Regan Zane Named Inaugural David G. and Diann L. Sant Endowed Professor
News Release–LOGAN, UTAH, Aug. 28, 2018 – A new professorship in Utah State University’s College of Engineering honors longtime supporters David G. and Diann L. Sant and empowers a new generation of the most qualified engineering faculty.
College of Engineering Dean Jagath Kaluarachchi announced Tuesday that Regan Zane will be the first faculty named to the prestigious new professorship. Zane is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and founder and director of the Center for Sustainable Electrified Transportation, known as SELECT. He brings 20 years of experience in industry and academia with international recognition as a leading expert in power electronics. Kaluarachchi said Zane’s innovative drive and commitment to student success makes him an ideal beneficiary of the professorship.
“Regan Zane is leading the conversation about sustainable electrified transportation,” said Kaluarachchi. “In a short time, he established one of the most active and visible research centers at the university and secured millions in research funding. He’s making inroads with top industry and government agencies and providing a world-class learning and training experience for our students.”
Zane developed and serves as director for three new USU laboratories: the Power Electronics Lab, the Electric Vehicle and Roadway Research Facility and Test Track, and the Battery Limits and Survivability Testing Lab. Zane’s SELECT research center has grown to 25 members, including Fortune 500 companies, government and non-profit organizations. Industry partners say SELECT is playing a lead role in the emergence of electrified transportation technology.
“Regan Zane has brought the USU SELECT consortium and power electronics research lab into the complete ecosystem,” said Jae Seung Lee of Toyota Research Institute of North America. “His enthusiasm, depth of knowledge and strong leadership always leads to constructive outcomes and effective relationship with industry partners.”
Zane holds 16 patents and has 11 more in development. He has personally mentored 25 undergraduate research students and graduated 14 Ph.D. students who are now leaders in industry, national labs and universities. Since joining USU in 2012, Zane has secured $13 million in funding for research and new facilities. In 2014 he broke ground on USU’s Electric Vehicle and Roadway Research Facility and Test Track. The facility is the first of its kind in the U.S. It features a 4,800-square-foot high-bay research building and an electrified oval test track designed to demonstrate in-motion wireless charging for electric vehicles.
Despite his ongoing success and demanding workload, Zane says he remains committed to the success of his students.
“It’s an exciting time in our program, especially for students” he said. “We’ve created a culture of innovation and collaboration where students are motivated by the success of their peers. They’re catching the vision of how their work will advance technology and improve society. Virtually every project we’ve pursued has given students industry exposure and the opportunity to file a patent. The Sant Endowed Professorship will help us achieve new goals and go after new opportunities.”
The professorship is named for USU benefactors David and Diann Sant. David Sant, a USU alumnus (’62, ’64) and veteran electrical engineer, died in 2008 after battling cancer. He is survived by his wife, Diann, who has continued her family’s generous legacy. Since 2008, the Sant family has donated more than $8 million to USU. They provided major funding for the construction of the Sant Engineering Innovation Building and established endowments that provide perpetual funding for three separate undergraduate student scholarships. The Sant Endowed Professorship will enable new research efforts and student opportunities under Zane’s leadership.