Engineer Spotlight: Xiaodong Zhang

For 2022 Engineers Week, we are highlighting some of our awesome member engineers.  Monday's spotlight: Xiaodong Zhang of ZEST LLC.

Xiaodong Zhang 


  • Name: Xiaodong Zhang      
  • Company: ZEST LLC
  • Title/role: President
  • Hometown & Current town: China / Clarksville, MD
  • Alma Mater(s): Clarkson University / IWHR
  • Family/pets: Daughter in high school and son in middle school
  • Favorite DC-area restaurant: Fiola Mare
  • Favorite DC tourist destination: Theodore Roosevelt Island
  • Favorite travel destination: Lake Tahoe
  • Food you always crave: Blue crabs
  • Favorite app: Chick-fil-A
  • Favorite movie: Forrest Gump
  • When I'm not at work you'll find me: Cooking, swimming, and coaching kids soccer team 
  • Dream job: Engineer

Let's Get To It……

  • What got you into the engineering industry and what keeps you here?
Was assigned into the engineering major when admitted to college. 
Enjoy contributing to flood mitigation and environmental hazards control and providing solutions to the industry. 
  • What is your area of expertise within engineering, and what drew you there?
Water resources engineering. 
Started with performing physical and numerical modeling to find a solution for the cavitation issues in hydraulic engineering. Expanded interests from 3D numerical hydraulic modeling into 1D and 2D watershed scale modeling, large and small scale hydrology modeling integrated with GIS, Dam Breach Analysis, Bridge/Culvert Hydraulics, Drainage, SWM, Erosion and Sediment Control, flooding control, and stream restoration, etc.         
  • What inspired you to join ACEC and what are you hoping to get out of your membership?
ACEC has been doing a great job on representing engineers and coordinating with government agencies; it has provided a platform to educate, engage, and advocate. As an engineer, I would like to participate, volunteer, and contribute. 

The benefits of the membership are not only receiving the most updated industry information and having the opportunity to observe and learn from the pioneers and seniors, but also being able to work with colleagues to educate the public and advocate our industry.     
  • What has been the most valuable part of your membership so far?
The business partner meetings with clients.  
  • What has been your favorite ACEC/MW or ACEC event?
EEA Gala and Holiday Party
  • What part of the ACEC/MW mission to Educate, Engage, and Advocate most resonates with you and why?
Advocacy on the PPP/FAR Credits Clause issue. 

We as small business are impacted the most by the PPP loan credit issue. I have been impressed how ACEC responded quickly both at national and local levels to advocate for small businesses and the most vulnerable members that suffered the most during the pandemic. 
  • What's the most valuable thing you've learned through ACEC (an event, speaker, or fellow member)?
The care and attention received from ACEC/MW immediately after joining the community. 
  • Best work-related advice you've ever received?
Be detail oriented.


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