Professor Zhao is the Director of Master Engineering Studies, and the Chair of Research Committee in Faculty of Engineering, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
His cutting-edge research on propulsion, aeroacoustics, renewable energy, and its impact have been recognized by successfully securing over 13.2M $ competitive research funding, and 7 prestigious fellowships, which are awarded by Engineering New Zealand, Royal Aeronautical Society, the Energy Institute, AIAA; European Academy of Sciences, European Academy of Sciences and Arts and ASEAN Academy of Engineering and Technology. His research impacts are evidenced by 6000 Scopus-citations and an H-index of 45 and 200 Scopus-, Nature-indexed and high-impact-factor papers (IF≥10), 3 books, and 5 patents; invited keynote talks at major international symposium/conferences. His international professional reputation is evidenced by 13 Chief/, Associate editorships, editorial board membership of Sci-indexed journals including AIAA Journal, Aerospace Science and Technology, Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbine and Power, Progress in Aerospace Sciences and Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He created and led the first-chartered branch of AIAA in New Zealand (200+ members), and is in the top 2% of world scientists on the Stanford list since 2020.