By Jane Stoyle Welch
Published December 5, 2022
The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences welcomes 20 new faculty members this semester, who are renowned for their research and educational expertise.
As a group, they represent world-class excellence in areas such as advanced transportation systems, energy optimization, medical imaging, computer security, machine learning, edge and distributed computing, supply chain design, health information technology, belonging and persistence in engineering education, precision health solutions, and robotics.
“I am excited to welcome these outstanding scholars to the SEAS community. They will lead us in new directions and push us to ever greater achievements in research and education that will help our flagship university become a top-25 public research institution,” says Kemper Lewis, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Below are mini-biographies of each of our new faculty members, including their areas of research expertise, work experience, prior degrees, and other noteworthy information.
Junghun Cho, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Joins UB from: Weill Cornell Medicine, where he was a post-doctoral researcher.
Research interests: Biophysics modeling and data processing, including deep learning, in MRI; quantitative mapping of clinically relevant tissue properties, including cerebral oxygenation and tissue magnetism; and validation and clinical application in cerebrovascular disorders, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Noteworthy: Junghun is an NIH K99/R00 awardee.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? Clinical collaborations with the medical school and technical collaborations with other biomedical imaging experts in biomedical engineering.
What was the last book you read? "Physics and Beyond" by Werner Heisenberg
Education: PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University
Hometown: Busan, South Korea.
Austin Angulo, Assistant Professor, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
Joins UB from: The University of Virginia, where he was a postdoctoral researcher.
Research interests: Vulnerable road user safety, use of virtual reality to study human interactions with CV/AV technology and alternative roadway designs, development of CV/AV applications, and transportation equity and sustainability.
Noteworthy: Austin received the UVA Civil Engineering Graduate Award for Superior Teaching in 2021, participated in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program Innovative Doctoral Research Showcase in 2019, received the VDOT SmarterRoads Hackathon Grand Prize in 2018, and was named an FHWA Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Research Fellow in 2016.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? I’m most excited to engage with the faculty, staff, and students here at UB and build a community. Brainstorming fun ideas, exchanging thoughtful discourse, and coming up with exciting projects is always most meaningful when done within your community.
What was the last book you read? "The Fifth Season" by N.K. Jemison
Education: PhD, Civil Engineering, University of Virginia
Hometown: Richmond, Va., and Washingtonville, N.Y.
Kamran Nemati, P.E., Professor of Practice, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
Joins UB from: The University of Arizona’s global campus at American University of Phnom Penh, where he was professor and chair of the Department of Civil Engineering.
Research interests: Behavior of plain and reinforced concrete materials, development of improved concrete materials and technologies for structural applications and fracture mechanics of concrete.
Noteworthy: Kamran is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). He was the ASCE Civil Engineering Delegation leader to the People's Republic of China to visit the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Kamran has traveled to 147 countries.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? Having the opportunity to create a construction engineering track within the CSEE program.
What was the last book you read? "Cronkite" by Douglas Brinkley
Education: PhD, Civil Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
What is your hometown? Irvine, Calif.
Thomas Hayes, Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Joins UB from: The University of New Mexico, where he was an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science.
Research interests: Theoretical computer science and machine learning, including convergence rates for Markov chains, sampling algorithms for random combinatorial structures, physics of algorithms, and distributed algorithms for radio-enabled sensor networks.
Noteworthy: Tom received an NSF CAREER Award in 2012, on "Innovations in Markov Chains: Metrics, Duality and Liftings."
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? Getting to meet a lot of new people, learn about their work, and (hopefully) get some new collaborations going.
What was the last book you read? "Sweet Little Lies," by Caz Frear, and currently reading, "The Ethical Algorithm" by Michael Kearns and Aaron Roth
Education: PhD Computer Science, University of Chicago
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Andrew Hirsch, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Joins UB from: The Foundations of Computer Security Group, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, in Saarbrücken, Germany, where he was a postdoctoral researcher.
Research interests: Programming languages, epistemic logic, type theory, concurrency, language-based security, and information-flow control.
Education: PhD, Computer Science, Cornell University
Kaiyi Ji, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Joins UB from: The University of Michigan, where he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department.
Research interests: Optimization algorithms, machine learning, big data analytics, federated learning and networks.
Noteworthy: Kaiyi received a Presidential Fellowship from Ohio State University, which is the highest honor for OSU graduates. He has presented or published more than 10 publications in top machine-learning conferences and journals, and received the top reviewer award from Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) and the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML).
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? I am most excited about the wonderful academic environment provided by the UB CSE department. I especially enjoy discussing fantastic research ideas with other faculty members working on mobile systems, databases and social media, and the many research seminars have also broadened my research view. Life at UB is very convenient and enjoyable.
What was the last book you read? “Deep Learning" by Ian Goodfellow, Yoshua Bengio and Aaron Courville.
Education: PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ohio State University; B.S., Electronic Engineering and Information Science, University of Science and Technology of China
Hometown: Zigong, China.
Haonan Lu, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Joins UB from: The S* Network Systems (SNS) group in the Computer Science Department at Princeton University, where he was a postdoctoral researcher.
Research interests: Distributed systems, databases.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? The faculty and staff are exceptionally welcoming, supportive, and helpful!
What was the last book you read? "The Three-Body Problem" by Liu Cixin
Education: PhD, Computer Science, University of Southern California
Hometown: Tianjin, China
Eric Mikida, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Computer Science and Engineering
Joins UB from: Charmworks, Inc., a parallel programming startup.
Research interests: Computer science education and parallel programming.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? Returning to my alma-mater, where I received my BS and MS in computer science, and getting to interact with students again.
What was the last book you read? "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley
Education: PhD, Computer Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Hometown: Hamburg, N.Y.
Chen Wang, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Joins UB from: Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, where he was a project scientist.
Research interests: Robotic perception, robotic vision and robotic learning.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? I am excited to meet so many young and energetic students here.
What was the last book you read? "The Three-Body Problem" by Liu Cixin
Education: PhD, Electrical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
Hometown: Xi'an, China
Yaxiong Xie, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Joins UB from: Princeton University, where he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Computer Science.
Research interests: Next-generation networks, mobile computing, edge computing, and the artificial intelligence of things.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? I am very excited to see so many fascinating colleges when I joined UB. All the professors in CSE are not only doing excellent in their own research but are also very welcoming. I am very excited to start collaborating with all these talented colleagues.
Education: PhD, Computer Science, Nanyang Technological University
Hometown: Yue Yang, China
Seyyadali (Ali) Hosseinalipour, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
Joins UB from: Purdue University, where he was a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Research interests: Synergies between machine learning and wireless networks, analysis and modeling of modern wireless networks, distributed machine learning, and next generation of intelligent wireless networks.
Noteworthy: Ali was among the first to win both prestigious awards at Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of North Carolina State University: ECE Doctoral Scholar of the Year Award (2020), and ECE Distinguished Dissertation Award (2021), which were awarded based on his PhD research work. During his postdoc studies at Purdue University, his efforts spent on developing the new research area of “machine learning over wireless networks” have pioneered novel distributed machine learning paradigms named “Fog Learning”, “Semi-Decentralized/Hybrid Federated Learning” and “Parallel Successive Learning”.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? First and foremost, I am very excited about working with my colleagues here, including the faculty and staff members. Everyone is very welcoming and helpful. In general, the department has a nice culture, which I really enjoy. One of the other aspects of UB, which is very interesting to me, is its diverse set of students with different backgrounds. Especially the fact that UB offers degrees in engineering to social sciences and medicine leads to a diverse and vibrant campus with a lot of positive energy. Furthermore, this opens the door to cross-department collaborations among the faculty, which usually lead to exciting research results.
What was the last book you read? "Mindset” by Carol Dweck.
Education: PhD, Electrical Engineering, North Carolina State University
Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Eunsil Lee, Assistant Professor, Engineering Education
Joins UB from: Virginia Tech, where she was a visiting assistant professor, and prior to that, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Florida International University.
Research interests: Sense of belonging, inclusion in engineering, graduate education, diversity in students' citizenship, faculty and peer interactions.
Noteworthy: Eunsil received the G. Burke Johnston Award for Excellence in Teaching from Virginia Tech.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? All the opportunities, i.e., initiatives on sense of belonging, within DEE, SEAS, and UB that I could contribute to and already have been involved. There are lots of people trying to make UB a more inclusive place to learn for students and to work for faculty and staff. I also like living in the Buffalo area.
What was the last book you read? "Belonging" by Geoffrey L. Cohen
Education: PhD, Engineering Education, Arizona State University
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Doğa Yücalan, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Engineering Education
Joins UB from: Cornell University, where Doğa earned a PhD in 2022.
Research interests: Introductory engineering, student-centered course design, teaching and student assistant training.
Noteworthy: Doğa received a Center for Teaching Innovation Fellowship from Cornell University and an Amelia Earhart Fellowship from Zonta International in 2018.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? I'm excited to be collaborating with people who are also passionate about improving engineering education.
What was the last book you read? "1Q84" by Haruki Murakami
Education: PhD Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University
Home Country: Turkey
Gohar Azeem, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Joins UB from: The University of Texas at Arlington, where he was the assistant director of the RAID Research Center and earned his PhD.
Research interests: Supply chain optimization, operations research, data analytics, logistics and last mile delivery, Lean-Six SIgma and project management.
Noteworthy: Gohar previously worked at several Fortune 500 companies including Shell, Coca-Cola and Schlumberger in different executive roles.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? I'm really excited to work with amazing faculty members and student in Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. I'm very proud to be a part of UB, one of the top institutes in the U.S. I'm also excited about exploring the beautiful city of Buffalo and surroundings.
What was the last book you read? "Factory Physics" by Wallace J. Hopp and Mark L. Spearman
Education: PhD, Industrial Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington
Hometown: Mansehra, Pakistan
Sabrina Casucci, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Joins UB from: Sabrina was already at UB, where she was a teaching assistant professor and director of the Engineering Management ME program.
Research interests: Data driven healthcare and decision making, precision health solutions, health disparities, aging and cognitive decline.
Noteworthy: Sabrina received several awards for teaching, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2022, UB’s Innovations in Teaching Award in 2022, and the SEAS Best Teaching Faculty of the Year in 2019.
What are you most excited about in your new position? I’m excited to focus my attention more fully on research and tackling some of the complex and challenging problems in our healthcare system.
What was the last book you read? "The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music" by Dave Grohl, and currently reading "Malice Aforethought" by Francis Iles.
Education: PhD, Industrial and Systems Engineering, University at Buffalo
Hometown: Buffalo, N..Y.
Robert Dell, Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Joins UB from: The Operations Research Department at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), where he held numerous leadership roles including acting provost, dean of the NPS Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences, executive director of the NPS Data Science and Analytics Group, and chair of the OR Department.
Research interests: Optimization, production scheduling, supply chain design, and professional sports analytics.
Noteworthy: Rob received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Barchi, Koopman, Rist, and Wanner prizes for military operations research. He has also received two Brazilian Navy awards (the Order of Naval Merit and the Tamandaré Merit Medal), two Department of the Army Payne Memorial Awards for Excellence in Analysis, and two Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Awards.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? The opportunity to engage in new application areas with a student body that includes undergraduate and PhD students. At the NPS, almost all of the military officer students pursue master’s degrees.
What was the last book you read? "T-Minus AI: Humanity's Countdown to Artificial Intelligence and the New Pursuit of Global Power" by Michael Kanaan
Education: PhD, Industrial Engineering, University at Buffalo
Hometown: Barker, N.Y.
Abbas Keramati, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Joins UB from: Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University), where he was a contract assistant professor and lecturer. He was also associate professor and chair of the School of Industrial Engineering at the University of Tehran.
Research interests: Smart supply chain, business analytics and e-adoption.
Noteworthy: Abbas received teaching awards for the years 2012 and 2013 from the dean of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Tehran.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? Working in UB provides me with the possibility of collaborating with some of the best scientists to conduct multidisciplinary research projects in world-class industrial companies.
What was the last book you read? "Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved" by Kate Bowler
Education: PhD, Industrial Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University
Hometown: Arak, Markazi Province, Iran
Diana Ramirez-Rios, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Joins UB from: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she was a lecturer in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department.
Research interests: Sustainable urban freight transportation, supply chain optimization, and humanitarian/disaster response logistics.
Noteworthy: Diana’s most recent awards include the Karen and Lester Gerhardt Prize in Science and Engineering and the Thomas Archibald Price award from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Bayer Scholarship at INFORMS, the Women in Transportation Helene M. Overly/ Leonard Braun Graduate Scholarship, and an MIT CEE Rising Stars alumni award. She was a runner-up (second-place winner) of the INFORMS Society of Location Analysis (SOLA) dissertation award for her PhD dissertation published in December of 2020.
What are you most excited about as you start at UB? In collaborating with my peers at UB to work on impactful research. As I am getting settled and starting my research program, I am meeting so many new faces every week that could become potential collaboration partners. I am looking forward to this.
What was the last book you read? "The Key of Light" by Nora Roberts, and currently reading "The Attributes of God" by Arthur Pink.
Education: PhD, Transportation Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Hometown: Barranquilla, Colombia
Scott Broderick, Associate Professor, Materials Design and Innovation
Joins UB from: Scott was already at UB, where he was an Assistant Professor of Research in MDI.
Research interests: Materials informatics, structural alloys, hypersonic materials, and database development.
Noteworthy: Since joining UB, Scott has published 41 articles or book chapters, with over 1,500 citations.
What are you most excited about as you start your new position? The opportunity to work more closely with students in the classroom but especially in the lab. Working with students is a great opportunity to pass on experienced knowledge and to learn from the students and their unique view on the explored problems.
What was the last book you read? "The Twilight World" by Werner Herzog
Education: PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, Iowa State University
Hometown: Apex, N.C.
Leonid Khinkis, Associate Professor of Teaching, Computational and Data-Enabled Science
Joins UB from: Leonid was already at UB, where he was an adjunct professor in the Department of Mathematics. Prior to joining UB, he was a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Canisius College, where he also served as an interim dean and chairman of the department, and as a senior administrative fellow of Academic Affairs.
Research interests: Nonlinear regression with applications to pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, design of experiments and deep learning.
Noteworthy: Leonid was president of the Buffalo-Niagara Chapter of the American Statistical Association from 1994-1995 and from February 2011- 2020. He received the Director’s Award from the Regional High School Science Olympiad in 2013 and is a retired U.S. Chess Master.
What are you most excited as you start your new position? I am excited about daily interactions with my students. There is an enormous amount of talent among them. It is an honor to be able to share my significant teaching and research experience and knowledge with the students. I constantly learn in this process, as well. I am also excited about the possibility to contribute to creation of new meaningful academic experiences for the students.
What was the last book you read? “A History of God” by Karen Armstrong
Education: PhD, Mathematical Science, Voronezh State University, Russia
Hometown: Chernivtsi, Ukraine