Campus & Community

Stevens Dean Jean Zu Elected Honorary Member of ASME

Pioneering researcher, academic leader recognized by global engineering society

Jean Zu, dean of the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science at Stevens Institute of Technology, has been elected an Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). She was recognized for "outstanding work as a mechanical engineering researcher, especially in the areas of dynamics and mechanical vibrations, leadership in academia and the wider engineering community, and dedicated efforts in championing diversity in engineering." 

Honorary Membership is one of ASME's most prestigious distinctions, awarded to a select few for lifetime achievements in engineering. ASME bestows this honor on no more than five members annually. Zu will be formally presented with the award at the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition in Portland, Oregon, in November 2024. 

“Dean Zu’s election as an ASME Honorary Member is a tremendous and well-deserved honor that recognizes her pioneering research, inspirational leadership and tireless efforts to promote diversity in engineering education and the profession,” said Jianmin Qu, Stevens’ provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “On behalf of the entire Stevens community, I congratulate Jean on this prestigious distinction.”    

Since becoming dean in 2017, Zu has led a fundamental transformation of the School of Engineering and Science (SES). Under her leadership, SES has significantly raised academic standards, restructured its administration and modernized operations. She has overseen the hiring of over 100 high-quality faculty members, including the appointment of the school's first woman chair and first Black chair. Research funding has increased dramatically, breaking historical records for several consecutive years and fostering a strong culture of research excellence.

Zu has also prioritized student success, establishing the Center for Student Success and implementing numerous student-faculty interaction activities across departments. The school has seen substantial growth in enrollment, with undergraduate numbers increasing by more than 25 percent and doctoral student enrollment rising by 35 percent. To support this growth, the SES staff has expanded from 20 to 60 members, offering comprehensive services to faculty and students.

Zu is Stevens’ Lore E. Feiler Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Her research focuses on mechanical vibrations, dynamics, mechatronics, biomedical instrumentation and energy harvesting. She holds degrees from Tsinghua University and the University of Manitoba and has published over 340 technical papers.   

Prior to joining Stevens, Zu spent more than 20 years on the faculty at the University of Toronto, becoming the first female and Asian department chair in 2009. She is a fellow of several prestigious organizations including the Canadian Academy of Engineering, ASME, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and others. Zu has held leadership roles in numerous professional societies and served as president of the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineering from 2006 to 2008. 

The ASME, founded in 1880, is a leading global professional association with over 90,000 members promoting the art, science and practice of multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences. Honorary Membership is conferred annually on a select few members in recognition of eminence in engineering accomplishments and service.