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Xinyu “Catherine” Zhang

Catherine Zhang


ESB 175

Teaching Assistant Professor - Fundamentals of Engineering Program

Dr. Xinyu Zhang graduated Summa cum Laude with a BS Environmental Engineering in 2005 from Dalian University of Technology, awarded a MS Environmental Science and Engineering in 2007 from Tsinghua University, and completed her doctorate in Environmental Engineering in 2012 from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Dr. Zhang returned to academia after spending several years in engineering consulting and engineering entrepreneurship. Before joining WVU, she has taught numerous courses to undergraduates, graduates, and industrial professionals in the areas of hands-on biopharmaceutical manufacturing, cGMP (current good manufacturing practice), fermentation, hydraulics, statistics, water/wastewater treatment, and capstone design projects in the disciplines of civil, environmental, and chemical engineering at North Carolina State University and UIUC.

Dr. Zhang has a strong teaching style in active learning, experiential learning, and advanced technologies for STEM education. She has been the principal investigator for several engineering education projects including creating virtual reality (VR) for biomanufacturing education. Her research interests include engineering education, engineering entrepreneurship, environmental engineering, and sustainable biomanufacturing. She is passionate about global cross-disciplinary collaborations. Her professional and academic projects have been in collaboration with professionals from the fields of engineering, science, arts, statistics, and business from different countries.

Dr. Zhang is an avid traveler, strong proponent of women in engineering, and advocate for K-12 STEM education.

Google Scholar


  • Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012
  • M.S., Environmental Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, 2007
  • B.S., Environmental Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, 2005

Teaching Interests

  • Engineering Fundamentals
  • Engineering Design
  • Hydraulics
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Biomanufacturing/Bioprocess

Special Interests

  • Active Learning/Experiential Learning
  • Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality for STEM Education
  • K-12 STEM Education
  • Engineering Entrepreneurship

Research Interests

  • Engineering Education
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Biomanufacturing

Professional Societies

  • American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE)