Zhang named Yangtze River Scholar

For the third time in four years, a Washington University in St. Louis faculty member has received the highest award that the People’s Republic of China bestows on an individual in higher education.

Fuqiang Zhang, professor of operations and manufacturing management at Olin Business School, has been selected to receive the Yangtze River Scholar Award by the Chinese Ministry of Education.


As an international recipient of the award, Zhang will receive the title of Yangtze River Chaired Professor at the School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and a significant research grant.

This marks the fourth person affiliated with Washington University since 2015 to earn a Yangtze River Scholar honor — also known as the Changjiang Scholar:

  • Shenyang Guo, Frank J. Bruno Distinguished Professor of Social Work Research at the Brown School and assistant vice chancellor for international affairs — Greater China, was named in spring 2017;
  • Guy Genin, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, was named in mid-2015; and
  • Pang Xun, who earned a doctorate in political science from the university in 2010, is an associate professor of international relations at Tsinghua University and won the Young Scholar category earlier in 2017.

Zhang joins a previous Olin awardee: Phil Dybvig, Boatmen’s Bancshares Professor of Banking and Finance, was named a Yangtze River Scholar in 2011 via Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

Few U.S. universities have as many as two current Yangtze River Scholars. Zhang received his award from the Ministry of Education in May.

“I am very proud to have outstanding faculty like Professor Zhang on our faculty. With his appointment to be a Yangtze River Scholar, he will have the opportunity to develop collaborations in an important area of research with researchers at a premier university in China,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” Zhang said. “The School of Management at USTC is a strategic partner of the Olin Business School. The award will provide a great platform to promote research collaboration between the two schools. The internet economy has been growing at an amazing speed in China. I plan to work on data-driven supply chain research with applications to the global e-commerce industry. I also hope the platform will help our school to develop further relations with the educational and industry sectors in China.”

Since his arrival at Olin in July 2007, Zhang has worked on dozens of research papers and won numerous honors, among them the Wickham Skinner Early-Career Research Accomplishments Award from the Production and Operations Management Society in 2009, the Distinguished Service Award from the Management Science journal in 2009 and 2010, and “best paper” awards at the Chinese Scholars Association in Management Science and Engineering conferences in 2011, 2014 and 2016. He also has won research grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

He serves as a department editor for the Journal of Management Science and Engineering and an associate editor for such journals as Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, and Omega-The International Journal of Management Science.