Prof. WANG Xun-Li (王循理)

PhD Iowa State University, USA
BSc Peking University, China

Visiting address
Phone: +852 34429606

Author IDs

Willing to take PhD students: yes


In August 2012, Professor Xun-Li Wang joined City University of Hong Kong as a Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Physics and Materials Science. In July 2017, the department split and Professor Wang assumed the headship of the new Department of Physics starting with 12 faculty members. He oversaw a rapid expansion of the new department, now with a 27+ strong faculty body and growing. In the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2020), commissioned by Hong Kong’s University Grants Council, the Department of Physics performed well amongst a very competitive group in Hong Kong. An independent international panel rated 38% of the department’s research output as four-star (i.e., “world-leading”) and 52% as three-star (i.e., “internationally excellent”). In 2022 – 2023, he was appointed Executive Director of Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study.

Prior to coming to Hong Kong, he had been working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US, rising through the ranks to Distinguished Staff Member. He was responsible for the design, construction, and commissioning of VULCAN, a powerful engineering diffractometer at the Spallation Neutron Source, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As a senior scientist in the Neutron Science Directorate, he led innovative research, using neutron scattering as a primary tool, to understand deformation and phase transformation behavior in complex materials.  

Since joining City University of Hong Kong, Professor Wang has dedicated his efforts to establishing Hong Kong as an international hub for neutron scattering research. With the support from The Croucher Foundation, he started the biennial Croucher Summer Course on Neutron Scattering. He was also instrumental in launching the Gordon Research Conference series on Neutron Scattering, serving as the inaugural Chair in 2015. In addition, he and Professor Hesheng Chen of the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, co-founded a joint laboratory on neutron scattering. The joint laboratory has received financial support from The Croucher Foundation, Hong Kong’s Research Grants Council, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2020, Professor Wang helped establish the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Joint Laboratory on Neutron Scattering, serving as the Executive Director in Hong Kong. In the meanwhile, Professor Wang has maintained an active research portfolio. His current research interests include structure and dynamics in metallic glass, deformation behaviors in high entropy alloys, and magneto-elastic coupling in magnetic shape memory alloys.

Professor Wang received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University and B.S. from Peking University, both in Physics. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA). In 2023, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Physical Society.

Research Interests/Areas

  • Neutron and synchrotron scattering
  • Phase transformation, deformation, magnetism, residual stress determination
  • Metallic glasses, high-entropy alloys, magnetic shape memory alloys


  • 2021, Croucher Senior Research Fellowship, the Croucher Foundation
  • 2020, Elected Fellow, Neutron Scattering Society of America
  • 2018, Lee Hsun Lectureship, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 2017, Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2015, Inaugural Chair, The Gordon Research Conference on Neutron Scattering, Hong Kong
  • 2010, Elected Fellow, American Physical Society
  • 2009, Chang Jiang Chair Professorship (教育部长江讲座教授), Chinese Ministry of Education
  • 2008, Outstanding Oversea Scholars(中国科学院海外知名学者), Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 2006, Outstanding Oversea Young Scientist Award (基金委杰出青年B类), National Natural Science Foundation of China
  • 2003, Significant Event Award, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • 1999, A. F. Davis Silver Medal, American Welding Society
  • 1998, Significant Event Award, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • 1985, CUSPEA Scholar, (China-US Physics Examination and Application program), Chinese Ministry of Education


City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (2012 – present)

  • Executive Director, Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (2022-2023)
  • Chair Professor and Head, Department of Physics (2017 - 2023)
  • Chair Professor and Head, Department of Physics & Materials Science (2012 – 2017)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA (1992 – 2012) 

  • Distinguished Research Staff (2009 – 2012)
  • Group Leader, Powder Diffraction Group, Neutron Scattering Science Division (2006 – 2011)
  • Senior Research Staff, Spallation Neutron Source (2006 – 2008)
  • Instrument Scientist and Project Manager for VULCAN, Spallation Neutron Source (1999 – 2005)
  • Research Staff Member, Metals and Ceramics Division (1994 — 1999)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Metals and Ceramics Division (1992 — 1994)

Services outside CityU

  • Member, Board of Directors of the American Physical Society (2024 - present)
  • International Councilor, American Physical Society (2023 - present)
  • Member of the Academic Committee, China Center of Advanced Science and Technology (CCAST, 中国高等科学技术中心学术委员会) (2020 – present).
  • President, Physical Society of Hong Kong (2020 - 2023).
  • Member, The Bragg Institute Program Advisory Committee, The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) (2013 – 2016).
  • Member of Selection Committee for “Sustained Research and Science Prize”, Neutron Scattering Society of America (2012)
  • Member, Review Committee, US Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, Operational Review of the Advanced Photon Source. USA (2011)
  • Chair, Chemistry and Physics of Materials Committee, TMS (2011-2013)
  • Member, Neutron Science Proposal Review Committee (NSPRC), Japan Proton Accelerator Complex (2010-2013)
  • Member of Review Committee of Los Alamos Lujan Neutron Science Center, US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. USA (2009)

Editor or Editorial Membership

  • Editor, Acta Materialia and Scripta Materialia (since 2021)

  • Guest Editor, Applied Physics A, “Emerging Application of Neutron Scattering in Materials Science and Engineering,” Vol 99 (with B. T. Fultz and H. Choo) (2010)

  • Guest Editor, Materials Science and Engineering A, “Neutron Diffraction Characterization of Mechanical Behaviors,” Vol 437 (with H. Choo, P. K. Liaw, and C. R. Hubbard) (2006)


  • GE1305, Everyday Physics (2020)
  • AP8180, Modern Scattering Methods in Materials Science (2014)
  • AP1201, General Physics (2013)


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