John Van Zee
JOHN W. VAN ZEE (Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1984) joined the University of Alabama in January 2013 to serve as the Head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Before 2013, he was a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of South Carolina where he created and served as the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Fuel Cells. This was NSF’s only Center for Fuel Cells, was part of the Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers program, and it engaged thirty-two (32) dues-paying companies to work with multiple professors and graduate students on pre-competitive research. Prior to his graduate work and after graduation from UC Berkeley, he led a non-sectarian non-profit group that built potable water systems and taught basic engineering principles to farmers in rural Chiapas, Mexico.
Dr. Van Zee has graduated 24 Ph.D. and 11 M.S. students in his primary research area of electrochemical engineering. He has served as a member of the Science Advisory Board of Plug Power, Inc., and as a member of the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. He has co-founded three start-up businesses, Battery Design Company, Palmetto Fuel Cell Technologies, and Palmetto Fuel Cell Analysis & Design. Early in his career, Dr. Van Zee consulted for Milliken & Company on the dyeing and finishing of textiles and worked with researchers at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island, on flow batteries.