Written by Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyan
Dr. Chenn Zhou, Director of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation and PNW professor received the Outstanding Faculty Engagement Award at the first Purdue Northwest Founders Day on March 6, 2017, at the North Central campus in Westville. The award was given to Dr. Zhou for her dedicated efforts and contributions she has provided to the university, students, industry and community.
Professor Chenn Zhou joined PNW Hammond Campus in August 1994. In the last 23 years, she has constantly and vigorously made remarkable contributions to the university, community, and industries through the integration of teaching, research, and service in a wide range of areas. Her focus as an educator, as a researcher, and as a leader is to solve real-world problems that have generated significant economic and educational impacts both locally and globally. In each of her roles, Professor Zhou does just that through leading, educating and engaging with students, faculty, staff and members of external organizations. Professor Zhou has also been very active and well respected in professional societies.
Zhou established CIVS in 2009. CIVS has been globally recognized by its integrated approach to provide innovative solutions to industry and education. Under her leadership, CIVS has collaborated with 110 organizations, engaged with 99 PNW faculty and staff in various disciplines. CIVS has also employed or mentored over 1000 students. CIVS has secured over $15.5 million external funds and conducted over 300 projects. The outcomes of these projects have helped industry in design, trouble shooting, optimization, and training while saving industry over $40 million and significantly reduced downtime. Another outcome is the establishment of the nation-wide Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium.
Dr. Zhou very humbly gave credit of the award to all of her collaborators and supporters including CIVS team, faculty, staff, students, PNW leadership team, and others from industries, local communities, other universities and government agencies. She said, a�?If it were not for people believing in her dreams of integrating simulation and visualization to provide innovative real-world solutions and the unending dedication of my students and collaborators, todaya��s award would not be possiblea�?.
The nomination was submitted by Dr. Zhaoa��s student, Bethany Whitaker, who conducted senior design projects under her supervision and will receive her B.S degree in mechanical engineering. Whitaker stated in her nomination that, a�?Dr. Zhou has a passion for her work. She would have this great excitement while presenting that invigorated students to get involved with PNW and CIVS. She encouraged everyone to strive for his or her best and to recognize the importance of their work as a college student, and ita��s affected on the opportunities for their careers and future lives. a�� She has helped many students get in touch with potential employers within industries and gain valuable experience from interacting with them at CIVS events. Her standards are set high for students and her passion is contagious; this pushes students to reach further and work harder. She would meet with everyone involved with CIVS projects individually to give them guidance and feedback to help them improve their own worka��.I think her kindness and enthusiasm for helping students get involved with CIVS and their projects has been a great thing not only for PNW but also for the students.a�? Other recommendations were given through letters of support from Violet Sistovaris (President of NIPSCO), Ron Ashburn (Executive Director of AIST), her former student Kelly Dallas (Principal Engineer from ArcelorMittal and chair of the PNW Engineering Advisory board), and Kenneth (Chris) Holford (the Dean of College of Engineering and Science).