He earned his B.S. (’86) in Microbiology and M.Sc. (’93) in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in China. He received his Ph.D. (’96) degree in Food Engineering from South China University of Technology, China. Prior to joining WSU, he was an Associate Research Engineer with the Center for Environmental Research and Technology at the University of California, Riverside and was once a Research Scientist in the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. He held post doctoral positions at the Huazhong Agricultural University (China) and the University of British Columbia (Canada).
He has dedicated most of his career to the development of renewable energy technologies with particular emphasis on production of biofuels and chemicals from cellulosic biomass feedstocks and other sustainable resources.
His current research interests lie in areas of pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and novel pathways that accelerate commercial application of biomass processing to cellulosic and lignin fuels and chemicals.
In addition to his major research developments, Yang is devoted to training next-generation scientists, graduate and undergraduate students to foster future leaders in industry, academia and government in developing sustainable clean technology to produce bioenergy and bioproducts for demands vital to our future.
He has authored more than eighty peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, made many invited presentations worldwide, and been the first inventor for five patents.
- 2011 DARPA Young Faculty Award
- Advisory Editorial Board of Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefinery since 2007
- Advisory Editorial Board of Biofuels since 2009
- Editorial Board of AIMS Energy since 2013