Rowan University appoints Wei as vice president for research

Rowan University appoints Wei as vice president for research

Mei Wei, Ph.D.

In preparation for exponential growth in its research profile, Rowan University has appointed Dr. Mei Wei as vice president for research. 

Wei joined Rowan July 1 from Ohio University, an R1 public research institution where she served as associate vice president for research and creative activity. Previously, she served as dean of engineering at Ohio University during its transition to R1 and associate dean for research and graduate education at the University of Connecticut, another R1 institution. 

Wei’s professional appointments have included interdisciplinary work in materials science and engineering, and biomedical engineering. A fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Wei has received numerous awards for innovation and professional excellence. 

An expert in biomaterials, Wei is also an entrepreneur who co-founded a biomedical device startup company specializing in products for improved bone repair and regeneration. She holds six patents and has published more than 200 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings. 

Wei’s interdisciplinary background fits neatly with Rowan’s expansion plans, said President Ali A. Houshmand. 

“We are positioning Rowan to one day become a Carnegie R1 institution, a designation reserved for the nation’s most impactful public research universities,” Houshmand said. “This will have an immeasurable impact on the economic development of our region. We expect Rowan will benefit greatly from Dr. Wei’s expertise in research and development.”  

“I’m excited by the possibilities before us,” Wei said. “Rowan is already attracting fast-rising researchers who want to make meaningful impacts in their respective fields. They see what I see: an environment primed for growth.” 

Wei earned her Ph.D. and Master of Engineering degrees in materials science and engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia; a Bachelor of Engineering degree in metallurgy materials and engineering from Shenyang University of Technology in China; and a certificate in management development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.

Rowan has attracted $70 million in annual sponsored projects and grants this year from federal, state and private funders, including the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Through its academic partnership with Virtua Health, the University recently began recruiting the first of 50 new faculty-researchers for its new translational biomedical engineering and sciences school.  

In 2018, Rowan received classification as a Carnegie R2 doctoral university with high research activity, a designation it shares with 132 other institutions. The University’s academic programs now include 90 bachelor’s, 48 master’s, two professional and nine doctoral degree programs. More graduate programs are under development.