Pfeifer, Singh and Zhou receive SUNY Chancellor’s Awards

UB Chancellors Award medal.

SEAS faculty Blaine Pfeifer, Tarunraj Singh and Chi Zhou have been named recipients of the 2024 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities

Adapted from UBNow

Published June 3, 2024

Three faculty members from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have been named recipients of the 2024 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence.


The Chancellor’s Awards acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

Blaine Pfeifer, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering; Tarunraj Singh, professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Chi Zhou, assistant professor in the Departments of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering, have received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, which recognizes the work of those who engage actively in scholarly and creative pursuits beyond their teaching responsibilities.

Altogether, 22 University at Buffalo faculty and staff members received Chancellor’s Awards.

Blaine Pfeifer.

Blaine Pfeifer

Pfeifer is a leader in the field of metabolic engineering in bacteria. Recently, his lab has been working on vaccine development research and creating delivery vehicles to enhance vaccine potency.

He earned a doctoral degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University and then held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Appointed an assistant professor at Tufts University in 2004, Pfeifer held this position until joining UB as an associate professor in 2011. He was promoted to full professor in 2017.

Pfeifer has authored 115 articles and five book chapters, and has been awarded one U.S. patent. Supporters of his research include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Defense. He is currently a co-principal investigator on two NIH grants totaling more than $4.4 million.

A devoted teacher, Pfeifer has successfully guided 13 PhD students — including 11 at UB — and five postdoctoral associates. Four former postdoctoral associates now hold faculty positions in China, while one former PhD student is a professor at Rutgers University. Other PhD graduates work at Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Novavax, AbbVie, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Pfeifer is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Tarunraj Singh.

Tarunraj Singh

Singh is a world-renowned researcher in dynamics and controls. This broad area of study allows him to explore topics as varied as the regulation of blood glucose in Type 1 diabetes, as well as the development of acoustic metamaterials.

He earned a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo and began his career as an assistant research engineer at Texas A&M University. In 1993, he joined UB as an assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 1999 and full professor in 2005.

Singh has received nearly $8 million in funding from the NSF, National Geospatial Agency, Air Force Research Laboratory, Office of Naval Research, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Honda, Praxair and Delphi.

He has written a book, 104 peer-reviewed journal papers and 185 conference papers. Singh has mentored 13 PhD students, 49 MS thesis students and 15 MS project students at UB. He has also created numerous graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of data assimilation, nonlinear control, system identification and vibration control.

Singh is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Mechanical Engineering. He is an associate fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. His awards include the prestigious von Humboldt fellowship (Germany) and a fellowship from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science.

Chi Zhou.

Chi Zhou

Zhou has distinguished himself as an international leader in 3D printing and is being recognized for his creativity and innovation in the field.

His research, which leverages modeling, optimization and simulation tools, can improve quality of life through development of living tissues and organs, as well as energy storage and conversion devices.

Zhou also has developed sustainable, multistage 3D-printing processes that significantly reduce energy waste and improve efficiency — in alignment with the White House’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Earning a master’s degree in computer science in 2010 and a PhD in industrial engineering in 2011, both from the University of Southern California, Zhou joined UB as an assistant professor in 2013. In 2019, he was promoted to associate professor.

Zhou has received 30 grants totaling more than $10 million from the NSF and the DOE, among other organizations. Zhou has authored a total of 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, the majority in top engineering journals within the advanced manufacturing field.

Zhou has advised eight PhD students, 14 master’s students, two visiting scholars and two dozen other undergraduate and graduate students. He is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, among other awards.