Logo: University of Southern California

Two Professors Named to Endowed Professorships in the Viterbi School

Faculty members from Mork Family Department and Civil and Environmental Engineering Receive Prestigious Postings
Eric Mankin
November 01, 2007 — Viterbi Dean Yannis Yortsos announced the first holders of two new endowed Viterbi School positions: Joe Qin will hold the Fluor Professorship in Process Engineering and Don Zhang receives the Marshall Professorship in Engineering Technology.

The appointments were recommended by the appropriate faculty committee and have been approved by USC President Steven B. Sample.

The appointments are in recognition of exceptional distinction of the two faculty members. "Please join me in congratulating Joe and Don on these well-deserved honors," said Yortsos.

Qin joined USC this fall as a professor in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, with joint appointments in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering and the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.  He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the DuPont Young Professor Award, a Halliburton/Brown & Root Young Faculty Excellence Award, an NSF-China Outstanding Young Investigator Award, and an IFAC Best Paper Prize for the model predictive control survey paper published in Control Engineering Practice. He has published extensively, and holds a number of editorial positions, including being associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology. Joe is also a Chang Jiang (guest chair) Professor affiliated with Tsinghua University.

Prior to joining USC, he was a professor at the University of Texas at Austin from 1995 to 2007, where he held the Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek and American Petrofina Foundation Centennial Professorship in Chemical Engineering and a Quantum Chemical Corporation Endowed Fellowship in Engineering. He earned his BS and MS degrees in automatic control from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, in 1984 and 1987, respectively, and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1992.

Zhang, who joined the Viterbi School this year, is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental
Engineering and holds a joint appointment in the Mork Family Department.  Prior to his arrival, Zhang was a senior scientist and a team leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1996 to 2004, and held the Miller Chair at the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering in the University of Oklahoma from 2004 to 2007. Zhang has also served as a Chang Jiang (guest chair) Professor at Nanjing University and was the founding associate dean at the College of Engineering of Peking University in China.

Zhang is an expert in stochastic partial differential equations and their applications to hydrology, reservoir simulation and the sequestration of carbon dioxide in geological formations as a viable option for mitigating greenhouse gas effects. He has published extensively, including the book “Stochastic Methods for Flow in Porous Media”. Zhang currently serves as associate editor for Water Resources Research, Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal, Advances in Water Resources, Vadose Zone Journal, Journal of Computational Geosciences, and SIAM Multiscale Modeling and Simulation. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D., both in hydrology, from the University of Arizona, in 1992 and 1993, respectively.