Liang Feng

Assistant Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Feng Group's mission is to develop innovative materials and mechanisms to address pressing global challenges in energy, climate, and health. We have two directions in the group: (1) Climate and Energy: The climate crisis is reshaping how we harvest, store, and consume energy globally. The Feng Group is dedicated to tackling issues in energy, climate, and environmental sustainability by working at the intersection of materials, photo- and electrochemical, and polymer science and engineering. Our goal is to create innovative materials for capturing essential elements like carbon dioxide from air and sea, and to develop sustainable strategies for using these elements. Using renewable energy, we aim to create efficient methods to turn these molecules into valuable products. (2) Biomaterials and Biomedicine: Our research aims to advance the understanding and application of molecular mechanisms in biology by developing artificial molecular machines. These machines will enable precise and controlled against-concentration-gradient movement of molecules within specific environments. We aim to use these principles in synthetic biology and designer cells to significantly enhance health outcomes. Steps include improving drug delivery methods and addressing issues in precision medicine, thereby contributing to the fundamental knowledge of living systems and their applications in health and disease management. 

Dr. Feng earned his Ph.D. in 2020 from Texas A&M University, where he investigated hierarchical architectures of porous materials with applications in carbon capture, gas separation, and catalysis. As a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University (2020-2023), he worked with Sir Fraser Stoddart (2016 Nobel Laureate) to explore non-equilibrium materials and their transport behaviors. Liang made a groundbreaking discovery of the first fundamentally new adsorption mechanism since the 1930s, revolutionizing the approach to carbon capture and water remediation in non-equilibrium systems.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Contact Information

Education

  • B.S. Wuhan University (China), 2016
  • Ph.D. Texas A&M University, 2020

Research Interests

Climate | Energy | Biomedicine & Health | Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics | Carbon Capture | Adsorption & Separation | Molecular Machines | Supramolecular & Porous Materials | Polymer Science & Engineering

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Scialog Fellow in Negative Emissions Science. Research Corporation for Science Advancement | Sloan Foundation. 2023
  • 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight. Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University. 2022
  • Forbes 30 Under 30. Forbes. 2022
  • Innovators Under 35 of China. MIT Technology Review. 2022
  • Award for Excellence in Publications by a Young Member. International Adsorption Society. 2022
  • MRS Postdoctoral Award. Materials Research Society. 2022
  • Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research. Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University. 2020
  • Graduate Student Award . Materials Research Society. 2020
  • Distinguished Student Award in Nanotechnology. Foresight Institute. 2020

Courses Taught

  • ME 490: Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Wang, Kun-Yu, Zhentao Yang, Jiaqi Zhang, Sayan Banerjee, Elizabeth A. Joseph, Yu-Chuan Hsu, Shuai Yuan, Liang Feng, and Hong-Cai Zhou. “Creating hierarchical pores in metal-organic frameworks via postsynthetic reactions.” Nature Protocols 18, no. 2 (February 2023): 604–25. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41596-022-00759-7.
  • Feng, Liang, R Dean Astumian, and J Fraser Stoddart. “Controlling dynamics in extended molecular frameworks.” Nature Reviews. Chemistry 6, no. 10 (October 2022): 705–25. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41570-022-00412-7.
  • Feng, Liang, Yunyan Qiu, Qing-Hui Guo, Zhijie Chen, James S. W. Seale, Kun He, Huang Wu, et al. “Active mechanisorption driven by pumping cassettes.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 374, no. 6572 (December 2021): 1215–21. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abk1391.