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ECE welcomes Zizwe Chase

Zizwe Chase

Zizwe Chase will join UIC’s electrical and computer engineering department this fall as a postdoctoral associate, through the university’s Bridge to the Faculty program.

Chase, a chemist and chemical engineer by training, works in materials science and laser optics.

Chase spent the last three years as a postdoctoral researcher at Howard University, since obtaining his PhD in chemical engineering from Washington State University. During his doctoral studies, he interned at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in optics and physical chemistry.

“I was able to look at the air surface and liquid-air or liquid-solid chemistry, other things at the interface,” Chase said. “I started to get interested in the materials science overlap.”

Chase holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in chemical engineering, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Morehouse College.

Prior to earning his doctoral degree, Chase worked as a product and process engineer for Milliken and Company, a textile manufacturer.

“I realized I was more research-oriented than managerial,” Chase said of his return to academia.

Chase worked at Howard in the lab of ECE faculty member Thomas Searles, who came to UIC as an associate professor July 1.

“Working in his lab I saw this as a big field, in terms of economic and manufacturing capability. It’s about making things more energy efficient and cost effective,” Chase said.

Chase looks forward to encouraging his students to be curious, question everything in the pursuit of learning, and be engaged to conduct research at UIC.

“I’m hoping to work cross-functionally across departments, with as many people as are willing to collaborate,” Chase said.

He will be teaching Physics of Semiconductor Devices (ECE 540) this fall.