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The University of Alabama

UA Professor Wins Award for International Hydrogeology Research

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Chunmiao Zheng, professor of geological sciences at The University of Alabama, has been named as the 2013 recipient of the O.E. Meinzer Award by the Geological Society of America.

Dr. Chunmiao Zheng

Dr. Chunmiao Zheng

The O. E. Meinzer award is given annually to the author or authors of a published paper or body of papers of distinction that have advanced the science of hydrogeology or some closely related field.

Since the award’s inception in 1965, it has been considered the highest distinction for hydrogeologists internationally. Recipients are selected by the GSA Council from a field of recommendations made by the Hydrogeology Division’s O.E. Meinzer award committee.

Zheng is the author of numerous papers, books and transport models that are heavily cited each year. He is published in numerous areas of the hydrogeology field, including aquifer remediation design, contaminant degradation process simulation, monitoring network design, single- and multi-rate mass transfer and groundwater-surface water interactions. His books on applied contaminant transport modeling, co-written with Gordon Bennett, are used in classes throughout the world and as reference books by those involved in contaminant hydrogeologic modeling.

One of Zheng’s most prolific practical contributions to the field of hydrogeology is the versatile MT3D solute transport code, which is among the most widely used transport models. Since he created it, he has extended the capabilities of MT3D to simulate reactive multispecies transport and that model — MT3DMS — has become increasingly popular as well. He regularly teaches short courses throughout the world on the foundations and use of MT3DMS and MT3D.

Recently, Zheng was recruited to return to China to apply his research and practical expertise to the country’s serious water resource problems. There, he engaged a number of students in working on the matter throughout the country and published several timely papers on China’s water-related environmental issues.

Zheng earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from the Chengdu Institute of Geology in China, where he also performed postgraduate work in applied mathematics before coming to the United States on a government scholarship. He earned his doctorate in hydrogeology with a minor in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Zheng was named the George Lindahl III Endowed Professor within the UA department of geological sciences in 2010. He also holds a professorship at Peking University in Beijing, China, where he is the founding director of the Center for Water Research. He is a Geological Sciences of America Fellow and a S.S. Papadopulos & Associates Fellow in the UA College of Arts and Sciences. He has been named the Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer by the GSA’s hydrogeology division and earned the National Ground Water Association’s John Hem Excellence in Science and Engineering Award.

The geology department is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships, Truman Scholarships, and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Kristi Payne or Richard LeComte, UA Media Relations, 205/348-3782,
  • SOURCE: Dr. Chunmiao Zheng, professor, UA department of geological sciences, 205/348-0579,