|Alma mater||Wuhan University of Technology|
|Institutions||Wuhan University of Technology|
Zhang was born in the town of Zhanggang, in Tianmen County, Hubei, on 23 January 1955. He secondary studied at Zhanggang High School. He received his bachelor's degree and master's degree from Wuhan University of Technology in 1978 and 1986, respectively. He earned his doctor's degree from Tohoku University in 1996.
After university, he stayed at the university, where he was promoted to dean of the School of Materials Science and Engineering in April 1997 and vice president in May 2017.