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15 New Engineering Faculty Hired

Monday, November 7, 2016

The College of Engineering has experienced unprecedented growth since 2013. With this growth comes a need for transformative education and innovative research. To meet the demands of our growing student body, as well as those of industry and collaborators on campus and around the world, UTA responded by hiring 15 new faculty in 2015-16, each of whom has made a mark in his or her field, or is on track to do so. These faculty will help the College of Engineering meet the challenges and opportunities of the future for years to come.

New Bioengineering Faculty

Justyn Jaworski

Justyn Jaworski, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Univ. of California – Berkeley
B.S., Boston University

Justyn Jaworski earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley/UCSF in 2009. After his post-doctoral work in protein engineering at the Medical Research Council (Cambridge, UK), he moved to South Korea in 2010. There, he served as a senior research fellow and lecturer in the Chemistry Department at Gyeongsang National University before taking an assistant professor position in the Division of Chemical & Bioengineering at Hanyang University from 2011-2016, where he produced more than 50 publications and patents. When he joins UTA in January 2017, his lab will continue to focus on molecular engineering of selective biomolecules as therapeutic and diagnostic probes, and he continues to develop micro/nanoscale processing techniques for realizing functional soft matter systems. In addition to research and teaching, Jaworski also serves on the editorial board for the journal Macromolecular Research.

Research interests: Applied soft matter systems; Molecular recognition for biomedical applications

Jun Liao

Jun Liao, Associate Professor

Ph.D., Cleveland State University
M.S., Sichuan University
B.S., Sichuan University

Jun Liao joins UTA after nine years in the Department of Biological Engineering at Mississippi State University. There, he was director of the Tissue Bioengineering Laboratory and advanced to the rank of associate professor with tenure. Prior to Mississippi State, Liao was a research assistant professor and a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Pittsburgh. He has earned nearly $2.2 million in grant funding as primary investigator, including a $1.7 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health. He also has received funding from the American Heart Association, of which he was elected a Fellow in 2014. He has published 67 peer-reviewed papers and is a reviewer for 34 professional biomedical journals.

Research interests: Tissue biomechanics; Computational simulation; Tissue engineering and regeneration; Cardiac biomechanics and regeneration; heart valve biomechanics and bioengineering

New Civil Engineering Faculty

Suyun Ham

Suyun Ham, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.S., U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.S., Hongik University

Suyun Ham earned his doctoral degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign after spending nearly a decade in research and design at a variety of companies. He was a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln for a year prior to joining UTA. He was Co-PI on a project for the Nebraska Department of Roads and has been involved in several other grants. He has been the lead author on three journal articles and has co-written several others, along with multiple conference proceedings.

Research interests: Sustainable/smart urban infrastructure; Nondestructive testing/ structural health monitoring/damage assessment of infrastructure; Acquisition, organization and interpretation of large amounts of data; Automated inspection; Numerical modeling using novel materials; Structural and dynamic design; Sensor development/advanced sensing; Visualization technique: image processing for flaw detection/image reconstruction algorithms; Infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance.

Sharareh Kermanshachi

Sharareh Kermanshachi, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Texas A&M University
M.S., Mississippi State University
M.B.A., Eastern Mediterranean University
B.S., I.A. University of Tehran

Sharareh Kermanshachi recently earned her doctoral degree in civil engineeringconstruction engineering and management from Texas A&M University, where she taught as a civil engineering lecturer. Prior to that, she taught several courses at Morgan State University as a full-time lecturer, and was a graduate research and teaching assistant at Mississippi State University.

After receiving her undergraduate degree in architectural engineering, she worked as a project manager in Iran for one year. She is a Professional Engineer registered in the state of Texas, is LEED AP BD+C certified and is a certified project management professional.

Research interests: Construction engineering and management

Mohsen Shahandashti

Mohsen Shahandashti, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Georgia Tech
M.S., Georgia Tech
M.S., Carnegie Mellon
M.S., Nanyang Technological University
B.S., Iran University of Science and Technology

Mohsen Shahandashti has been hired as an assistant professor after serving as a senior lecturer in UTA’s Civil Engineering Department since 2014. He is Co-PI on two current projects, for the City of Arlington and the Texas Department of Transportation, with more than $2 million in funding . He was previously a research assistant on projects totaling more than $500,000. In addition, he has authored or co-authored eight journal papers and 20 conference papers.

Research interests: Probabilistic risk management and economic decision analysis for sustainable and resilient infrastructure systems; Post-disaster reconstruction of critical infrastructure systems; Intelligent and risk-conscious asset management for underground infrastructure systems

Yu Zhang

Yu Zhang, Associate Professor

Ph.D., Princeton University
M.S., Princeton University
B.S., University of Michigan

Yu Zhang joins the Civil Engineering Department after nearly a decade as a physical scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He has also created and taught courses as an adjunct professor at the University of DC and the University of Cincinnati. He has been PI or Co-I on four grants totaling more than $1.2 million and a project lead on several projects totaling more than $3 million. He has published more than 30 journal articles, as well as several book chapters and conference papers.

Research interests: Active and passive remote sensing of water and water fluxes; Climate change and hazard resilience of water infrastructure; Physical and statistical modeling of hydrological and climatological extremes; Downscaling and conditioning of ensemble hydrologic predictions; Surface water, ground water and water quality modeling; Geostatistics, GIS and numeric methods

New Computer Science and Engineering Faculty

Song Jiang

Song Jiang, Associate Professor

Ph.D., William & Mary
M.S., Univ. of Science and Technology of China
B.S., Univ. of Science and Technology of China

Song Jiang came to UTA from Wayne State University, where he was an associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Prior to Wayne State, Jiang was a postdoctoral research associate at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He received a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2009 and has earned grant funding as a primary investigator totaling nearly $1.6 million from the NSF. His current research is in the amelioration of the I/O performance bottleneck in various computer system architectures through improved memory management and storage management. Several of his proposed algorithms have been officially adopted in mainstream systems including Linux kernel, NetBSD kernel, and storage engine of MySQL.

Research interests: System infrastructure for big data processing, data management systems, and I/O systems in high-performance computing

Jiang Ming

Jiang Ming, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
M.Eng., Peking University
B.S., Wuhan University

Jiang Ming recently earned his doctoral degree from the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. During his time at Penn State, he was a research assistant at the University’s Software Systems Security Research Lab. Prior to that, he was a research engineer at Singapore Management University’s School of Information Systems. Ming has been the lead author on six top-tier conference proceedings and has contributed to several journal articles.

Research interests: Software security; Malware defense; Secure data flow analysis; Software plagiarism detection; Binary code analysis; Software analysis for security issues

Jia Rao

Jia Rao, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Wayne State University
M.S., Wuhan University
B.S., Wuhan University

Jia Rao joined UTA after four years as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. He has been PI or Co-PI on research grants totaling more than $700,000 from the National Science Foundation. He also has been lead author on 10 publications and contributed to several others. His work has won two best paper awards and two best paper nominations in prestigious conferences in computer systems.

Research interests: Operating systems; Distributed and parallel computing; Cloud computing and visualization; Adaptive systems

New Electrical Engineering Faculty

Ramtin Madani

Ramtin Madani, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Columbia University
M.S., Sharif University of Technology
B.S., Sharif University of Technology

Ramtin Madani earned his doctoral degree from Columbia University in 2015, and was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of California, Berkeley in 2016. He received the 2016 INFORMS ENRE Best Publication Award in Energy and his recent work was a best paper finalist at the 53rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control.

Research interests: Control and optimization for power grids; Decentralized and distributed control with applications in renewable energy; Nonlinear optimization, convex relaxation, numerical algorithm, distributed computation; Signal processing and compressed sensing

Yan Wan

Yan Wan, Associate Professor

Ph.D., Washington State University
M.S., University of Alabama
B.S., Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Yan Wan was an associate professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of North Texas prior to joining UTA. Before that, she was a postdoctoral scholar in the Control Systems program at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her research interests lie in developing fundamental theories and tools with applications to air traffic management, airborne networking, systems biology, and complex information systems.

Wan’s research has led to successful technology transfer outcomes and more than 100 publications. Her contributions to the field of air traffic management, airborne networking, and general cyber-physical systems have been recognized by several prestigious awards, including an NSF CAREER Award, RTCA William E. Jackson Award, U.S. Ignite and GENI demonstration awards, IEEE WCNC Best Paper award, UNT Early Career Award for Research and Creativity, and Tech Titan of the Future – University Level award from the Metroplex Technology Business Council.

Research interests: Cyber-physical systems; Large-scale dynamical networks; Stochastic network modeling and analysis; Decentralized control; Airborne networking; Air traffic flow management; Sensor networking; Systems biology

New Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering Faculty

Jaime Cantu

Jaime Cantu, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Texas Tech University
M.S., Texas Tech University
B.S., Texas Tech University

Jaime Cantu spent nearly two years as a postdoctoral research assistant at Texas Tech University prior to joining the College of Engineering. He is Co-PI on one active grant and has written or contributed to 15 published papers. In addition to his research activity, Cantu was an instructor in Texas Tech’s Department of Industrial Engineering and worked in industry for Hewlett Packard, Honeywell Avionics and the City of Fort Worth Water Department.

Research interests: Systems and engineering management; High reliability theory; Complex systems modeling; Systems dynamics; Operations research; Economic decision analysis; Measurement performance

Yuan Zhou

Yuan Zhou, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo
M.B.A., La Sierra University
M.S., SUNY Buffalo
B.S., Beijing institute of Technology

Yuan Zhou completed her doctoral studies in Industrial and Systems Engineering at SUNY Buffalo in July 2016 and joined UTA’s Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering Department soon after. She has published four journal articles in the healthcare operations and health information technology fields. During her time in Buffalo, she worked closely with several hospitals and manufacturing companies in western New York on multiple projects in the development and implementation of solutions to improve business operations in terms of efficiency, quality and cost.

Research interests: Process improvement, Lean Six Sigma, mathematical modeling and statistical analysis

New Materials Science and Engineering Faculty

Perena Gouma

Perena Gouma, Professor

Ph.D., The University of Birmingham
M.Phil., The University of Liverpool
M.S., The University of Liverpool
B.S., Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Prior to joining UTA, Pelagia-Irene (Perena) Gouma was a professor at SUNY Stony Brook, and the founder and director of the Center for Nanomaterials and Sensor Development (CNSD). She carried out post-doctoral work at The Ohio State University prior to joining Stony Brook in 2000. She will work with Ken Reifsnider’s Institute for Predictive Performance Methodologies at the UTA Research Institute. Gouma has secured several million dollars in funding from federal, state, and private sources and has done extensive research on the development of non-invasive breath and skin-based diagnostic tools. She has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles, 20 book chapters and a monograph, and holds 18 U.S. and international patents.

She is a member of the National Academy of Inventors and was a Fulbright Scholar to UNICAMP in Brazil. She also received the prestigious Richard M. Fulrath award from The American Ceramic Society. She was the sole Chair of the 2011 ISOEN Conference.

Research interests: Selective chemical detectors; Biosensors and hybrid nanoprobes for electronic olfaction systems; Nanomedicine applications

New Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Faculty

Leila Ladani

Leila Ladani, Professor

Ph.D., University of Maryland
M.S., University of Maryland
M.S., Isfahan University of Technology
B.S., Isfahan University of Technology

Leila Ladani joins UTA from the University of Connecticut, where she was an associate professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and director of the 3M Laboratory. She is an internationally recognized expert in multi-scale manufacturing and mechanics and will work with Ken Reifsnider’s Institute for Predictive Performance Methodologies at the UTA Research Institute.

Ladani is on the editorial board of the Journal of Materials Science and Engineering A and a member of ASME and ASEE. She has held leadership positions in several ASME divisions, and earned the ASME EPPD Women Engineer Award, a Hutchins grant, an Amelia Earhart Grant, an ASEE AFOSR Faculty Fellowship, and others.

She has earned more than $3.5 million in research grants from federal and industrial agencies such as the National Science Foundation, Pratt and Whitney, and Honeywell. She is the author of more than 100 technical peer reviewed publications, and holds two patents, with two pending.

Research interests: Additive manufacturing; Manufacturing of nanomaterial and micro/ nanoelectronics; Material characterization and mechanics; Multi-scale modeling and simulation