Prof. Liu’s biography


Dr. Zi-Kui Liu is a professor of Materials Science and Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University.  He obtained his BS degree from Center South University in Chagnsha, China, MS degree from University of Science and Technology Beijing, and PhD and Docent at Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.  From 1996 to 1998, Dr. Liu was a research associate in University of Wisconsin at Madison.  After working shortly in Questek Innovation LLC in Chicago, he joined Penn State in 1999.


Prof. Liu’s current research activities are centered on first-principles calculations, modeling of thermodynamic and kinetic properties, and their integration in understanding defects, phase stability, and phase transformations, and designing and tailoring materials processing and properties.  Prof. Liu has authored or co-authored over 300 scientific publications and holds two US patents.  He is the Editor-in-Chief for the international journal CALPHAD, a Fellow of ASM International, and member of the TMS Board of Directors.  Prof. Liu received the Young Leader Award and Brimacombe Medalist Award from TMS, NSF CAREER Award, ASM Silver Award, Wilson Award for Excellence in Research and Faculty Mentoring Award from College of Earth and Mineral Science, Pennsylvania State University, and Spriggs Phase Equilibria Award from The American Ceramic Society. The list of his publications can be found at


He teaches thermodynamics of materials to graduate students and phase transformations to undergraduate students and was the recipient of Faculty of the Year Award selected by students at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Penn State.  Prof. Liu has also been teaching outreach courses on computational thermodynamics and computational kinetics to scientists, engineers, professors, and students in the United States since 1996 and received the Chang Jiang Chair Professorship at Central South University by Chinese Ministry of Education for 2008-2014.


Prof. Liu coined the name “Materials Genome”® in 2002 and first filed for trademark protection in 2004.  The name was used with consent in the “Materials Genome Initiative” by the United States White House in June 2011.