Zhen Ni
, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
J. Lohr College of Engineering
South Dakota State University
223 Daktronics Engineering Hall, Box 2222
Brookings, SD 57007
Tel: 605-688-6249. Fax: 605-688-4401
Email: Zhen.Ni@sdstate.edu; nizhen10@gmail.com


  • 04-2019: Prof. Ni to present an invited seminar on "AI for human robot collaboration" for tribal students at Nebraska Indian Community College, NE.
  • 03-2019: Priti Paudyal successfully defended her MS thesis entitled "Energy Optimization with Coordination of Smart Homes considering Incentives for Discomfort and Market Analysis". Great job, Priti!
  • 03-2019: Prof. Ni awarded the SDSU RSCA Challenge Fund FY2020 on big data. 
  • 02-2019: Profs. Doom, Ciarcia, Ni, Nguyen, Qiao and Biesecker received a testbed development project from Raven Industries.
  • 02-2019: Prof. Ni received a NASA EPSCoR RIG grant for intelligent decision-making algorithms. 
  • 01-2019: [News report] Ni receives neural network society young investigator award [Link]. Alumnus wins young investigator award in neural networks [Link].
  • 12-2018: Prof. Ni appointed as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems (IF: 7.982).
  • 11-2018: Paper entitled "A Multi-Stage Game in Smart Grid Security: A Reinforcement Learning Solution," has been accepted in IEEE Trans. on Neural Networks and Learning Systems (TNNLS). 
  • 11-2018: Prof. Ni awarded the prestigious International Neural Network Society (INNS) Aharon Katzir Young Investigator Award, to be ceremonially presented at 2019 IJCNN conference, Budapest, Hungary. 
  • 10-2018: Prof. Ni to present a seminar on big data for Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence (GSCE), SDSU, Brookings, SD. 
  • 10-2018: Prof. Qiao and Prof. Ni received a US DOC/Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant for the development of environmentally - sustainable energy and precision agriculture technologies. 
  • 09-2018: [News report] SDState researcher to help develop “humanlike” control system. [Link]
  • 08-2018: Prof. Ni received a NSF grant to develop new learning control algorithms and their applications for space program.
  • 08-2018: Prof. Ni was invited to present a research seminar at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. 
  • 07-2018: Prof. Ni was invited to present at a panel session "Challenges and Trends in Computational Energy Management" at CEMiSG2018 within WCCI 2018, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 04-2018: Tamal Roy successfully passed his MS thesis entitled "Computational Intelligence Approaches for Energy Optimization in Microgrids". Congratulations Tamal!
  • 04-2018: Undergraduate students Quazi Irfan and Calvin Kielas-Jensen won Best Showcase of Advancement in Technology award of their poster at Undergraduate Research Scholarship and Creative Activity Day (URSCAD). This is project is supported by EECS Bennett Fellowship.
  • 01-2018: Prof. Ni was appointed as an Associate Editor for IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine (IF: 6.343).

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Brief Bio:

Dr. Ni is currently an Assistant Professor in Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), South Dakota State University (SDSU), Brookings, SD. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, University of Rhode Island (URI), Kingston, RI, in 2015. He received B.S in Department of Control Science and Engineering (currently renamed as College of Automation), Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), Wuhan, China, in 2010. 

His research mainly includes Computational Intelligence, Machine Learning, Adaptive Controland applications for Smart Grid, Robotics and Cyber-Physical Systems. He is a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on two National Science Foundation awards, two NASA EPSCoR grants, a Department of Commerce grant and a South Dakota Board of Regents grant. He has authored and co-authored for 80+ peer-reviewed research papers. He is actively involved in various professional services and activities in the society, including the General Chair of IEEE computational intelligence society winter school (2016). He is an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems (2019-) and IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine (2018-) and a Guest Editor for IET Cyber-Physical Systems: Theory & Applications (2017-2018). 

Dr. Ni received the INNS Aharon Katzir Young Investigator Award (2019), URI Excellence in Doctoral Research Award (2016), Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad (2014), Second Prize of Graduate Student Poster Contest in IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting (2015), Enhancement of Graduate Research Award (EGRA) by URI (2014), Travel Award from IEEE SSCI-Doctoral Consortium (2014), National Encouragement Scholarship by Ministry of Education in China (2007), and all Outstanding Academic Students awards in HUST (2006-2010). Dr. Ni has successfully supervised a group of talented students, who recently received best paper/poster and other research awards.