Mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering chairs to serve another two years.

The University of Delaware College of Engineering is pleased to announce the two-year extension of Ajay Prasad’s appointment as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the two-year extension of Darrin Pochan’s appointment as chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Their terms as chair will remain effective through June 30, 2022.

About Ajay Prasad

Prasad joined the University of Delaware in 1992 and has served as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering since 2017. Under Prasad’s leadership, the Department of Mechanical Engineering has grown to 30 faculty members and expanded its excellence in research and education with an emphasis on excellence in design. Professor Prasad was recently elected to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Mechanical Engineering Head/Chair Executive Committee, where he will have an opportunity to shape the future of mechanical engineering education.

An Engineering Alumni Distinguished Professor, Prasad’s work with fuel cells and role in developing and directing UD’s Fuel Cell Bus Program have garnered widespread recognition. For eight years, he was the director of the Center for Fuel Cell Research, now known as the Center for Fuel Cells and Batteries. His other research interests include lithium-ion batteries, thermoelectric devices, wind and ocean current energy, solar thermal energy, and connected vehicles.

Prasad is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering and a recipient of UD’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Miami, and a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

About Darrin Pochan

Pochan joined the University of Delaware in 1999 and has served as chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering since 2014. Under Pochan’s leadership, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering has expanded and launched an undergraduate degree program in materials science and engineering.

Pochan also holds appointments in the Delaware Biotechnology Institute and UD’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Pochan’s research is lauded internationally for the construction of new materials and nanostructures via molecular solution assembly mechanisms. His current work focuses on biomaterials and materials for nanotechnology and energy applications through organic/inorganic hybrids.

Pochan’s honors include an NSF Career Award, the DuPont Young Faculty Award, the Dillon medal from the American Physical Society and fellowship in the American Physical Society and American Chemical Society. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Soft Matter, an interdisciplinary journal from the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, and a master’s and doctoral degree in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

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