Announcement of the 2014 Zener Prize in Materials Science and Physics
by Professor Qiang Feng Fang, Chairman of the International Zener Prize Committee,
on 25 September 2014
The Zener Prize in Materials Science and Physics has been awarded to Professor Qing-Ping Kong (Q. P. Kong) for his outstanding contributions to Mechanical Spectroscopy and related areas in Materials Science in 2014 . The Zener Prize was conferred at the 17th International Conference on Internal Friction and Mechanical Spectroscopy (ICIFMS-17) held in Hefei, China, on 25 September 2014.
Professor Q. P. Kong is a Research Professor at the Institute of Solid State Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, China. Since 1950s, He has been a member of Professor Ting-Sui K¨º¡¯s group studying mechanical properties of materials. He carried out research of internal friction in Germany as a Humboldt visiting scholar with Professor Kurt Lűcke during 1980¨C1982. He has continuously been working in the field of internal friction and related areas providing valuable contributions on grain boundary (GB) motion and on creep behavior of nanocrystalline materials.
The anelastic relaxation induced by grain boundary motion was discovered by Prof. K¨º in polycrystals in 1947 and was successfully interpreted according to the Zener anelastic theory. Since then, the GB relaxation has been widely used to investigate other GB related processes. Professor Kong obtained valuable results on the effect of impurities and deformation amplitude on the GB relaxation. From the beginning of 21th century, Prof. Kong and coworkers have systematically investigated bicrystals (each containing a single boundary) with different misorientation and axis rotation. The remarkable achievement was that individual behavior of each different type of GB could be distinguished and this method is now applied to ¡°grain boundary engineering¡±. Moreover, the coupling and compensation effects involved in GB relaxation have been discovered and explained. These findings have substantially improved the understanding of GB relaxation. In 2016, Prof. Kong and his coworker Prof. Q. F. Fang published a review article entitled ¡°Progress in the Investigations on Grain Boundary Relaxation¡±  which represents a comprehensive outlook of the investigations on the behavior, mechanism, and possible applications of GB relaxation in polycrystals and bicrystals.
Another valuable contribution of Prof. Kong concerns the creep behavior of nanocrystalline materials. In the period from 1990 to 2000, Prof. Kong and coworkers studied several nanocrystalline metals with grain sizes smaller than 100 nm. The experimental results indicate that the grain boundary diffusion is the dominant mechanism of the creep. An increase of the grain size results in a decrease of creep rate£¬but an increase of the stress exponent and activation energy, indicating a transition of creep mechanism. Based on these results, several papers were published including an invited review article ¡°The creep of nanocrystalline metals and its connection with grain boundary diffusion¡±.
In addition to the research work, it is to remember that Professor Q. P. Kong and his colleague Prof. B. L. Zhou translated Zener¡¯s pioneering monograph: ¡°Elasticity and Anelasticity of Metals¡± into Chinese, which was published by Scientific Press in China in 1965. The translation of the seminal book of Zener was important for further development of internal friction and Materials Science in China.
Zener Gold Medal
Professor Qing-Ping Kong
 L. B. Magalas, Professor Qing-Ping Kong: Zener Medalist, Archives of Metallurgy
and Materials, 61, 7-8 (2016).
 Q. P. Kong and Q. F. Fang, Progress in the investigations on grain boundary relaxation (Review Article), Critical Reviews in Solid State and Materials Sciences, 41 (3), 192-216 (2016).