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

Anirban Dutta, Assistant Professor

Biotechnologies

“I conduct research in neural engineering, the application of engineering to the neurosciences. My translational research work in neurotechnology, motor rehabilitation, clinical neurophysiology and cerebrovascular medicine is focused on developing technologies to treat, cure and even prevent neurological disorders.”

Jun Xia, Assistant Professor

Biotechnology

“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.”

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."

Natesh Parashurama, Assistant Professor

Harnessing the Power of Stem Cells

“Regenerative medicine and human stem cell research, and advanced imaging technologies, are emerging technologies with great potential economic impact. I am investigating how to engineer organs from stem cells, how to model and image the disease processes with stem cells, and how to image stem cell functions inside the body. This research will lead to commercially viable, engineered products that will advance health and biomedicine.” 

Gang Wu, Assistant Professor

Sustainability

“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

Nirupam Aich, Assistant Professor

Water Quality

“My research focuses on developing innovative nanoscale materials to deliver safe drinking water by removing harmful pollutants and pathogens. I am also evaluating the environmental, health, and social implications of these novel nanomaterials and nano-enabled consumer products, including dental restorations and electronic wastes such as cellphones and computers.”

Kamelia Atefi Monfared, Assistant Professor

Geoenvironmental Engineering

“I study the physical mechanisms involved in flow through soil and rock to develop a resilient and sustainable strategy for production and/or storage of water and energy from and into the earth. My goal is to develop tools and technologies to store seasonal energy and water for domestic use with minimal environmental impacts.”

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.”

Negar Elhami Khorasani, Assistant Professor

Resilience

"I am developing mitigation strategies and evaluating the response of the built environment under extreme loading and multi-hazard scenarios, especially fire as a primary or secondary event. My work investigates the behavior and design of buildings for fire scenarios considering uncertainties, and resilience of a community after an extreme event such as post-earthquake fires or wildfire."

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."

Lauren Sassoubre, Assistant Professor

Clean Waterways

“Polluted water poses serious risks to human and ecosystem health. I investigate the sources and fate of bacterial contaminants in coastal waters. This research has local and global implications for assessing risks posed by contaminated water and engineering systems to treat water. I use similar DNA-based techniques to track aquatic organisms such as invasive species to complement traditional biological monitoring.”

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.” 

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.”

Zhenduo Zhu, Assistant Professor

Sustainability

“I am interested in understanding the dynamics of flow and transport processes in natural and engineered waterway systems, and how these dynamics relate to problems in urban storm water management. I use environmental fluid mechanics tools to investigate contaminated sediment in water, by developing and applying integrated hydrological, hydrodynamic, and water quality models. The main goal is to find innovative solutions to a more sustainable water environment.”

Computer Science and Engineering

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.”

Marco Gaboardi, Assistant Professor

Cybersecurity and Privacy

“My research focuses on developing methods and software tools to enable the collection and analysis of data without compromising the privacy of the data subjects. In addition, I develop methods and software tools that can be used to formally guarantee that programs execute correctly without bugs.” 

Jesse Hartloff, Teaching Assistant Professor

Cybersecurity

"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

Robotics

“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."

Jaroslaw Zola, Assistant Professor

Bioinformatics

“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

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."

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.”

Arindam Sanyal, Assistant Professor

Power Electronics

“My primary research area is low power data conversion from the analog to the digital domain by using time-based signal processing. This is particularly relevant for the Internet of Things. I am also working on extending data conversion techniques to biomedical sensor design for low-cost medical diagnosis and patient monitoring.”

Konstantinos Slavakis, Associate Professor

Information

“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.”

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.”

Materials Design and Innovation

Scott Broderick, Research Assistant Professor

Materials Informatics

“Integrating data science techniques with materials databases is an important way to accelerate the design of new multi-functional materials for applications across multiple disciplines.  By extracting physics-based correlations from large computational and experimental data spaces, I develop high-throughput models that significantly expand the material knowledge base.”

Quanxi Jia, Empire Innovation Professor and National Grid Professor of Materials Research; Scientific Director, New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI)

Nanomaterials

“My research includes designing, synthesizing, characterizing, and fabricating multifunctional nanomaterials and devices as well as developing new techniques to create materials with properties optimized for specific functions. My research and innovations to date have had great impact on information and communication technologies, national security, and energy conversion, transmission, and storage.”

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.”

Jung Hun Seo, Assistant Professor

New Materials

“All conventional electronic devices are flat and rigid due to the intrinsic nature of inorganic semiconductors. The human body or our environment is, by contrast, soft and curvilinear. My research aims to fill the gap between these mismatches in properties by developing highly flexible, low-dimensional single crystalline semiconductor nanosheets and realizing high-performance flexible electronic devices using these materials.”

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.”

Souma Chowdhury, Assistant Professor

Intelligent Systems

“My research focuses on computational methodologies that are inspired by the wonders of nature, such as evolution, animal-swarm behavior, and how birds learn to fly. These methodologies are targeted towards designing complex intelligent systems that overwhelm traditional engineering-design principles; for example, transforming drones for disaster response, and smart-and-connected wind-turbines and buildings for energy sustainability.”

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."