”, Book - Nanoscience and Nanotechnology – Environmental and Health Impacts, Edited by Vicki H. Grassian (2008).
  • Jin Gi Hong and Yongsheng Chen, Electrochemical analysis and reverse electrodialysis performance of cation exchange membranes fabricated with functionalized inorganic filler particles, Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization, Boston, Nov. 1-3, 2014
  • Yongsheng Chen, Perspectives on Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, The 11th ISPTs international conference, Hong Kong, Oct. 29, 2014
  • Yongsheng Chen, Membrane Technology for Renewable Energy Production Using Algal Biomass and Salinity Gradient, 248th ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 11, 2014
  • Yongsheng Chen, Synthesis of Novel Nanocomposite Reverse Electrodialysis (RED) Ion-exchange Membranes for Salinity Gradient Power Generation, 2014 ACS General Conference, Division of Environmental Chemistry: Advances in Materials for Water and Energy, Dallas, TX, March 18, 2014.
  • Wen Zhang, Guangshan Zhang, Daisuke Minakata, Yongsheng Chen, John Crittenden. Influences of colloidal and photo-stability on photocatalytic H2 generation of visible-light-driven water splitting system, 2014 ACS General Conference, Division of Environmental Chemistry: Advances in Materials for Water and Energy, Dallas, TX, March 18, 2014.
  • Bopeng Zhang and Chen, Y. S. “Model development for simulating thin-film reverse electrodialysis stack” SNO conference, Nov. 10-12, 2016, Orlando, Florida 
  • Xin Tong and Chen, Y. S. “Fouling resistant nanocomposite cation exchange membrane with enhanced power generation for reverse electrodialysis” SNO conference, Nov. 10-12, 2016, Orlando, Florida 
  • Chen, Y. S. “Novel Strategies for Crop Protection in Algal Biofuel Production”, The 4th Asia-Oceania Algae Innovation Summit, Sept. 18-21, 2016, East Lake International Conference Center, Wuhan, China
  • Yongsheng Chen, “Novel Nanomaterials for Environmental Pollutant Sensing, and Destruction, and Renewable Energy Production”, Chemistry of Environmental Sorptive & Oxidative Processes: Symposium in honor of Joseph J. Pignatello-Oral, ACS, August, 2016, Philadelphia 
  • Bopeng Zhang and Chen, Y. S. “Model development for simulation of RED stack” ACS annual conference, August, 2016, Philadelphia
  • Chen, Y.S., Haiping Gao, Bopeng, Zhang, “Nanoscale reverse electrodialysis cell for salinity power generation”, Georgia Institute of Technology, Invention Disclosure, 2014
  • Chen, Y.S., Haiping Gao, Bopeng, Zhang, “Ion exchange resin beads used in reverse electrodialysis stack for salinity power generation”, Georgia Institute of Technology, Invention Disclosure, 2014
  • Yulin Deng, Yongsheng Chen, and Guanglei Zhao, “Simultaneously Converting the Non-lipid Fraction of Algae to Electricity and Releasing Lipids for Biodiesel Production using Biomass Fuel Cell Technology”, Georgia Institute of Technology, Invention Disclosure, 2014
  • Chen, Y.S. and Steve Vin Ginkel, “Floating Screen Algae Harvester”, Georgia Institute of Technology, Invention Disclosure, 2014
  • Hu, Q., Chen, Y. S., Sommerfeld, M., Zhang, X. Z., “Method of Separation of algal biomass from aqueous or marine culture”, US 20120094361A1.