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Meet our New Faculty

Chosen for their outstanding research achievements to date and for what they will contribute to engineering, to UB and to their professions, our new faculty members will lead us in new directions and push us to ever greater achievements. We are delighted to welcome them to UB.

Biomedical Engineering

Ciprian (Chip) Ionita, Research Assistant Professor

Stroke Diagnosis and Treatment

“Better imaging and better devices are key to improving the diagnosis and treatment of cerebral stroke. My research focuses on these areas through the development of x-ray detectors for diagnostic and interventional neurovascular imaging, and the development and evaluation of endovascular devices.”

Yun Wu, Assistant Professor

Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer

“Nanoparticles can be used to fight cancer but, uncontrolled in the environment, they can be a health risk. My research spans these areas to include developing multifunctional nanoparticles-based theranostics, as well as studying the toxicology of nanoparticles.”

Jun Xia, Assistant Professor


“Seeing inside the body is of critical importance for diagnosing and treating diseases. My research focuses on an emerging technique called photoacoustic computed tomography that combines acoustic signals, basically ultrasound, with optical signals from lasers, to produce finer details and richer contrasts about the tissue than either method on its own.”

Ruogang Zhao, Assistant Professor

Using Biomaterials in Engineering

“My research involves stressing tissues to better understand cell and tissue mechanics using novel magnetic microsystems, and the fabrication of biomaterials for tissue engineering. I also perform research in the fields of cardiovascular regenerative medicine, cancer mechanobiology and anti-fibrotic therapies.”

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Michel Dupuis, Research Professor

Renewable Energy

“My research focuses on rational design, through large-scale computations, of the next generation of renewable energy materials. In particular, I investigate efficient and cost-effective inter-conversion of electricity and chemical energy. The research could lead to breakthroughs in the generation and utilization of alternate fuel sources.”

Johannes Hachmann, Assistant Professor

Materials Design

""Providing alternative sources of energy is one way new catalysts and advanced materials benefit society and the environment. My research combines quantum chemical modeling with modern concepts such as virtual high-throughput and “big data” techniques, materials informatics, and machine learning, to rationally design innovative materials, and accelerate the development process."

Haiqing Lin, Assistant Professor

Clean Air, Water and Energy

“Membrane is an energy efficient and environmentally benign separation process. My research focuses on the fundamental study of membrane materials and processes for gas and liquid separations. It will advance understanding of the technology and expand its applications in meeting the ever growing need for clean energy, air and water.” 

Gang Wu, Assistant Professor


“My research focuses on developing innovative functional materials and catalysts for sustainable electrochemical energy and environmental uses. I use earth-abundant elements to replace expensive and supply-limited precious metals. This effort requires a fundamental understanding of relevant electrocatalysis mechanisms.” 

Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

Panagiotis Ch. Anastasopoulos, Assistant Professor

Infrastructure Management

“An integrated infrastructure management decision-making system that encompasses design, funding, construction and operation as well as safety, preservation, management and crises is my research vision. Using computational methods together with simulation and technology tools, my goal is to provide solutions that are environmentally friendly, energy efficient, reliable, sustainable, safe, livable, and publicly acceptable.” 

John D. Atkinson, Assistant Professor

Air Quality

“I am developing sustainable and low-cost materials that will be used for air pollution control, improving indoor and outdoor air quality. My goal is to prevent the release of harmful air contaminants, which will improve human health and protect the environment.”

Ning Dai, Assistant Professor

Improved Health through Chemistry

“I am exploring organic nitrogen chemistry in engineered and natural environmental systems to reduce risks to human health. I believe that an improved understanding of these systems will lead to creative and sustainable solutions to environmental problems that have occurred as a result of the release of nitrogen-containing organic compounds from industrial and domestic sources.”

Pinar Okumus, Assistant Professor

High Performance Infrastructure

“The focal purpose of my work is to ease our aging infrastructure’s burden on the economy, traveling public and the environment by understanding the fundamental structural behavior of reinforced and prestressed concrete bridge structures. I use analytical and physical simulations to develop analysis and design methods for durable, innovative, sustainable and rapidly constructed highway bridge structures.”

Ravi Ranade, Assistant Professor

Infrastructure Resilience

“Maintenance and repair of infrastructure imposes economic and environmental burdens on our society. The underlying problem is the poor long-term performance of concrete, which is the most-widely used construction material.  I am developing innovative new materials that offer better mechanical performance and are more durable than concrete, resulting in significant cost savings over the long run."

Kallot Sett, Assistant Professor

Natural Hazards

“I am developing performance-based, sustainable design solutions for civil engineering infrastructure, with emphasis on geotechnical objects. My current research is focused on developing computational tools to simulate the behavior of geostructures and for subsequent analyses of risks, including economic and social consequences, during future extreme events such as earthquakes.” 

Andreas Stavridis, Assistant Professor


“Developing innovative and cost-effective methods to enhance the resilience of the built environment is the overarching goal of my research. I focus on the condition assessment and rehabilitation of aging bridges and buildings. I also analytically and experimentally investigate their structural performance under extreme loads.”

Anthony Tessari, Assistant Professor

Natural Hazards

“The soil-foundation systems that are used in critical infrastructure to mitigate the effects of natural hazards are the focus of my research. I am currently working on physical modeling of the long-term behavior of new floodwall systems in New Orleans, which will affect the safety and economic viability of the region for future generations.”

Teng Wu, Assistant Professor

Wind Engineering

“My research addresses the effects of service and extreme winds on the built environment, with an emphasis on bridges. I am building basic knowledge of wind effects using computational fluid dynamics, predicting the impact of wind hazards on constructed facilities, and developing wind-response mitigation strategies to improve safety and serviceability.”

Computer Science and Engineering

Varun Chandola, Assistant Professor

Healthcare Management

“I explore the role of big data in improving quality and reducing inefficiencies in healthcare. I design and develop scalable machine learning algorithms that can handle the volume and variety in the data, and am investigating ‘coordinated machine learning’ to quantitatively understand the relationship between social behavior and public health using data.” 

Karthick Dantu, Assistant Professor

First Responders

“I am interested in designing large-scale systems with computing, communication, sensing, and actuation. In particular, I am interested in designing swarms of micro-flying robots. These swarms could help future first responders by mapping a building on fire, entering hazardous environments such as the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and tracking chemical plumes.”

Wen Dong, Assistant Professor

Social Networks

"My research focuses on using "big data" to study and improve our social systems. For example, I am solving stochastic differential equations involving trillions of vehicle locations to better predict traffic jams, so that policymakers and individuals can make better transportation-related decisions.”

Jesse Hartloff, Teaching Assistant Professor


"My research involves storing fingerprint images in a way that prevents them from being stolen. Fingerprint scanners have been shown to accept fake fingerprints, which can be made if someone obtains your fingerprint image, for example from your gym's computer system. My job is to prevent this from happening to you."

Shi Li, Assistant Professor

Better Decision Making

“Living in an era of information technology, decisions need to be made more quickly, such as scheduling jobs in real-time on machines, organizing data for efficient retrieval and computation, or displaying ads on a webpage. However, many of these problems are intractable in our daily lives. My research focuses on designing and analyzing fast heuristic algorithms that can compute near-optimal solutions.”

Aziz Mohaisen, Assistant Professor

Cybersecurity and Privacy

“I design and develop scalable algorithms and systems that characterize, detect and attribute threats on the Internet. I explore new multidisciplinary methods for behavioral profiling that can help us understand malicious software, infrastructure, mobile applications, and online services. My goal is to realize a safer cyberspace by containing malicious actors.”

Nils Napp, Assistant Professor


“Living things are able to work reliably in unstructured, changing environments and often do so with a baffling lack of direct information, planning, and communication. My research focuses on applying insights of how these natural systems function to engineering better, more robust artificial systems, e.g. robots that can build like termites or self-assemble like molecules.”

Lu Su, Assistant Professor

Cyber-Physical Systems

"I am developing information-effective and resource-efficient cyber-physical systems. These systems can intelligently collect, transmit, integrate, and eventually transform the deluge of sensory data generated by the ubiquitous human and physical sensors into high quality information that can enable us to better understand the social and physical world."

Wenyao Xu, Assistant Professor

"Smart" Devices

“My research focuses on next-generation healthcare technologies, such as a “smart cane” that provides feedback to help senior adults avoid falls, or a nano-size heart monitor that sends reports to the doctor via cell phone. I work with clinical physicians to develop solutions that save patients’ time, money and lives, and some of my research products have been commercialized.”

Jaroslaw Zola, Assistant Professor


“The ongoing revolution in biotechnology delivers unprecedented volume and variety of data about us and life around us. My research focus is on scalable algorithms and techniques to provide faster and more precise answers about DNA, its meaning for our health and our environment. To achieve this, I design novel computational approaches to make the most efficient use of some of the fastest supercomputers in the world.”

Electrical Engineering

Erik Einarsson, Assistant Professor

Expanding Wireless Networks

“Research on the interactions between nanoscale materials and terahertz radiation may lead to advances in materials designed to harness the still untamed terahertz band of the electromagnetic spectrum. My research focuses on developing promising applications such as dense wireless networks able to handle100 times more data traffic than today.”

Liang Feng, Assistant Professor

Miniaturized Portable Devices

"I work in interdisciplinary research that bridges the areas of photonics, optoelectronics, plasmonics, and phononics at a nanoscale. I am aiming to develop novel integrated multi-functional miniaturized devices to improve the bandwidth of data access networks in optical communications and to enable micro/nano-scale biodiagnostics when integrated with cell phones."

Josep Miquel Jornet, Assistant Professor

Wireless Communications and Technology

“How can nanotechnology-enabled ultra-broadband communication systems in the terahertz band be used to improve wireless communications and networking? I am investigating how to leverage the tools provided by nanotechnology to define new networking paradigms with transformative applications, such as high-definition holographic videoconferencing on smartphones.”

Michael Langberg, Associate Professor


“The concept of ‘Information’ plays a major and ever increasing role in modern day to day life. My research focuses on the mathematical foundations of information and, in particular, on the design and analysis of efficient and reliable schemes for the communication, representation, and storage of information.”

Elena Bernal Mor, Teaching Assistant Professor

Wireless Communications

"My research interests are in the broad areas of resource management and performance evaluation in wireless communication networks, particularly in providing quality of service in different types of networks, such as 4G/5G mobile cellular systems. Seamless connectivity for everyone and everything has become a 'must' in our society, and my work contributes to guaranteeing fast and reliable communications in the connected world.”

Konstantinos Slavakis, Associate Professor


“We live in an era of data deluge. How can we leverage all that information to learn only its most informative part? To this end, I am developing theory and algorithms that lie at the interplay of signal processing and machine learning, with applications spanning from communication systems to brain networks.”

Xiu Yao, Assistant Professor

Power Electronics

“My research focuses on the control and protection of DC micro grid and high voltage DC transmission, as well as power electronics applications in other high voltage and high power systems. It can be applied to renewable energy integration, utility power grids, and a variety of electric vehicles including automobiles, aircraft and ships.”

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Matthew Bolton, Assistant Professor

Safety in Automation

“My research focuses on the design and analysis of safety-critical systems that depend on human-automation interaction. Specifically, I develop novel methods and tools for using human behavior models, theories of erroneous behavior, and model checking (an automated means of performing exhaustive, mathematical proofs) to design systems with guaranteed safety performance.”

Jee Eun (Jamie) Kang, Assistant Professor

Transportation Sustainability

“My research interests include travel demand modeling, transportation network problems, applied operations research and sustainable transportation. In particular, my transportation sustainability work has influenced the real-world implementation of a sustainable transportation system. A paper that I co-authored was adopted by the California Fuel Cell Partnership to identify 68 hydrogen refueling stations in California.”

Chase Murray, Assistant Professor

Improved Logistics

“I develop mathematical optimization techniques to better utilize emerging autonomous vehicle capabilities in the commercial and military sectors. This includes new algorithms that efficiently route fleets of unmanned aircraft (drones) for rapid parcel delivery or military surveillance, as well as the coordination of heavy-duty truck platoons that reduce fuel consumption.”

Jose Walteros, Assistant Professor

Infrastructure Analysis

“Critical infrastructure systems are fundamental for the economic development and growth of any nation. My research focuses on designing mathematical programming models to identify vulnerabilities in these systems. These models can be used to understand negative effects caused by catastrophic events on infrastructure systems and components, thus leading to the development of strategies to improve resiliency and reliability.”

Chi Zhou, Assistant Professor

Manufacturing Technologies

“My research involves developing novel additive manufacturing technologies (3-D printing) which leverage modeling, optimization and simulation tools. This research has the potential to improve quality of human life by creating living tissues and organs, as well as supporting economic growth by allowing mass customization with substantially shortened product life cycle and reduced cost.”

Materials Design and Innovation

Krishna Rajan, Erich Bloch Endowed Chair 

Materials Informatics

"My research is focused on ways to harness the tools of information science in the characterization, modeling and discovery of new materials. With this approach, I aim to provide a means to innovate engineering design from the building blocks of matter.”

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Paul Bauman, Assistant Professor

Better Design

“I am developing techniques and technologies to leverage large scale and high performance computing to model complex engineering systems and to make predictions about their behavior, allowing for more efficient and reliable design. Recently, my focus has been modeling manned reentry vehicles used by NASA.”

Sara Behdad, Assistant Professor

Green Design

“I am developing analytical models to tackle the complex problem of making end-of-life products recovery profitable while minimizing environmental impact. Electronic waste recovery, green design under uncertainty, sustainable manufacturing, remanufacturing, and energy engineering are among my research interests.”

John Hall, Assistant Professor

Wind Energy

“My research focuses on modeling techniques and design methodologies for complex systems. It further facilitates system optimization with respect to control development, machine design, and multiphysics engineering phenomena. My work is being applied in the area of renewable energy and currently targets the development of distributed wind turbines that are efficient, reliable and affordable.”

Amin Karami, Assistant Professor

Smart Materials

“My research focuses on the development of energy harvesters to convert ambient energy to electrical power. My research interests include the development of innovative nonlinear generators to power implantable medical devices and to harness energy from wind and ocean waves. The devices use smart materials as converting elements.”

Mostafa Nouh, Assistant Professor

Smart Materials

“I develop smart engineered materials with properties that are not found in nature. This includes acoustic elements for noise controlled and sound-proof environments, cloaks that can render underwater vehicles undetectable by incident waves, as well as architectural materials with graded thermal expansion for small electronic modules and aircraft components.”

Olga Wodo, Assistant Professor

New Materials

"Batteries with extended lifetime, high efficiency plastic solar cells, and 3D printed machine elements free of defects, are only a few examples of where nano/microstructure is a key to improved performance. In my research, I develop computational methods to study the evolution of phases and interfaces for these applications. By injecting data-driven and computational thinking into these fields, my research has the potential to accelerate new materials discoveries and to improve the way we design devices."

Jihyung (Jonathan) Yoo, Assistant Professor

Renewable Fuels

“Finding environmentally friendly solutions to the world’s energy problems is my research goal. To that end, my research focuses on designing more efficient and sustainable combustion systems and strategies as well as developing next-generation renewable fuels for power generation and transportation through the use of innovative laser diagnostic techniques.”