Faculty Profile

Yushan Yan

Distinguished Professor of Engineering


  • Doctorate – 1997 California Institute of Technology
  • Masters – 1995 California Institute of Technology
  • Bachelors – 1988 University of Science and Technology of China

About Yushan Yan

Yushan Yan is a Distinguished Engineering Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has also served as the Founding Associate Dean for Research and Entrepreneurship of the College of Engineering. He studied Chemical Physics (BS) at the University of Science and Technology of China, Heterogeneous Catalysis at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Chemical Engineering (MS/PhD) at the California Institute of Technology. He worked for AlliedSignal as Senior Staff Engineer and Project Leader before joining the faculty at the University of California Riverside where he served as Department Chair. His recognitions include University Scholar Professor from the University of California Riverside, Presidential Chair from the University of California, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Donald Breck Award from the International Zeolite Association, the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Energy Technology Division Research Award from the Electrochemical Society, and Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He was one of 37 awardees of the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E OPEN 2009, one of 66 awardees of the ARPA-E OPEN 2012, and 1 of the 40 of the ARPA-E OPEN2018. He has been an inventor on a number of issued or pending patents, some of which were licensed to form startup companies (e.g., NanoH2O, OH-Energy, and W7energy). His research has led to 240+ publications that are widely cited (17,000+ citations, h-index = 68 and average citation/paper = 68), and extensively covered by the media including New Scientist, Business Week, C&EN News, Materials Today, MRS360, Chemical Engineering Progress, China Press, Chinese Daily News, CNBC, CNN.com, KABC, Radio Australia, and VOA.

Select Publications 

For a complete listing of publications, please view the Full CV.

  1. Gu S., Xu B., Yan Y., “Electrochemical Energy Engineering: A New Frontier of Chemical Engineering Innovation”, Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 5, 429, (2014)
  2. B. P. Setzler, Z. Zhuang, J. A. Wittkopf, Y. Yan, “Activity targets for nanostructured platinum group-metal-free catalysts in hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells”, Nature Nanotechnology 11, 1020, (2016)
  3. R. B. Kaspar, J. A. Wittkopf, M. D. Woodroof, M. J. Armstrong, Y. Yan, “Reverse-Current Decay in Hydroxide Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells”, Journal of the Electrochemical Society 163, F377, (2016)
  4. Z. Zhuang, S. A. Giles, J. Zheng, G. R. Jenness, S. Caratzoulas, D. G. Vlachos, Y. Yan, “Nickel supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst in alkaline electrolyte”, Nature Communications 7, (2016)
  5. S. Gu, R. Cai, T. Luo, Z. Chen, M. Sun, Y. Liu, G. He, Y. Yan, “A Soluble and Highly Conductive Ionomer for High-Performance Hydroxide Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells”, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 48, 6499, (2009)
  6. Gao M., Sheng W., Zhuang Z., Fang Q., Gu S., Jiang J., Yan Y., “Efficient Water Oxidation Using Nanostructured alpha-Nickel-Hydroxide as an Electrocatalyst”, Journal of the American Chemical Society 136(19), 7077, (2014)
  7. J. Jiang, M. Gao, W. Sheng, Y. Yan, “Hollow Chevrel-Phase NiMo3S4 for Hydrogen Evolution in Alkaline Electrolytes”, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 55, 15240, (2016)
  8. K. Gong, X. Ma, K. M. Conforti, K. J. Kuttler, J. B. Grunewald, K. L. Yeager, M. Z. Bazant, S. Gu, Y. Yan, “A zinc-iron redox-flow battery under $100 per kW h of system capital cost”, Energy & Environmental Science 8, 2941, (2015)
  9. W. Sheng, Z. Zhuang, M. Gao, J. Zheng, J. G. Chen, Y. Yan, “Correlating hydrogen oxidation and evolution activity on platinum at different pH with measured hydrogen binding energy”, Nature Communications 6, (2015)
  10. J. Zheng, W. Sheng, Z. Zhuang, B. Xu, Y. Yan, “Universal dependence of hydrogen oxidation and evolution reaction activity of platinum-group metals on pH and hydrogen binding energy”, Science Advances 2, (2016)


  1. Extended two dimensional metal nanotubes and nanowires useful as fuel cell catalysts and fuel cells containing the same (9,680,160): S. Alia, 2017
  2. Multiple-membrane multiple-electrolyte redox flow battery design (9,640,826): S. Gu, K. Gong, 2017
  3. Electrolysis device for chlorine production (9,273,405): Y. Zhao, 2016
  4. Highly basic ionomers and membranes and anion/hydroxide exchange fuel cells comprising the ionomers and membranes (9,263,757): S. Gu, R. Cai, 2016
  5. Polymer-zeolite nanocomposite membranes for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells (8,324,415): B. Holmberg, X. Wang, 2012
  6. Carbon based electrocatalysts for fuel cells (8,247,136): X. Wang, W. Li, M. Waje, Z. Chen, W. Goddard, W.Q. Deng, 2012
  7. High aluminum zeolite coatings on corrodible metal surfaces (7,179,547): D. Beving, 2007
  8. Silica zeolite low-k dielectric thin films and methods for their production (6,573,131): H. Wang, Z. Wang, 2003
  9. Metal surfaces coated with molecular sieve for corrosion resistance (6,521,198): X. Cheng, Z. Wang, 2003
  10. Hydrophilic zeolite coating (6,500,490): , 2002


For a complete listing of awards, please view the Full CV.

  1. 2019 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (National Academy of Inventors: 2019)
  2. 2018 Energy Technology Division Award (, The Electrochemical Society: 2018)
  3. 2016 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award (American Institute of Chemical Engineers: 2016)
  4. 2011 Distinguished Engineering Professor (University of Delaware: 2011)
  5. 2011 27th Outstanding Alumni Lecture (Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences: 2011)
  6. 2010 Presidential Chair (University of California: 2010)
  7. 2010 Donald Breck Award (International Zeolite Association: 2010)
  8. 2008 Fellow (American Association for the Advancement of Science: 2008)
  9. 2006 University Scholar (inaugural) (University of California, Riverside: 2006)
  10. 1994 Li Ming Scholarship Award (California Institute of Technology: 1994)

Research Areas

Electrochemical energy engineering; Energy conversion and storage; fuel cells; electrolyzers; flow batteries; electrochemistry; electrocatalysis; polymer electrolytes; electrochemical interfaces; zeolites and covalent organic frameworks.

Office: 377 ISE
Phone: 302-831-2552

People Faculty Yushan Yan