Professor Zeng however made a special request to visit the Cambridge office, to meet the team that he works closely with on Nanoscale. He works at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and travelled to Cambridge from the US with his wife.
"There’s a Chinese saying that whatever happens you should always return to your roots", he said. "My whole journey with the Royal Society of Chemistry started with Nanoscale."
Professor Zeng joined the editorial board in 2012, and shortly after that applied for membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry. A year later he was elected one of our fellows. He was nominated for the Surfaces and Interfaces Award by another member of the Nanoscale editorial board.
"It’s my first time visiting the office," he says, "and there are so many members of the team that I communicate with on a daily basis but never see their faces. Now I know who I work with and I can picture them."
Dr Emma Wilson, Director of Publishing, presented the award. She said, "Professor Zeng has been a key contributor to the strategic development of Nanoscale through his contribution to board meetings and discussions on the journal’s future directions, as well as through his active promotion of the journal over the years.
"He handles a large amount of manuscripts for the journal – which is very much appreciated!
"Xiao is always very helpful when the publishing editors need assistance and he is highly respected within the community. He has over 500 publications – with more than twenty in Nanoscale – and has received many awards both for his research and creativity but also as an educator and mentor."
Members of staff celebrated along with Professor Zeng, with the help of tea, biscuits, and a cake decorated with the face of Michael Faraday – in honour of our Faraday Division, which selects the award winner.
Professor Zeng’s work uses supercomputers to carry out virtual experiments, exploring the predicted behaviour of materials under extreme conditions.
When he found out that he had won the award, he said: "I am humbled and very honoured... I want to acknowledge all my current and former teammates, including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and collaborators worldwide. This honour is also a recognition of many scientific accomplishments by my team and collaborators."