An internationally renowned scholar, Professor Wei Zhao has been serving as the eighth Rector (i.e., President) of the University of Macau since 2008. Before joining the University of Macau, Professor Zhao served as the Dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the U.S., Director for the Division of Computer and Network Systems in the U.S. National Science Foundation, and Senior Associate Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University. Professor Zhao completed his undergraduate studies in physics at Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China, in 1977, and received his MSc and PhD degrees in Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1983 and 1986, respectively. During his academic career, he has also served as a faculty member at Shaanxi Normal University, Amherst College, the University of Adelaide, Texas A&M University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
An IEEE Fellow, Professor Zhao has made significant contributions in distributed computing, real-time systems, computer networks, and cyberspace security. His research group has received numerous awards including the outstanding paper award from the IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, the best paper award from the IEEE National Aerospace and Electronics Conference, an award on technology transfer from the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency, and the best paper award from the IEEE International Communication Conference. In 2011, he was named by the Ministry of Science and Technology as the Chief Scientist of the national 973 Internet of Things Project.
Since Professor Zhao's arrival in 2008, UMacau has made tremendous progress towards this goal. A brand new campus with 60+ buildings and US$2B investment has been successfully built and is now fully operational. An endowment foundation has acquired more than US$ 200M in committed donations. The University has developed and implemented a unique and innovative "4-in-1" pedagogical model, integrating discipline-specific education, general education, research or internship education, and community & peer education. Furthermore, the University of Macau has become the first in Asia that fully adopts a residential college system, and its research outcome has increased more than 500%. The University of Macau is now recognized as being among the fastest growing universities in the world.
In recognition of his outstanding achievements in science and higher education, Professor Zhao was awarded the Lifelong Achievement Award by the Chinese Association of Science and Technology in 2005. In 2007, he was honored with the Overseas Achievement Award by the Chinese Computer Federation. Professor Zhao has been conferred honorable doctorates by twelve universities in the world and academician of the China Science Center of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences (IEAS CHINA).