Chenn Zhou, Ph.D.

NIPSCO Distinguished Professor of Engineering Simulation | Director, the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS)

Chenn Zhou


Professor Zhou, Director of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) and Director of the Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC),  is active in teaching, research, and engagement. She oversees an PNW interdisciplinary research center and a nation-wide steel consortium.

Research Overview

Dr. Zhou has 38 years of research experience. She is on the cutting edge in the integration of computer simulation and virtual reality visualization for solving real world problems. She has conducted funded research projects totaling $25+ millions with 140+ organizations including academia, K-12 schools, national labs, and industries. She has 140+ invited talks, 430+ publications, and 2 patents.

I love to work closely with students, faculty, staff and other collaborators to solve real-world problems. It always makes my day when I hear that the results of our projects have been used for real applications or when students have found jobs or been accepted into graduate programs. I like Yoga, Zumba, swimming, Karaoke, taking photos, etc.

Select Publications

Zhou, C. and Bodnor, R., (Guest Editor), “Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization”, A Special Issue for the Journal of Steel Research International, April, 2019.

Tang, G., Silaen, A.K., Wu, B., Fu, D., Zhou, C.Q., Agnello-Dean, D., Wilson, J., Meng, Q., and Khanna, S., 2017, “Numerical Simulation and Optimization of an Industrial FCC Regenerator,” Applied Thermal Engineering, 112: pp. 750-760.

Zhou, C.Q., Wang, J., Tang, G., Moreland, J., Fu, D., and Wu, B., 2016, “Integration of Advanced Simulation and Visualization for Manufacturing Process Optimization,” Journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (JOM), 68(5): pp. 1363-1369.

Teaching Focus

Prof. Zhou has more than 30 years of teaching experience in the areas of air pollution control, computational fluid dynamics, combustion, energy, heat transfer, multiphase reacting flows, etc. She has taught courses in both undergraduate and graduate levels. She has supervised a large number students for their senior design, Master Thesis, and Ph.D. Thesis projects to solve real word problems.

Previous Roles

  • PNW Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Studies, 2012-2015.
  • Department Head of Mechanical Engineering, 2005-2011.
  • Interim Department Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2005-2009.
  • Special Term Appointment, Argonne National Lab, 1995-2005.

Why I Became an Engineer…

When I was applying to colleges, I knew I wanted to go into a field where I could have a meaningful impact on society. My high school teachers encouraged me to study engineering because they thought this was a great profession for someone like me who was passionate about wanting to solve real world problems in creative and innovative ways.

What Engineers Can Do to Make a Difference…

Engineering is at a very exciting profession right now. We are facing an ever changing world with many global challenges and opportunities in areas ranging from energy, the environment, and health to security and sustainability.

As engineers, we need to find innovative solutions to complex problems if we want to ensure a high quality of life for everyone. But today’s engineers also need better communication skills and an increased cultural awareness, in addition to an understanding of advanced technologies such as simulation and visualization, to make that happen.

Chenn Zhou


(219) 989-2665

Office Location:

Hammond Campus, PWRS 121


  • Ph.D. – Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • M.S. – Power Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, China
  • B.S. – Power Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, China

Areas of Expertise

  • Air Pollution Control
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Combustion
  • Digital Twins
  • Heat Transfer
  • Multiphase Reacting Flows
  • Sprays
  • Wind Energy
  • VR and AR Visualization

Credentials, Accreditations & Awards

  • Several Best papers PNW Outstanding Faculty Awards:
    • Teaching (1999)
    • Research, (1999)
    • Sponsored Research (2006)
    • Engagement (2017)
  • Gerald I. Lamkin Fellow for Innovation, 2017
  • AIST J. Keith Brimacombe Memorial Lecture Award, 2010
  • R&D 100 Award, 2004
  • ASME Fellow, 2003

Curriculum Vitae