New Faculty Join UConn Engineering

The School of Engineering is pleased to welcome 10 new faculty members for the fall 2011 and spring 2012 terms. Each brings significant experience in areas of strategic importance.

Two new faculty members will join the Mechanical Engineering Department: Zhuyin Ren and Ikjin Lee.

Dr. Ren received his B.S. degree from the University of Science and Technology of China followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. Dr. Ren worked at ANSYS-Fluent for two years as an application engineer and most recently has been a lead engineer at GE Global Research. With expertise in computational fluid mechanics, he specializes in large eddy simulation of reacting and non-reacting flow and development of sub-grid models for turbulence-molecular mixing and turbulence-chemistry interactions.

Dr. Lee received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Seoul National University followed by his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Iowa. His area of expertise is reliability based design optimization and design under uncertainty. Dr. Lee has been developing techniques for the optimization of hardware components for U.S. Army vehicles.

New to the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department is Arash E. Zaghi, who received his M.Sc. from Sharif University of Technology, Iran and his Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno (2009).  With expertise in bridge design, steel and concrete structures, and earthquake engineering, Dr. Zaghi’s research has focused primarily on large scale structure experiments, accelerated bridge construction (ABC), and advanced material and innovative structural components. He is a registered professional engineer (California) and has six years of professional experience in structural design of large petrochemical plants, long span bridges, and mid-rise buildings. He is reviewer for the ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering, Earthquake Spectra, and Journal of Earthquake Engineering.

The Electrical & Computer Engineering Department welcomes Shalabh Gupta, whose research interests include cyber-physical systems, distributed intelligent systems, robotics, autonomous systems, statistical learning and perception, information fusion, and structural health monitoring. Dr. Gupta received M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering (2004) and electrical engineering (2005), and his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering (2006), all from Pennsylvania State University. He was a post-doctoral research scholar, research associate faculty member, and Assistant Director (2006-11) of the Complex Systems Research Laboratory at Penn State. Dr. Gupta has written four book chapters and has numerous journal publications. He is an Associate Editor for Structural Health Monitoring: An International Journal.

The Computer Science & Engineering Department welcomes two new faculty members hired in relation to the Provost’s Biomedical Informatics Initiative: Mohammad Maifi Hasan Khan and Athanasios Bamis.

Dr. Khan’s research focus and expertise lie in the areas of wireless sensor networks, distributed systems, and data mining as a tool in troubleshooting complex distributed system failures and performance limitations. Dr. Khan earned his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He worked as a research intern at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, where he was involved in collaborative healthcare cloud computing, contributing research for a reliable event processing system leveraging cloud infrastructure to be deployed for preventative healthcare monitoring in Taiwan. He will collaborate with the Biomedical Informatics Division of CICATS.

Dr. Bamis will join UConn in spring 2012 after completing his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Yale University. His research interests and expertise span the areas of human activity/behavior recognition, wireless sensor networks, embedded systems and pattern recognition. His work focuses on the use of sensors to detect macroscopic human behaviors and routines that evolve across the dimensions of time and space. Dr. Bamis is developing algorithmic methods for identifying events with similar temporal characteristics, extracting frequently re-occurring spatio-temporal events from location traces and discovering “periodic” events in streams of sensor data. He has also worked toward developing methods for analyzing group behaviors in camera networks. Most of this work has been integrated into the BehaviorScope system that can collect, analyze and share over the Internet data from many different types of sensors. Dr. Bamis will collaborate in the Biomedical Informatics Division of CICATS.

New to the Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering (CMBE) Department are Anson Ma and Aravind Suresh.

Dr. Ma received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, England (2009) and recently completed a post-doctoral research position at Rice University. He has published one book chapter and seven first author journal articles. Dr. Ma’s research focuses on the development of novel, scalable techniques for processing nanoparticles into multifunctional, high performance materials. In particular, he seeks to develop nanoparticle-stabilized foams for enhanced oil recovery and “smart” polymer nanocomposites for aerospace applications. He is the founding president of the Carbon Nanotube Club and the recipient of the J. Evans Attwell-Welch Fellow award, presented by the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology.

Dr. Suresh, who earned his Ph.D. at UConn, received his bachelor’s degree from the National Institute of Technology, India in 2004. He joins the CMBE Department as an Assistant Professor in Residence. His area of expertise is in inorganic oxide synthesis, structural characterization, catalytic analysis and high-temperature processing.

Two Assistant Professors in Residence will join the Biomedical Engineering program, Krystyna Gielo-Perczak and Zahra Shahbazi.

Dr. Gielo-Perczak received her Ph.D. at the Warsaw University of Technology, Poland. She served as a Senior Lab Manager & Instructor in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Gielo-Perczak’s areas of expertise are in biomechanics, biomedical measurements and biomedical instrumentation.

Dr. Shahbazi, who earned her Ph.D. in mechanical
engineering at UConn (2011), conducts research in
the areas of protein mechanics, biomedical instrumentation,
kinematics and control. She has also served as Program
Coordinator for the Joule Fellows program at UConn since 2010.




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