Dr. Junyong (J.Y.) Zhu is a lead scientist at the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin. He holds an adjunct position at the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to his current position, Dr. Zhu was a faculty member at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (now the Renewable Bioproducts Institute) at Georgia Inst. Tech., Atlanta, GA, between 1993-2003.
His research interest covers a broad area of wood utilization for producing biofuels, biochemicals, and biomaterials including fibers and cellulose nanomaterials (CNMs). He is the inventor of several CNM production processes. His research ranges from laboratory studies to commercial-scale demonstrations. The SPORL process that he co-invented and developed was successfully applied for the world first woody-biojet commercial flight by preprocessing 60 tons of softwood forest residue. Dr. Zhu’s accomplishments were recognized with major national and international awards including IUFRO (International Union of Forest Research Organizations) Scientific Achievement Award in 2019, USDA Undersecretary honor award and the US Forest Service Chief’s award. He was the Inaugural Fulbright –Aalto University Distinguished Chair in 2016, Helsinki, Finland. Dr. Zhu is a Member of American Chemical Society (ACS), Fellow of TAPPI (Technical association of the Pulp and Paper Industry), AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), International Academy of Wood Science (IAWS). Dr. Zhu currently serves on advisory/editorial boards of ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, Cellulose, TAPPI J., and BioEnergy Research.