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Hu named to 2020 class of Fellows by American Association for the Advancement of Science

UTA Planetarium
Qinhong “Max” Hu, UTA professor of earth and environmental sciences

Qinhong Hu, professor of earth and environmental sciences at The University of Texas at Arlington, has received a prestigious fellowship from the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society.

Hu was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on November 24. Fellows are elected each year by their peers serving on the Council of AAAS, the organization’s member-run governing body. Hu was recognized “for outstanding and sustained contributions in the research field of nano-petrophysics within the context of energy geosciences, teaching and mentorship, and service to professional society.”

“I greatly appreciate the recognition of my peers, and I would like to dedicate this award to my illiterate mother, who seemed to be well but passed away in less than a week when I was visiting her in a hospital early this year,” Hu said. “Her last words to me were, ‘Go for your work; do not worry about me.’ “

College of Science Dean Morteza Khaledi extended his congratulations and noted that Hu was commended by the AAAS for multiple facets of his work as a faculty member.

“Dr. Hu has excelled in all of the different aspects that come with being a professor – teaching, research, mentorship, and service,” Khaledi said. “It is very fitting that he be recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science with this prestigious honor. He is a wonderful example of the faculty excellence that we strive for in the College of Science.”

Vistasp Karbhari, UTA professor of civil engineering as well as of mechanical and aerospace engineering, also was named an AAAS fellow. Hu and Karbhari join five current UTA faculty members who are AAAS fellows. They are: Asish Basu (earth and environmental sciences), Ramon Lopez (physics), James Coleman (joint appointments in the College of Science and College of Engineering), Dereje Agonafer (mechanical and aerospace engineering), and Frank Lewis (electrical engineering).

The tradition of electing AAAS fellows began in 1874. A virtual induction ceremony for the 2020 class of fellows — which includes two Nobel Prize winners — will take place on Feb. 13, 2021, following the AAAS Annual Meeting. The honorees will receive official certificates and rosette pins in gold and blue, colors symbolizing science and engineering, by mail.

One of Hu’s major research interests is micro-scale pore structure and its effect on macro-scale fluid flow and mass transport in porous and fractured geological and engineering materials, within the context of energy geosciences such as shale gas-oil production, geological repository of high-level nuclear wastes, geothermal energy utilization, and remediation of contaminated sites. Other research interests include nano-petrophysics, hydrogeology, fracture-matrix interaction, fluid distribution and flow physics in confined nano-pore spaces, and rock fracability.

Hu was named a fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2013 and has published approximately 180 articles in peer-reviewed journals, with 93 over the past five years. Among other awards, he received the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Distinguished Educator Award in 2018. He has received more than $2 million in research grants from sources including the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, among others.

Hu received a B.S. in Soil Science from Zhejiang University, China, in 1986; an M.S. in Environmental Soil Chemistry from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1989; and a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology from the University of Arizona in 1995. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow in hydrogeology and reservoir dynamics at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab from 1997-2000 and then as a geological scientist at LBNL from 2000-02 and as a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 2002-08. He came to UTA in 2008.

He serves as co-editor-in-chief for the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology, and as associate editor and editorial board member for six other leading science journals in his research fields. With a total of 44 awards and scholarships won by his mentees, he has trained five postdoctoral researchers, four Ph.D. and 36 master’s students, eight visiting professors, 13 visiting joint-Ph.D. students, six visiting B.S. to M.S. students, and 39 undergraduate students. His current research group includes two postdoctoral research associates, 11 Ph.D. and four master’s students, and four undergraduate researchers.

The AAAS is publisher of the journal Science. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 12 million individuals. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, see