NIPSCO Endows Professorship at Purdue University Northwest

April 2, 2020

Chenn Zhou Named Distinguished Professor of Engineering Simulation

Purdue University Northwest and Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) announced that NIPSCO has created an endowment to establish a professorship in Engineering Simulation.

Chenn Zhou will be the first to serve in the newly endowed position. In recognition of her scholarship and extraordinary contributions to the university, the Purdue University Board of Trustees has named Zhou the NIPSCO Distinguished Professor of Engineering Simulation in the College of Engineering and Sciences. She is the first faculty member at Purdue Northwest to achieve the distinguished professor title. Zhou, who has been with the university since 1994, currently is a professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Both the NIPSCO endowed professorship and the conferring of Zhou’s distinguished professor designation were approved by the Purdue Board of Trustees today (April 2).

Purdue Northwest Chancellor Thomas L. Keon expressed his deep appreciation for NIPSCO’s generous gift to the university.

“NIPSCO’s partnership will help support continued research, innovation and educational excellence, particularly through the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS),” Keon said. “As a premier metropolitan university, PNW provides solutions that create positive impact in the Northwest Indiana region, the state and beyond.”

“As the energy industry continues to evolve and with rapid advancements in technology, it is essential that we establish a pipeline of talent and a future workforce prepared to solve the challenges of tomorrow,” added NIPSCO president, Violet Sistovaris. “This new partnership builds that important bridge and it is an extension of the successful relationship we already have established with Purdue University Northwest and Professor Zhou.”

Zhou is the founder of and serves as director of CIVS, an interdisciplinary research center. She also serves as director of the nationwide Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium, and oversees PNW’s mechanical and civil engineering graduate programs.

“I am deeply appreciative of this recognition of my work that is made possible through collaboration with my fellow faculty members, CIVS staff, industrial partners, and of course our wonderful PNW students. I want to thank all of the people who have supported me. Solving real-world problems using cutting-edge computer simulation and visualization tools has been a source of great satisfaction,” Zhou said. “This role is especially meaningful to me because NIPSCO, a longtime collaborator with CIVS, has chosen to expand our partnership in this way.”

Zhou has 38 years of research experience, with funded research projects totaling more than $25 million and more than 140 organizations since 1995. Her teaching and research experience includes the areas of air pollution control, computational fluid dynamics, combustion, energy, heat transfer, multiphase reacting flows, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) visualization, and smart manufacturing.

She holds two patents, is a fellow of the Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest and is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She has been recognized multiple times by her peers with outstanding faculty awards at PNW and by professional societies.

Zhou earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Power Engineering, both from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.