College welcomes 11 new faculty for 2012-13 academic year

September 17, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The College of Engineering welcomed 11 new faculty for the 2012-13 academic year. They are:

- Russell Barton, a dual-title professor in the Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and the Smeal College of Business, where he is a professor of supply chain and information systems. His research has focused on the interface between applied statistics and simulation, applied to products design and manufacturing. He has published more than 70 refereed papers in applied statistics, engineering design/new product development, optimization and stimulation. He has taught courses in statistics and quality, operations management, new product development, optimization and simulation at the undergraduate and graduate level. From 2010 to 2012, Barton served as program director for Manufacturing Enterprise Systems and Service Enterprise Systems at the National Science Foundation. He received his doctorate in operations research from Cornell University.

- Chia-Jung Chang, assistant professor of industrial engineering, received her doctoral degree in industrial engineering and master of science degree in statistics at Georgia Institute of Technology, and her bachelor of science and master of science degrees in industrial engineering at National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan. Her research interests focus on fusion of advanced statistics, domain knowledge and control theory to develop methodologies for modeling, monitoring, diagnosis and improvement for complex systems in data rich environments. She serves as the associate editor of the Asian Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Institute of Operations Research and Management and American Statistical Association.

- Uday V. Shanbhag, associate professor of industrial engineering, comes from the Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering Department at the University of Illinois, where he was a faculty member from 2006 to 2012. His research interests lie in optimization theory and algorithms, equilibrium programming and stochastic optimization. His application interests lie in planning/operations in deregulated electricity markets, inventory control and communication networks. Shanbhag consulted with Tabors, Caramanis and Associates, a Boston-based energy firm, from 1996 to 2000. He recently was awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation's CAREER Award and has received numerous other research, teaching and advising awards. His doctorate is in management science and engineering from Stanford University.

- Vikash Gayah, assistant professor of civil engineering, received his doctorate in civil engineering (transportation) at the University of California, Berkley. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Central Florida. His research has focused on a variety of transportation engineering including traffic safety, short-term and long-term planning, traffic operations, public transportation, logistics and traffic flow theory. His research has also included creating and using macroscopic models of transport systems to derive insights on network-wide behavior.

- Christopher Gorski is an assistant professor of civil engineering. He received his bachelor's in civil and environmental engineering from Purdue University in 2005, his doctorate in environmental engineering and science from the University of Iowa in 2009 and recently finished a post-doctoral appointment at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. His research focuses on identifying and addressing future water contamination issues. Gorski specializes in using advanced spectroscopic and electrochemical techniques to develop a thermodynamic understanding of environmental redox reactions and develop predictive models used for contaminant remediation and prevention strategies. He is a the recipient of the American Chemical Society C. Ellen Gonter Environmental Chemistry Paper Award and the Telluride Science Research Center's Peter Salamon Award for Young Scientists. 

- Paul Medvedev, assistant professor of computer science and engineering and assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, received his doctorate from the University of Toronto and prior to joining Penn State was a post-doctoral scholar at the University of California at San Diego. In 2011, Medvedev was named one of "Tomorrow's PIs" by Genome Technology Magazine and currently holds a Quiggle Career Developmental Professorship. His research focuses on the interface of biology with theoretical computer science. His interests also lie in other areas such as phylogenetics, graph theory, computational complexity and online algorithms.

- Alfonso Mejia, assistant professor of civil engineering, holds a bachelor's in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Maryland and a master's and doctorate in water resources management from Colorado State University. His work focuses on hydrologic phenomena and processes at the basin scale through novel modeling techniques, concepts and data sets; clarifying the link between hydrology and other disciplines such as geomorphology and land use change; employing data to characterize the space-time structure of hydrologic related variables such as precipitation, terrain, land cover and soil moisture; and applying hydrologic theory and knowledge to improve engineering design and assist decision making.

- Aleksandra Radlinska, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, received her doctorate from Purdue University in 2008 after earning a bachelor's and master's in civil engineering with a specialty in structural engineering from Western Pomeranian Technological University in 2004. Her research interests include cement and concrete in sustainable design, durability, shrinkage and cracking of concrete, reliability-based analysis of the behavior of construction materials and using alternative cement binders with reduced C02 emission.

- Chaopeng Shen, assistant professor of civil engineering, received his doctorate in environmental engineering from Michigan State University. His areas of interest include large-scale hydrology, computational hydrology, land surface processes, water-carbon-nutrient interactions under global change, scale issues, subsurface reactive transport modeling and high performance computing.

- Michelle Vigeant, assistant professor of acoustics and architectural engineering, obtained her doctorate in engineering with a focus on architectural acoustics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2008 and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta, Canada. Her research includes architectural acoustics, specifically measurement parameters and subjective impression of room acoustics. She is a member of the Acoustical Society of America and the American Society for Engineering Education.

- Tak Sing Wong will join the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering as an assistant professor in January. He received his doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering department at University of California, Los Angeles. He received his bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on biologically inspired engineering concepts to create materials with extreme wetting and adhesion properties for a broad range of environmental conditions with applications in material science, biomedicine and energy. He is currently a Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, where he is affiliated with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

- Jian Yang, associate professor of bioengineering, received his doctorate in polymeric biomaterials from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2002. His research investigates the methodology of functional biomaterial development and use the biomaterials as tools to solve unmet clinical problems. Current research includes the development of citrate-based biodegradable elastomers, cardiovascular tissue engineering, cancer drug delivery and imaging, nerve tissue engineering, regulating stem cell fate via functional polymers, orthopedic devices and bone tissue engineering, bio-inspired adhesive hydrogels and medical devices.

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Last Updated September 18, 2012