AKRON (July 16) — Stephen Z.D. Cheng has been named dean of the University of Akron´s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, succeeding the college´s first dean, Frank N. Kelley, who retired last year.
Cheng is a professor of polymer science at the university. He joined the school in 1987 as assistant professor of polymer science, was promoted to associate professor in 1991 and full professor in 1995.
In 1998 Cheng was named the Trustees Professor of Polymer Science, and in 2001 the Robert C. Musson Professor of Polymer Science.
The university considered 60 applicants for the job, according to the head of the search committee, George Haritos, dean of the UA College of Engineering. "He is an accomplished scientist, a natural collaborator and an able leader who has a well-defined and achievable vision for the college. He will serve students well."
Cheng earned a bachelor´s degree in mathematics from East China Normal University, a master´s in polymer engineering from Donghua University in Shanghai and a doctorate in polymer chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.
He has published more than 300 journal articles and drawn more than $18 million in research funding, often from highly competitive sources, the university said. His research focuses on polymers, liquid crystals, surfactants and micelles.
The appointment is pending approval by the university´s board of trustees at its next meeting Aug. 1.