New Faces on Campus; Stevens Welcomes Twenty New Professors

10/19/2011

Stevens Institute of Technology has added twenty new professors to its roster of 438 educators as the university executes against its core mission to create new knowledge and educate students to lead in innovation and scientific discovery.

At Stevens, faculty hiring is administered through the Office of the Provost, George Korfiatis. The faculty additions were made with the core mission as part of the application process. The university hires with four goals to achieve that mission in mind; providing students with the experiences, cultivating personal development, creating knowledge through research and nurturing an innovative environment.
 
"We’re looking for innovation in terms of the faculty becoming very creative in the way they impart knowledge in the classroom,” says Korfiatis. “Faculty needs to become very creative in the methods, tools and technologies that they use to make the classroom exciting and the learning process exciting so that students can achieve the outcomes they need for today’s workplace.”
 
The university also has its eye on becoming a Top 50 research facility in the next year.
 
“The other area where we want new faculty to contribute is our research focus. We want our faculty to be able to achieve new knowledge and bring that new knowledge into application.”
 
Stevens already has a strong point of view bridging classroom experience with the workplace. The Solar Decathlon competition was one way students gained real-life knowledge and experience. The student team scored two first places in the national program to build a sustainable house. The university’s co-op program with dozens of companies continues to turn out students with the equivalent of entry-level work experience under their belt.
 
A look at the new additions:
School of Engineering and Science
 
Prof. Washington Braida, who joined Stevens in 2001 as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Center for Environmental Science, became a Research Assistant Professor in 2002 and was promoted to Research Associate Professor in 2007. This year he will continue as a regular Associate Professor with both teaching and research responsibilities.
 
Prior to joining Stevens, Prof. Braida worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, during 1999-2001 and as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Soil and Water Division of Iowa State University, in Ames during 1997-98.
 
Braida obtained his Doctorate in Environmental Engineering from Iowa State University in 1997. Prior to that he obtained a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering from the Brooklyn Polytechnic in 1994 and Bachelors and Masters degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, respectively form the Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, Uruguay in 1979 and 1982, respectively.
 
His research focuses on Environmental sustainability; Industrial ecology; Life Cycle Assessment application; Remediation and fate & transport of heavy metals and organic pollutants in soil, sediment and water environments; Remedial technologies for contaminated wastewater and groundwater; Environmental compatibility of consumer products (fate and biotransformation of consumer products when placed in the environment).
 
Prof. Gang Hua has joined Stevens as an Associate Professor in Computer Science.
 
Dr. Hua received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in June 2006 from Northwestern University. Prior to that he obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Xian Jiao-Tong University, China during 1999 and 2002, respectively.
 
His research interests are in computer vision, pattern recognition, large-scale multimedia analytics, and applied machine learning. In particular, his research attempts to analyze the massive unstructured online visual media, and transform them into structured visual knowledge for various applications, such as image and video sharing, search, indexing, management, recognition, and social events prediction.
 
Prof. Narayan Ganesan joins Stevens with a strong background in computer architecture, hybrid and high performance computing to be used in mathematical modeling of large and complex systems.
 
He earned his Doctorate in 2006 from Washington University in St. Louis, Electrical and Systems Engineering department with his thesis in Quantum Computing and Control. After graduation he worked at the School of Medicine for a year, where he developed mathematical models to describe the behavior of neuronal systems. He then joined the department of Computer Science and Engineering at Washington University as a postdoctoral researcher, where he developed algorithms for hybrid and high performance computing. One of the main research topics he studied was optimizing computational biology algorithms on a combination of FPGA, GPU and multi-core platforms. He then joined the University of Delaware as a research scientist in 2010. He was the lead scientist behind the development of highly optimized molecular modeling and a simulation suite for GPUs that is capable of computing dynamics of millions of particles. This project combined both modeling aspect as well the high performance computing aspect. This simulation suite is now currently distributed for free to further progress in bio-molecular sciences.
 
Dr. Yazan Manna joins the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stevens on a full-time basis as a Lecturer. He will teach in the general areas of Machine design, Engineering Mechanics, Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Engineering and Thermal Engineering.
 
His research interests include: The development of rehabilitation systems, biomechanics and mechatronics. He earned his Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in 2010. His doctoral dissertation focused on the Motion Coordination and Control associated with the Development of a Gait Rehabilitation System. The research involves the design of a gait pattern generation module, which consists of a pair of close chain linkage mechanisms. This module provides coordinated movement of the hip and knee joints according to normal physiological gait patterns. The research developed unique methods for the motion control and coordination of the pair of linkage mechanisms. He also holds a M.S in Mechanical Engineering from NJIT with a master’s thesis on “A Gait Generation Mechanism for Leg Rehabilitation Therapy”, and a Bask in Mechatronics Engineering from The Hashemite University in Jordan.
 
Dr. Vladimir Lukic joins Stevens as a Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics. He was a Post-doctoral researcher from 2007 – 2020, at the Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on Biomedical imaging. The topic addresses an inverse problem in infrared imaging with structured sources, non-linear inverse problem in optical imaging. Prior to that he served as a post-doctoral researcher from 2005 – 2007, at the Department of Physics, University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada, where he focused on Condensed matter physics: point contacts with two-band superconductors, superconductivity on graphs and networks and ion channeling in carbon nano-tubes.
 
He received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2005 and his Bachelors degree from the the University of Belgrade, Serbia in 1997. His current research focus includes biomedical imaging mesoscopic physics.
 
Dr. Sufian Abedrabbo joins Stevens as a Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics. He received his doctorate in 1998, Masters in 1997 and Bachelors in 1993 in applied physics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
 
His research interests include optoelectronics and Silicon light emitting diodes; thin film photovoltaics; crystalline silicon photovoltaics; hybrid devices and the concentration of solar power.
 
Prior to Stevens, he worked first as an Assistant Professor and then as an Associate Professor at the University of Jordan, where he was responsible for teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in physics. His research at the University of Jordan focused on the processing Si-light emitting diodes through Ion-beam surface modification of Si-Ge and rare-earth metals, physical vapor deposition, and spin-coating of sol-gel.
 
Dr. Abedrabbo has also worked in the industry focusing on renewable energy projects; served as consultant to USAID subcontractors; and was the advisor to the CEO of Jordan Investment with regional investment responsibilities.
 
School of Technology Management
 
Prof. Dominic Lepore joins the School of Technology Management as the Director of Project Management and Industry Professor. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1992 and has over 18 years of experience implementing new processes and systems to improve business operations. He is an expert in all aspects of project management, including scope, schedule and cost management techniques. He has extensive application experience in business software, specifically in financial, payroll, reporting and supply chain systems.
 
His recent experience includes implementing project management methodologies at various industries and coordinating a world-wide $10 billion budget process for Microsoft’s Sales and Marketing division, designing a business intelligence solution for Microsoft's Operations division. He began his career as a Systems Engineer working on large aerospace programs for the U.S. Government.
 
Prof. Linda M. Pittenger joins the School of Technology Management as the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Distinguished Service Professor. She holds an MBA and Bachelors degree in Psychology from Jacksonville University and Advanced Management degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She plans to complete her Doctorate in Management from the Case Western Reserve University by 2012.
 
Her academic experience includes Executive Professorship at the University of Virginia for the past 11 years and adjunct faculty experience at the North Carolina State University during the past year.
 
She has extensive industrial experience, spanning more than three decades. Most of her tenure has been at the senior management level covering human resources and personnel management focused on IT organizations.
 
She is the founder president and CEO of people3, the leading authority on IT Human Capital Management, which offers consulting, research, and software solutions for IT personnel and organization. Since 2005 she has been the Managing Principal of the Pittenger Group, a strategic HR and IT consultancy, working with C- level executives for some of the world's largest companies.
 
Prof. Winter Mason joins the School of Technology Management as an Assistant Professor. He received his doctorate in Cognitive Science and Social Psychology from the Indiana University in 2007 and a Bachelors degree with a concentration in cognitive psychology from the University of Pittsburg in 2003. Prior to joining Stevens he was a post-doctoral research fellow for three years at the Yahoo Research Corp. His academic experience includes laboratory instructorship at the Indiana University.
 
He is a member of the American Psychological Society, the Cognitive Science Society, and the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, among others. He serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Social Psychology and Personality Science, and the Journal of Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, among others.
 
Prof. Vartuhi Tonoian joins the School of Technology Management as an Assistant Professor. Prior to joining Stevens, she was a visiting scholar at the Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Prof. Tonoian holds Diploma of Economics degree (with distinction) from Armenia as well as the Doctorate Degree in Management (summa cum laude) from the University of Mannheim in Germany - an internationally accredited and one of the leading German universities in management, economics and social sciences.  She has held various academic positions at the Mannheim University, including the position of an Assistant Professor of Management in the School of Business as well as the Head of the Entrepreneurship Research Division at the Mannheim’s Institute for SME Research.  She designed and implemented the first lecture on entrepreneurship at the Mannheim University, and held various entrepreneurship courses at Master and PhD-levels. 
 
Her publications have appeared in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation as well as Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. She is a recipient of the Top Reviewer Award of the Journal of Business Venturing, the Best Paper Award of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management as well as the Best Reviewer Award of the International Management Division of the Academy of Management. She serves on the editorial board of several entrepreneurship journals. Prof. Tonoian has wide experiences in the acquisition and implementation of entrepreneurship related research projects, funded by the German government, research foundations as well as international organizations. She is a member of various academic associations, such as the VhB, FGF, and the Academy of Management. She consulted with the UN on small business development and corruption in developing economies.     
 
Her research interests and fields include bio-technology entrepreneurship, emergence of new industries, clusters, innovation, strategic alliances, corruption, development economics, gender, and labor markets.
 
School of Systems and Enterprises
 
Prof. Mark Blackburn joins the Software Engineering program of the School of Systems and Enterprises as a Research Associate Professor and Director of Technical Programs.
 
Prof. Blackburn has more than 25 years of software systems engineering experience in development, management and applied research of process, methods and tools. He is currently involved in consulting, applied research, training, strategic planning, proposal and business development. He is also developing and applying methods and tools to software and system engineering. He has authored more than 100 papers covering a broad spectrum of topics such as modeling, requirements engineering, verification, software safety, security, reliability, automatic test vector generation, formal methods, and measurement.
 
Prof. Blackburn is a Fellow at the Systems and Software Consortium (SSCI) and T-VEC Technologies Principal. Prior to joining SSCI, Dr. Blackburn was the lead project engineer at Allied-Signal developing a product family of real-time embedded safety-critical avionics systems, where he was involved in five FAA certifications. Prior to joining Allied-Signal, he was a software engineer at Honeywell, where he helped develop a software tool suite for a design methodology.
 
Dr. Blackburn obtained his Bachelors degree from Arizona State University and masters degree from Florida Atlantic University, both in mathematics, and his Doctoral degree from the George Mason University in Information Technology.
 
Prof. David Starer joins the Financial Engineering program of the School of Systems and Enterprises as an Industry Professor.
 
Prof. Starer has 20 years of experience in quantitative equity research for institutional fund managers, which include positions at Jacobs Levy Equity Management, Delaware Investments, and Lend Lease Investment Management. He is also a patent agent, and has worked for intellectual property law firms such as Fish and Neave in New York, and F. B. Rice in Sydney Australia. In addition, he has taught electronics and signal processing at the University of Wollongong, Australia.
 
Prof. Starer’s research interests are in portfolio optimization, numerical methods in finance, and the application of real-time signal processing to investments. His work is published in the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, the Journal of Investing, the Financial Analysts Journal, and the Journal of Portfolio Management, from which he received an outstanding article award.
 
Prof. Starer obtained his BSc in electrical engineering from the University of Cape Town, his MEng in microelectronics from the University of Pretoria, and his PhD in electrical engineering from Yale University, where he was a research fellow in the Center for Systems Science. 
 
Prof. Debra Facktor Lepore joins the School of Systems and Enterprises as a Industry Professor, Program Director of Technical Leadership Program, and Director of Strategic Programs of the SERC (Systems Engineering Research Center.)
 
She is a rocket scientist and “serial entrepreneur,” with over 20 years experience in the aerospace industry, nearly all of which involved start-up projects or companies. In her faculty appointment as Industry Professor at Stevens, Prof. Lepore serves at the executive level to advance and grow Systems Engineering education and research via new programs and projects and is a key faculty member of Stevens’ inaugural Master’s of Engineering in Technical Leadership program.
 
She works with key industry and government sponsors in the space, aerospace, and defense domains, and facilitates outreach with partner organizations such as the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Women in Aerospace (WIA), and the International Space University (ISU). 
 
Prof. Facktor Lepore also serves as Director of Strategic Programs for the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) that Stevens leads for the Department of Defense, with 20 collaborating schools and over 200 researchers around the country.
 
Prof. Stan Rifkin joins the School of Systems and Enterprises as a Research Professor and Director of Technical Programs.
 
Prof. Rifkin is the Director of Technical Programs at the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), a Department of Defense University-Affiliated Research Center operated by Stevens Institute of Technology, where he is Research Professor in the School of Systems and Enterprises. Prior to SERC and Stevens, he was a program manager with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and with Master Systems Inc., an advisory services firm that helps organizations improve the processes they used to manage and develop systems.
 
Prof. Rifkin had been the chief information officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He had also been a visiting scientist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), in Geneva. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration (quantitative methods) from California State University, a master’s degree in computer science at UCLA's School of Engineering and Applied Science, and a doctorate in organizational analysis at the George Washington University.
 
College of Arts & Letters
 
Prof. Diana Bush joins the College of Arts and Letters as an Affiliate Assistant Professor in humanities. Her research focuses on Art History and has been well recognized through the award of several fellowships. Since 1997 she has designed, developed and taught a number of courses in Art History at New York University, Hunter College, Barnard College, Columbia University, the Museum of Modern Art and Stevens.
 
Prof. Bush obtained her Bachelor of Arts in History from Columbia University, Master of Arts in Art History from New York University, Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy in Art History from Columbia University.
 
Prof. Michael Downie joins the College of Arts and Letters as an Affiliate Assistant Professor in humanities. His work focuses on English Literature and writing and he has been well recognized through the award of several grants and contracts. Prior to joining Stevens, Prof. Downie was an Assistant Professor of English at the State University of New York Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY. He has produced several screen-plays and collaborated on the production of several documentaries, plays and films. 
 
Prof. Downie received his Bachelors degree in Psychology from Tufts University and a Masters degree in English and American Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing from New York University.
 
Prof. Robin Hammerman joins the College of Arts and Letters as an Affiliate Assistant Professor in humanities. Her research and teaching focus include Literature and Literacy, Milton and the Long Eighteenth Century, British Romanticism and the Long Nineteenth Century, Science Fiction, Women's Studies, Cultural Studies. Since 1993 she has taught at the Yeshiva Gedolah Academy, the Long Island University, The City University of New York and Stevens.
 
Prof. Hammerman received her Bachelors degree from Long Island University, her Masters degree from the City University of New York and her Doctorate from Drew University, all in the field of English Literature.
 
Prof. Billy Middleton joins the College of Arts and Letters as an Affiliate Assistant Professor in humanities. His teaching and research focus involve fiction and writing. He has taught various courses on fiction writing and writing technology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has several publications and presentations in writing and fiction and has been an active participant in Community Literacy Outreach Initiatives.
 
Prof. Middleton received his Bachelors degree in English from the Mississippi College and his Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi, both in the field of Creative Writing - Fiction.
 
Prof. Joyce Mullan joins the College of Arts and Letters as an Affiliate Assistant Professor in humanities. Her research and teaching focus include Contemporary and Ancient Political and Moral Philosophy, Rhetoric and Philosophy, Philosophical Anthropology, Philosophy of Education, Moral Consideration of Animals, Environmental Ethics, The Enlightenment and its historical reversals, History of Subjectivity, History of Science, Jurisprudence, Philosophy of Literature and Film, among others. She has published and taught extensively during the past two decades.
 
Prof. Mullan received her Bachelors degree in Political Science from the San Francisco State University and her Masters and Doctorate degrees from the New School for Social Research specializing in Philosophy.
 
Prof. Mary Whitney joins the College of Arts and Letters as an Affiliate Assistant Professor in humanities. Her research focuses on the development of criteria for writing examinations and inventory, evaluation and adaptation of online writing laboratories, among others. She is the recipient of several grants and fellowships and founder president of Robin Whitney Ink, a marketing consultancy specializing in Integrated Marketing Communications, brand image-building strategy and launches. Since 1998 she has taught various courses on Economics, English, Writing, Humanities, and Marketing at the City College, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Baruch College, and Stevens.
 
Prof. Whitney received her Bachelors degree in French from Rutgers University and her Masters and Doctorate degrees from New York University specializing in French studies.