Dr. Zhao obtained his Ph.D. in Agricultural, Biosystems and Mechanical Engineering from South Dakota State University, M.S. in Materials Science, and B.E. in Mechanical Engineering. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of South Florida and then worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Zhao is currently working as an R&D Associate Staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His research interests and expertise fall in the general areas of catalyst development and characterization, biocomposite development from biomass, and biomass to renewable energy conversion. He has authored more than 45 peer-review publications in international journals, 7 publications in international and national conferences, 3 patents (2 pending), and 1 book chapter. He holds numerous prestigious awards including National Aspiration Scholarship, Outstanding Service Award, and Excellent Graduate Leader.