ASU associate professor earns prestigious career recognition award

A photo of Zhihua Wang in the lab.

Zhihua Wang, an associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, has been honored with the prestigious Timothy Oke Award for his work.

Conferred by the International Association for Urban Climate, or IAUC, during the 11th International Conference on Urban Climate in Sydney, this accolade recognizes Wang’s outstanding professional contributions in multiscale urban climate modeling, land-atmospheric interactions and urban sustainability. Wang, who joined the ASU faculty 12 years ago, has demonstrated leadership and made a significant impact in these fields of study over a sustained period.

He has more than 100 peer-reviewed journal publications demonstrating the breadth and depth of his expertise in urban system dynamics, numerical modeling and energy-efficient water technologies. The award not only acknowledges Wang’s achievements, but also solidifies his position as a key figure in advancing urban climatology and sustainability studies.

His research portfolio extends to the measurement, modeling and comprehension of environmental challenges in urban settings grappling with global climate change. He tackles key issues such as the urban heat island phenomenon, air pollution and urban infrastructure resilience.

Since 2012, his work has involved long-term urban environmental monitoring through a wireless sensor network and a state-of-the-art urban land surface model called the Arizona Single Layer Urban Model, or ASLUM. His research team’s model has been integrated into the Weather Research & Forecasting platform by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, or NCAR. The model has been a major contributor to everyday weather services in U.S. cities.

From green roofs and irrigated lawns to urban trees, Wang has sought solutions throughout his career by conducting extensive research to evaluate the environmental trade-offs and co-benefits of various urban planning and heat-carbon mitigation strategies.