Stevens Faculty Expands With 24 New Professors

8/16/2013

Stevens’ three schools and one college will become larger and more prestigious this fall with the addition of 24 new faculty members – including 19 regular and five visiting professors – who bring extensive domestic and international experience as researchers, teachers, innovators and leaders in academia and industry.

The professors will join the university’s roster of more than 350 faculty members who are committed to instilling new knowledge in Stevens’ undergraduate and graduate students while also supporting their personal growth. 

Hailing from Princeton, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Georgia Tech, Cal Tech, Maryland and even Stevens, they also promise to advance Stevens’ mission to drive technological solutions to global problems through research, in fields such as aircraft flight dynamics, data mining, brain-computer interfaces, next generation networks, and much more.

“These professors are not only highly respected experts in the scientific, business and humanities communities, but they are innovative, collaborative and engaging teachers who will help Stevens students realize their full potential in the classroom and beyond,” said Stevens Provost George Korfiatis.

Read below for brief biographies of the new Stevens faculty members who will join the university community in fall 2013.

Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science

Matt Burlick, assistant teaching professor of computer science, received his Ph.D. in computer science from Stevens, where he worked under Professor George Kamberov on computer vision research. Prior to Stevens, he taught mathematics and computer science at Holy Family Academy High School in Bayonne, N.J.

Richard Eitel, teaching associate professor of chemical engineering and materials science, joins Stevens from the University of Kentucky, where he taught and researched in solid-state materials and micro-devices. He received his Ph.D. degree in materials science and engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Elisabeth Fassman, associate professor of civil, environmental and ocean engineering, received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on field-scale evaluation of storm-water management devices, with particular emphasis on emerging “low impact” and green infrastructure technologies for receiving water protection. She joins Stevens after serving in the faculty of the University of Auckland, New Zealand as senior lecturer.

Marcus Rutner, associate professor of civil, environmental and ocean engineering, holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Technical University Munich. His research interests are multiscale material damage characterization through computational and experimental mechanics, development of innovative materials and structure design. Previously, Rutner was a senior research engineer at the Applied Science Department of Weidlinger Associates Inc.    

Serban Sabau, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. His research interests are in decentralized decision making and control, sparse modeling and optimization in networked systems. Previously, he was a post-doctoral fellow with the electrical and systems engineering department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mishah Uzziél Salman, teaching assistant professor of mechanical engineering, earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Drexel University. His primary research interests are in the area of control systems with failure accommodation, with applications that include the flight dynamics of aircraft with failed actuators and the resolution of dynamic complications arising in the guidance, navigation and control of gun-launched spinning projectiles.

Negar Tavassolian, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests include radio frequency (RF) and microwave technologies for biomedical applications, bioelectromagnetics, and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). She joins Stevens after a postdoctoral research at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Fei Tian, research assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science received her Ph.D. in materials engineering from Stevens. Her cutting-edge work on the development of photonic crystal fiber optic sensors has been recognized and funded by SPIE, the not-for-profit society which advances emerging technologies.

Ramana Vinjamuri, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, is an expert in brain-computer interfaces. Previously, he was an assistant research professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He is an associate editor of two journals in biomedical engineering and holds a Mary E. Switzer Merit Fellowship from National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

The College of Arts and Letters

Benjamin Ogden, teaching assistant professor of writing and communications, holds a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University. His dissertation tracks the evolution of J.M. Coetzee’s studies of literary form. His research interests include 20th century Anglophone fiction, transnationalism, post-apartheid South African literature, stylistics and linguistic criticism, psychoanalysis, and the history of how writers discuss the craft of writing.

Jeff Thompson, assistant professor of visual arts and technology, holds an MFA from Rutgers University. Previously he was assistant professor of new genres and digital arts at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln where he was also artist-in-residence at the Holland Computing Center, the supercomputing facility for the University of Nebraska system. He has exhibited and performed his work internationally.

Jason Vredenburg, teaching assistant professor of writing and communications, holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois, where his dissertation examined how the automobile and automobile culture have shaped and been shaped by literary and cultural texts. His essay “What Happens in Vegas: Hunter S. Thompson’s Political Philosophy,” recently appeared in the Journal of American Studies.

Howe School of Technology Management

Hamed Ghoddusi, assistant professor of finance, was previously a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, conducting research in macro-finance, asset pricing, investment, energy and environmental finance, and public policy. He holds a Ph.D. in finance from the Vienna Graduate School of Finance in Austria. 

Ted Lappas, assistant professor of information systems, was previously a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University, conducting research in data mining, machine learning, information retrieval and search algorithms, natural language processing, social media and analytics. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California at Riverside.

Adriana Madzharov, assistant professor of marketing, holds a Ph.D. in marketing from Baruch College, the City University of New York. Her research interest is consumer behavior, with a particular focus on sensory marketing.

Ying Wu, assistant professor of economics, holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University. Her research interests include asset pricing, international finance, and financial economics.

Ricardo Collado, assistant professor of operations, was previously a researcher in the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University. He holds a Ph.D. in operations research from Rutgers University. His research interests are in stochastic optimization, risk management, and applications of operations research in energy and other areas.

School of Systems and Enterprises

Michael Pennock, assistant professor of systems engineering, has worked as a senior systems engineer in various lead technical roles for the Northrop Grumman Corporation.  He holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research has focused on understanding systemic issues in the defense acquisition system.

Ricardo Pineda, director of systems programs, joins Stevens from the University of Texas at El Paso, where he was the AT&T Distinguished Professorship in the college of engineering, chair of the manufacturing and systems engineering department, and director of the Research Institute for Manufacturing & Engineering Systems. He had a 20 year career in industry as AT&T, ITESM and Siemens. His research interests include next generation networks and network centric systems, service systems engineering and model based systems engineering. He holds a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Lehigh University.

Visiting Faculty

Parisa Pour Shahid Saeed Abadi, visiting assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests are in design, synthesis and mechanics of advanced materials with a special focus on the mechanical behavior of carbon nanotube forests, nanomaterial synthesis and the evaluation of quasi-static and viscoelastic properties of polymers.

Wilson Felder, visiting distinguished service professor of systems engineering, holds a Ph.D. in environmental science from the University of Virginia. His research interests include the taxonomy of complex systems, theories of technical leadership, and the automation of aircraft production. He has held top R&D positions within the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), co-chaired the Aeronautics Science and Technology subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council, and served for 24 years as an active and reserve Naval Officer. 

Nicholaus Parziale, visiting assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received his Ph.D. in aeronautics from California Institute of Technology. The focus of his research has been the characterization of hypervelocity boundary layer instabilities and the prediction of the laminar-turbulent transition for high-speed boundary layers, which is critical to hypersonic vehicle design.

Danial Shahmirzadi, visiting assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, and joins Stevens after completing a postdoctoral research scientist position in biomedical engineering at Columbia University. His research interests include the noninvasive multiscale characterization of vascular biomechanics, the diagnosis of vascular diseases using viscoelastic mechanical testing, and cell-, tissue- and organ-scale simulations of heart-valve biomechanics in health and diseases.

Themis Veleni, visiting assistant professor of arts and technology, received her Ph.D. in history of art from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Prior to joining Stevens she served as a guest lecturer at the Columbia University and at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. An art historian and musician, she specializes in 20th century art history, theory and practice.