Q. Jane Wang is elected to the National Academy of Engineering
Northwestern Engineering’s Q. Jane Wang, whose research has led to better-performing and more reliable engines, batteries, and lubricants used across industries, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Wang was cited for “contributions to computational tribology in industrial applications.”
Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Wang is among the 106 new members and 18 new international members announced by the NAE on February 7, 2023. They will be formally inducted during the NAE’s annual meeting on October 1, 2023.
“We are tremendously proud to see Jane recognized at the highest level in her field,” said Julio M. Ottino, dean of the McCormick School of Engineering. “It is great to see faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering recognized with a string of awards that trace back to the origins of the department in mechanics and its expansion into new fields.”
Wang is a professor of mechanical engineering at Northwestern Engineering located in Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A. She has devoted her research to advancing the field of tribology—the study of friction on surfaces. Her research group studies tribological interfaces from integrated theories for contact and interfacial mechanics, numerical simulations, model-based designs of machine elements and surfaces, failure-prevention methods, and novel lubrication technologies, working with industries toward future technologies for energy efficient, highly reliable machinery.
As executive director of Northwestern’s Center for Surface Engineering and Tribology (CSET), Wang leads the center’s efforts to address critical problems related to surface failure that affects key components in advanced engines, manufacturing equipment, bearings, batteries, and biomechanical systems. CSET’s research has supported advances in industries such as aerospace, transportation, electronic and data processing, and biomedical engineering.
Wang’s honors include the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) International Award, the society’s highest award to an individual for outstanding contributions to the field of tribology. She has also been named fellow of STLE and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Wang has published nearly 300 journal articles and edited four major texts covering topics related to tribology. In 2013, she co-edited Encyclopedia of Tribology with Yip-Wah Chung, professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern Engineering. The six-volume publication marked the first major reference that comprehensively combines the science, engineering, and technological aspects of tribology within a single work.
She earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Xian University of Technology in Xian, China, her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, U.S.A., and her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern Engineering.