Dean's Welcome

Welcome to the UNH College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS)

Charles ZercherI am honored to serve as interim dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Having just completed my 25th year at UNH, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to develop professionally in such a supportive and innovative environment. 

The University of New Hampshire is blessed with world-class programs and engaging faculty members located in an amazing region of the country. The distinctiveness of UNH is found in its ability to empower creative thinkers, innovative problem solvers and leaders to make a difference through engaging in rigorous academics, research and hands-on learning opportunities. We believe this will lead to students having an impact in their profession, community and the world.

We know this to be true because we have CEPS alumni scattered worldwide doing wonderful things and these accomplishments bring credit to UNH.  I am proud to be a part of a university that has a record of positive impact from our local Durham community to nearly all corners of the globe.

The dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs in CEPS continue to thrive. The class of 2019 was the largest in CEPS history, but even as enrollments increase the quality of our students continues to grow by evidence of their research and national recognition through scholarships, fellowships and other recognitions.  The record enrollments have occasionally stretched resources, but the college’s commitment to high quality instruction is resolute.  Whether it is in the classroom, laboratory setting, or in the field, our devoted CEPS mentors continue to engage with students.

As the state’s public flagship institution, we take seriously our responsibility to meet the needs of our students and the state.  The establishment of the John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center (JOAMC) and recent addition of programs in Engineering Physics, Ocean Engineering, and Bioengineering illustrates the ambitions of the college in expanding opportunities for students. The JOAMC will give students hands-on experience to help fill the STEM employment pipeline in manufacturing - the state’s largest economic sector. The college has also been a leader in K-12 STEM educational outreach programs, which have reach more than 3,000 students in New Hampshire on an annual basis.

My primary goal over the next year is to expand on the opportunities for students to take part in the transformation experiences that define a UNH education. We look forward to strengthening these opportunities and partnerships, with the goal of making engagement with UNH a transformation experience for all involved. 


Charles Zercher

Interim Dean


Charles Zercher served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry from 2010 to 2013 and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2014 to 2016.   He accepted the position as Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences in 2016.Chuck Zercher earned a B.A. in Chemistry at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. His graduate education initiated with studies in Medicinal Chemistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo leading to an M.S. degree in 1985. He received a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame 1989 where he studied under the direction of Marvin Miller. Following post-doctoral studies in the laboratory of Paul Wender at Stanford University, Chuck joined the faculty at the University of New Hampshire. He was awarded the University of New Hampshire's Outstanding Assistant Professor Award in 1996 and was promoted to Professor in 2003. His research interests include the development of novel synthetic methods and strategies, most notably the development of tandem zinc carbenoid-mediated homologation reactions.  Natural products synthesized in his laboratory include brefeldin A, patulolides A and B, phaseolinic acid, and papyracillic acid A.