Professor and Graduate Program Director Joshua Zide is the new Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Delaware as of July 1, 2022.

Zide joined the College of Engineering faculty in 2007, and also has an affiliate appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He received his undergraduate degree in materials science and engineering from Stanford University, and his doctorate in materials science from the University of California Santa Barbara. He is an expert in new materials and molecular beam epitaxy who complements his research with mentoring and university service. In 2022 he earned the Outstanding Doctoral Advising and Mentoring Award from UD’s Graduate College and the Faculty Award for Excellence in Service and Community Engagement from the College of Engineering.

Zide said he was drawn to UD’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, which was founded in 1998, in part due to the University’s vibrant and energetic environment, where he felt like he could play a role in shaping the future of the department. As it approaches its 25th anniversary, he said he’s looking forward to opportunities to bring in new talent and maintain a culture that is both supportive and welcoming.

“What makes our department so special is how incredibly collaborative it is,” he said. “Everyone aspires to collaborate, but there’s something special about a department where I’ve had an opportunity to collaborate with a huge cross-section of people, both in obvious and very-not-obvious projects.”

Zide, who also serves as Director for UD Materials Growth Facility, said he looks forward to working with and learning from all of his colleagues, within the department and beyond, on an enormous range of interdisciplinary challenges.

“There is a critical materials component to virtually every technological problem we face as a society, and so materials scientists and engineers have a critical role to play in virtually every new innovation,” he said. “More and more, problems require collaboration between materials scientists and colleagues in other fields. I’m also excited by the recent advances in computational materials. More and more, we can understand what we want to make and how it might perform before we actually make it. I’m very happy to see our department take such a leadership role in the College and the field at large.”

He succeeds Darrin Pochan, who joined the UD faculty in 1999 and has served as department chair since 2014.

In addition to his accomplishments at UD, Zide also serves as associate editor for the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology, was named a Fellow of AVS (formerly the American Vacuum Society) in 2021, earned the Department of Energy Early Career Award in 2012 and was named an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator in 2009, among many other awards and accolades.