Message from the Chair: Changchun (Chad) Zeng, Ph.D.

Hello friends and alumni:

chad zeng ime chair
Changchun “Chad” Zeng, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering

I hope this message finds you well and safe. As some of you may have already heard, I took over as chair of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering of FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in July 2022. I have been a faculty member of the IME department since 2007 and have served as the director of graduate studies from 2016 to 2022. My research is in the areas of innovative materials and advanced manufacturing technology, particularly in multifunctional polymeric materials and porous materials, and their novel manufacturing process and applications in industrial and biomedical fields; critical fluids and their application in materials processing, processing and manufacturing of nanomaterials and nanocomposites. 

I have big shoes to fill in the chair’s office. Through nearly a decade of leadership by Dr. Okenwa Okoli, the IME has witnessed tremendous growth in all areas. Our undergraduate enrollment has more than doubled, our graduate program enrollment growth has been the fastest since the inception of the department, and we started a new degree program MS in Systems Engineering which has since been the fastest growing graduate program in the history of the college. The department’s research expenditure has reached record levels, and we also hired several young talented faculty members to expand our research in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machining Learning (ML), Big Data and Analytics and Additive Manufacturing. Dr. Okoli has left us a strong foundation and we are all grateful for his contribution. 

We are living in a golden era for the IME department, and I am honored to take this position at this exciting moment. Just as our college is unique with a partnership between Florida A&M Univesity and Florida State University, our department is a unique partnership between industrial and systems engineering faculty, and materials and manufacturing engineering faculty. Our IE/SE faculty has expertise in data science and systems, engineering analytics, and artificial intelligence for complex systems; while our materials and manufacturing engineering faculty are experts in advanced materials and manufacturing, nanomaterials and smart and multifunctional materials. The department is home to a leading research center – High-Performance Materials Institute (HPMI) and is leading major research initiatives in advanced materials and additive manufacturing through the large-scale federal programs from NASA, DOD and NSF. With AI/ML emerging as the ubiquitous enabler for technology advancement, and the nation’s renewed focus on advanced manufacturing, our department is uniquely positioned to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems by building upon this great synergy to deliver holistic, economically viable and environmentally and socially responsible solutions. We will also leverage this unique strength to modernize our curriculum and provide our students with the best educational experience and training to ensure their success in their future careers in the ever-competitive world. 

As we embark on the next chapter of our department, I look forward to your continued support and welcome any suggestions from you. If you prefer to stop by for a chat, my door is always open.

Changchun (Chad) Zeng
Professor and Chair