Professor Mingzhou Jin has been appointed as the new director of the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE). This state-funded Center of Excellence addresses a range of sustainability issues and promotes the development of policies across multiple disciplines with a cohort of specialized centers, programs, initiatives, technologies, and educational programs.
Jin takes over from Terry Hazen, who will now be able to return to fully focusing on his research and leadership role as the UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology after three years of voluntary service in directing ISSE.
“ISSE has active and strong training and outreach programs in water resources and clean fuels,” Jin said. “Those programs connect ISSE with local stakeholders and help faculty members identify research topics with societal impact. My first priority will be to develop a five-year strategic plan for ISSE with a shared vision among relevant faculty and ISSE staff.”
Jin will also remain the associate department head for the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) and director of the college’s Reliability and Maintainability Engineering graduate program.
“Jin is a team builder who can bring people together around a concept,” said ISE Department Head John Kobza. “I expect he will build on ISSE strengths while exploring some new directions. He also has an energy and passion around people and sustainability. I think it will be an exciting time for ISSE.”
This sentiment is shared by others within the Tickle College of Engineering.
“Jin is a thoughtful leader who will engage the diverse constituencies associated with the ISSE mission in research and engagement to create teams and collaborations to focus and amplify outcomes related to creating a more sustainable environment in the context of water resources and management, food production, and major environmental factors such as methane,” said Associate Dean for Research and Facilities Bill Dunne. “Personally, he is well suited to working with others to engender these multi-disciplinary efforts, and I am looking for to the outcomes that will arise for the participants, ISSE, TCE, and the State of Tennessee.”
Jin’s research areas include data analytics and operations research; modeling and analysis for the environment, sustainability, and climate change; logistics, transportation, and supply chain management; and advanced manufacturing.
“Jin brings a systems-level, data-driven perspective to the leadership of ISSE, which is key to the integration of knowledge that individual ISSE investigators bring to the table,” said Chris Cox, department head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a former director of ISSE.
“ISSE provides a collaborative platform for faculty at TCE and other colleges at UT to conduct interdisciplinary sponsored research,” Jin said. “The convergent research could make a local, national, and global impact on environment and sustainability.”
Associate Professor James Ostrowski will take on the Jin’s previous duties as graduate studies director for ISE.