A partnership between Purdue University Northwest and Northern Indiana Public Service Co. has created an endowed professorship at the college in engineering simulation.
Chenn Zhou, a professor of mechanical engineering who has been with Purdue Northwest since 1994, will be the first to serve as the NIPSCO Distinguished Professor of Engineering Simulation in the College of Engineering and Sciences. The college said she was awarded the post in recognition of her scholarship and extraordinary contributions to the university.
Purdue Northwest Chancellor Thomas Keon thanked NIPSCO for its support 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,” Keon said. “As a premier metropolitan university, PNW provides solutions that create positive impact in the Northwest Indiana region, the state and beyond.”
Violet Sistovaris, president of NIPSCO, said as the energy industry continues evolving, it is essential that a talent pipeline be established so future workforces are prepared to solve tomorrow’s challenges.
“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,” she said.
Zhou is founder of and director of CIVS. 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,” 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. Zhou earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in power engineering, both from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
NIPSCO serves approximately 810,000 natural gas and 460,000 electric customers across 32 counties in Northern Indiana.