UConn appoints new director of Center for Clean Energy Engineering 

Sustainability is an important field of research. Read more about how UConn is working towards more research in the field of clean energy. Photo by Pixabay/Pexels.

The University of Connecticut’s Center for Clean Energy Engineering has named professor Xiao-Dong Zhou as its new director. 

Zhou is a professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering, mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering. He has also been named the Nicholas E. Madonna Chair in Sustainability and CT Clean Energy Fund Professor of Sustainable Energy. He will be replacing professor Ugur Pasaogullari as director of the Center for Clean Energy Engineering. 

Before coming to UConn, Zhou worked at the University of Louisiana Lafayette as the Stuller Endowed Chair in the Chemical Engineering Department and the director of the Institute for Materials Research and Innovations. He was also previously a professor of chemical engineering at the University of South Carolina. 

As director, Zhou will be overseeing the Center for Clean Energy Engineering as it works to develop sustainable technologies and green energy solutions. The center partners with federal agencies and research centers around the world. 

“The Center’s dynamic multidisciplinary approach involving various engineering disciplines, presents a unique opportunity to drive comprehensive and impactful solutions for clean energy challenges,” Zhou said in an interview with UConn Today. 

Zhou praised the Center for Clean Energy Engineering for its commitment to making concrete advancements in research and development of green technologies. 

“UConn’s Center for Clean Energy Engineering offers an ideal platform to contribute to cutting-edge research, collaborate across disciplines, and make tangible strides in the crucial field of sustainable energy, all under the guidance of visionary leadership and strong industry partnerships,” Zhou said. 

Zhou will also be serving as the special advisor to UConn president in sustainability, a position which advises UConn’s President Radenka Maric in matters that affect the university’s ecological footprint. 

During his time as director, Zhou said he wants to encourage students to make an impact and create enriching experiences for them. 

“As an advisor, my goal is to empower the next generation of energy leaders,” Zhou said.  “Through mentorship, guidance, and opportunities for hands-on experience, I aspire to equip students and researchers with the skills and knowledge to drive meaningful change.” 

Zhou’s career has included a significant amount of research. He has contributed to over 150 journal papers on a number of subjects relating to engineering and clean energy. 

“Addressing these multifaceted challenges necessitates innovative research, comprehensive policies, and concerted global cooperation to usher in a cleaner and greener energy future,” Zhou said. 

Zhou said that he hopes to help make green energy the widespread standard in order to create a cleaner, more sustainable world. 

“By focusing on the development of advanced materials, efficient processes, and innovative solutions, my aim is to catalyze the widespread adoption of clean energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote environmental stewardship,” Zhou said. “Through my work, I strive to empower communities, inspire policy changes, and contribute to a world where clean energy is not just an option, but a global imperative for a thriving planet.” 

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