The Hero behind the Joint Institute
Professor Jun Ni, Dean of the UM-SJTU Joint Institute, is extraordinary. He received the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) at 30, the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) at 33, and became a tenured professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan at 36. He is currently the Shien-Ming (Sam) Wu Collegiate Professor of Manufacturing Science and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, and serves as the director of S. M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center as well as the co-director of the NSF-sponsored Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems. He has published more than 400 technical papers and book chapters. He has supervised 86 doctoral graduates in the US.
Since 2006, he has served as the founding dean of the UM-SJTU Joint Institute (JI) – the special zone of Chinese high education, facilitating the cooperation between Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the University of Michigan (UM). In order to promote the collaboration in education and scientific research between the two universities, he is frequently on the flights between China and the US, and thus is called “Frequent Flyer Professor” by his colleagues.