Materials science and engineering alum Ji-Cheng ‘JC’ Zhao ’95 PhD has been named dean of UConn's College of Engineering, effective August 12, 2024, according to a news release.

Zhao is currently the department chair of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Clark Distinguished Chair Professor of the University of Maryland, College Park. 

According to the release: "Zhao joined the University of Maryland in 2019. There, he gained experience in managing complex budgets, leading cross-functional teams, building industry partnerships, and engaging in development work. In addition, Zhao’s research has focused on the design of advanced alloys and coatings, additive manufacturing (3D printing) of alloys and composites, materials science methodologies, computational thermodynamics and kinetics, and hydrogen/energy storage materials."

In 2023, Zhao was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Prior to joining the UMD faculty, Zhao was a professor at Ohio State University and also served as a program director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy. Earlier in his career, he spent more than a decade as a materials scientist at GE Research Center in New York.

He holds a BS and MS in materials science and engineering (physical metallurgy) from Central South University, in addition to his Lehigh PhD. 

Read the full story on the UConn Today website. 

Ji-Cheng “JC” Zhao ’95 PhD

Materials science and engineering alum Ji-Cheng “JC” Zhao ’95 PhD is the incoming dean of UConn's College of Engineering. (Photo: University of Maryland)