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Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty

Dr. Zhengxian Yang

Zhengxian Yang

Assistant Research Professor
Deputy Director,

Laboratory of Corrosion Science & Electrochemical Engineering


Sloan 101


(509) 335-9869


(509) 335-7632


  • Ph.D., Structure Engineering (Building Materials and Durability), 2015, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • M.S., Physical Chemistry, 2005, South-Central University for Nationalities, China
  • B.S., Applied Chemistry, 2000, South-Central University for Nationalities, China

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Research Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, 2016-present
  • Researcher, Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, 2010-2015
  • Visiting Researcher (with Prof. C. Andrade), Institute Eduardo Torroja of Construction Science, Spanish National Research Council (IETcc-CSIC), 2013
  • Researcher, Materials innovation institute (M2i), The Netherlands; 2010-2014
  • Research Scientist and Research Associate, Western Transportation Institute, College of Civil Engineering, Montana State University, 2007-2010
  • Assistant Professor/Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Fuyang Normal College, China, 2005-2007


  • Outstanding Reviewer, journal of Construction and Building Materials, 2015
  • Invited Speaker and Excellent Paper, The 10th International Symposium on High Performance Concrete Innovation and Utilization. 2014, Beijing, China; Excellent Paper, The 1st International Congress on Durability of Concrete (ICDC). 2012, Trondheim, Norway.
  • National Award for Outstanding Self-financed Chinese Students Study Abroad, Awarded by Ministry of Education of China and was personally handed over by the Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands, 2013
  • Invited attendant for Youth Open Day at the China embassy to the Netherlands of EU-China Year of Youth, 2011
  • Outstanding teacher award of Fuyang Normal College, 2006
  • Outstanding student award every year during undergraduate student period in South-Central University for Nationalities, 2000-2004

Research Interests

  • Reinforcement corrosion and mitigation strategies
  • Durability of concrete and service life prediction modeling
  • Synthesis and characterization of multi-functional composite materials and their applications in concrete
  • Eco-friendly cementitious materials and recycled materials for sustainable concrete
  • Cement chemistry and Advanced concrete technology (self-healing, air-purifying/self-cleaning concrete)
  • Nanotechnology for sustainable civil infrastructure

Synergistic Activities

  • Editorial Board member of Advances in Concrete Construction (ACC), An International Journal
  • Reviewer for numerous peer-reviewed journals in Civil Engineering materials, international conferences and proposals
  • Membership with RILEM, ACI and ASCE


(* corresponding author)

  • Yang, Z*., Polder, R., Mol, J.M.C., Andrade, C. The Effect of Two Types of Modified Mg-Al Hydrotalcites on Reinforcement Corrosion in Cement Mortar. Cement and Concrete Research, (Submitted and under revision in 2016)
  • Yang, Z*., Fischer, H., Polder, R. Laboratory Investigation of the Influence of Two Types of Modified Hydrotalcites on Chloride Ingress into Cement Mortar. Cement and Concrete Composites, 2015, 58: 105-113.
  • Yang, Z*., Fischer, H., Polder, R. Synthesis and Characterisation of Modified Hydrotalcites and Their Ion Exchange Characteristics in Chloride-rich Simulated Concrete Pore Solution. Cement and Concrete Composites, 2014, 47: 87-93.
  • Yang, Z*., Hollar, J., He, X., Shi, X. A Self-Healing Cementitious Composite Using Oil Core/Silica Gel Shell Microcapsules. Cement and Concrete Composites, 2011, 33(4): 506-512.
  • Lv, L., Yang, Z*., Chen, G., Han, N., Schlangen, E., Zhu, G., Xing, F*. Synthesis and Characterization of a New Polymeric Microcapsule and Feasibility Investigation in Self-healing Cementitious Materials. Construction and Building Materials, 2016, 105: 487-495
  • Yang, Z*., Fischer, H., Cerezo, J., Mol, J.M.C., Polder, R. Aminobenzoate Modified Mg-Al Hydrotalcites as a Novel Smart Additive of Reinforced Concrete for Anticorrosion Applications. Construction and Building Materials, 2013, 47, 1436-1443.
  • Yang, Z., Shi, X., Creighton, A. T., Peterson, M. M. Effect of Styrene-Butadiene Rubber Latex on the Chloride Permeability and Microstructure of Portland Cement Mortars. Construction and Building Materials, 2009, 23(6): 2283-2290.
  • Yang, Z., Hollar, J., Shi, X. Surface-sulfonated Polystyrene Microspheres Improve Crack Resistance of Carbon Microfiber-reinforced Portland Cement Mortar. Journal of Materials Science, 2010, 45(13): 3497-3505.
  • Yang, Z*., Fischer, H., Cerezo, J., Mol, J.M.C., Polder, R. Modified Hydrotalcites for Improved Corrosion Protection of Reinforcing Steel in Concrete–Preparation, Characterization and Assessment in Alkaline Chloride Solution. Materials and Corrosion, 2015, (in press: DOI: 10.1002/maco.201508618)
  • Yang, Z*., Fischer, H., Polder, R. Modified Hydrotalcites as A New Emerging Class of Smart Additive of Reinforced Concrete for Anti-Corrosion Applications: A Literature Review. Materials and Corrosion, 2013, 64(12):1066-1074.
  • Yang, Z., Hollar, J., Shi, X., He, X. Laboratory Assessment of a Self-Healing Cementitious Composite. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2010, 2142: 9-17.
  • Han, B*., Yang, Z*., Shi, X, Yu, X. Transport Properties of Carbon-Nanotube/Cement Composite. Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, 2013, 22(1): 184-189.
  • Shi, X., Yang, Z., Liu, Y., Cross, D. Strength and Corrosion Properties of Portland Cement Mortar and Concrete with Mineral Admixtures. Construction and Building Materials, 2011, 25(8): 3245-3256.
  • Shi, X., Yang, Z., Nguyen, T.A., Suo, Z., Avci, R., Song, S. An Electrochemical and Microstructural Characterization of Steel-Mortar Admixed with Corrosion Inhibitors. Science in China, Series E: Technological Sciences, 2009, 52(1): 52-66.
  • Shi, X., Fay, L., Yang, Z., Nguyen, T.A., Liu, Y. Corrosion of Deicers to Metals in Transportation Infrastructure: Introduction and Recent Developments. Corrosion Reviews 2009, 27(1-2): 23-52.
  • Shi, X., Fay, L., Peterson, M.M., Yang, Z. Freeze-thaw Damage and Chemical Change of a Portland Cement Concrete in the Presence of Diluted Deicers. Materials and Structures 2010, 43(7):933-946.
  • Shi, X., Fortune, K., Fay, L., Smithlin, R., Yang, Z., Cross, D, Wu, J. Longevity of Corrosion Inhibitors and Performance of Anti-icing Products after Pavement Application: A case study. Cold Regions Science and Technology, 2012, (83-84): 89-97.
  • Shi, X., Akin, M., Pan. T., Fay, L., Liu, Y., Yang, Z. Deicer Impacts on Pavement Materials: Introduction and Recent Developments. The Open Civil Engineering Journal, 2009, 3: 16-27.