Jiafeng Zhou was born in Jiangsu, China. He received the B.Sc. degree in radio physics from Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, in 1997 and the Ph.D. degree from The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK in 2004. His doctoral research concerned high-temperature superconductor microwave filters.
Between July 1997 and January 2000 he was with the National Meteorological Satellite Centre of China, Beijing, China. From August 2004 to April 2006, he was a Research Fellow with The University of Birmingham, where his research concerned phased arrays for reflector observing systems.