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New Faculty — Year 2014-15

The College takes pride in bringing exceptional new faculty to NC State. Since 2000, more than 90 of our faculty members have earned prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER awards, among the top honors given by the federal agency to early-career faculty in science and engineering.

Annual Lists

Lists of new faculty members for previous years going back to 2011 are available. Use the sidebar links to navigate to the desired year.

Information on each faculty member is relevant to the year the faculty member joined the College of Engineering. Check the departments’ websites for more current information.

UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Matthew Fisher

Assistant Professor
PhD (2010), University of Pittsburgh

Research Interests: Regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, orthopaedic soft tissues, bioscaffolds and robotics

Fisher received his BS in biomedical engineering from Columbia University, followed by a PhD in bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh. Before joining the faculty at NC State, Fisher completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He joined NC State in January 2014 as a Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire in translational regenerative medicine.

Fisher’s long-term research goal is to utilize quantitative metrics and engineering principles to understand why individual tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches succeed within the body and employ this knowledge to develop superior technologies, with a strong focus on musculoskeletal soft tissues. Specific areas of interest include bioscaffolds, prediction of outcomes following implantation, and assessment of function following treatment. Fisher will work closely with his colleagues within the regenerative medicine cluster to develop and evaluate functional and scaleable scaffolds for enhanced tissue regeneration.

  • Fisher, M.B., Henning E.A., Söegaard N.B., Dodge G.R., Steinberg D.R., Mauck R.L. Maximizing Cartilage Formation and Integration via a Novel Trajectory-based Tissue Engineering Approach. Biomaterials, 35: 2140-2148, 2014.
  • Fisher, M.B., Henning, E.A, Söegaard, N., Esterhai, J.L., Mauck, R.L. Organized Nanofibrous Scaffolds That Mimic the Macroscopic and Microscopic Architecture of the Knee Meniscus. Acta Biomaterialia, 9(1): 4496-4504, 2013.
  • Fisher, M.B., Woo, S.L-Y., Zamarra, G., Jung, H-J., Almarza, A.J., Liang, R., and McMahon, P.J. Potential of Healing a Transected Anterior Cruciate Ligament with Genetically-Modified Extracellular Matrix Bioscaffolds in a Goat Model. 1, 20: 1357-1365, 2012.
  • Fisher, M.B. and Mauck, R.L. Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine: Recent Innovations and the Transition to Translation. Tissue Engineering: Part B, 19(1):1-13, 2013.

Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Alex Albert

Assistant Professor
PhD (2013), University of Colorado, Boulder

Research Interests: Construction safety and health, hazard recognition and management, situational awareness, injury prevention, construction hazards prevention through design (CHPtD), and experimental research

Albert earned his PhD in civil engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2013. He also received an MS in structural engineering from Lehigh University in 2010. His primary research expertise is in the area of construction safety with a particular focus on hazard recognition, risk quantification, situational awareness, injury prevention, design-for-safety, and experimental research on construction projects.

His research work has been published in the ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Construction Management and Economics, Safety Science, the ASSE Journal of Safety Health and Environmental Research and other publications. He received the best paper award from the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction in 2012, the American Society for Engineering Education in 2013 and the 2nd best paper award at the Construction Research Congress in 2014. He has actively been involved in research funded by the Construction Industry Institute, ELECTRI International, the National Science Foundation and private companies.

  • Albert, A., Hallowell, M.R., Kleiner, B.M., Chen, A., and Golparvar-Fard, M. (2014) “Enhancing construction hazard recognition with high fidelity augmented virtuality,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, 140(7), 04014024.
  • Albert, A., Hallowell, M.R., and Kleiner, B.M. (2014) “Enhancing construction hazard recognition and communication with energy-based cognitive mnemonics and safety meeting maturity model: A multiple baseline study.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, 140(2), 04013042.
  • Albert, A., and Hallowell, M.R. (2013) “Safety risk assessment for transmission and distribution line work.” Safety Science, 51(1), 118-126.
Dr. Mike Borden

Assistant Professor
The University of Texas at Austin

Research Interests: Computational fracture and damage mechanics, computational mechanics of materials, isogeometric analysis based on NURBS and T-splines, and scientific and high-performance computing

Borden received an MS in computational and applied mathematics, as well as a PhD from the Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics program from The University of Texas at Austin. His doctoral research focused on developing computational methods at the intersection of computational geometry and engineering analysis that enable more efficient simulation of complex material and structural processes. His research provided methods that facilitate the transfer of computer-aided design descriptions to analysis software. He also developed numerical tools for the prediction of failure modes in complex 3D structures.

Borden spent five years working as a computational scientist at Sandia National Laboratories before beginning his PhD. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, Borden was focused on developing predictive tools for material and structural failure. He plans to continue exploring computational methods and technologies that unite analysis and design.

Borden holds an MS in civil engineering and a BS in civil and environmental engineering, both from Brigham Young University.

  • M. J. Borden, T. J. R. Hughes, C. M. Landis, and C. V. Verhoosel. “A higher-order phase-field model for brittle fracture: Formulation and analysis within the isogeometric analysis framework.” Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 273:100–118, 2014.
  • Z. A. Wilson, M. J. Borden, and C. M. Landis. “A phase-field model for fracture in piezoelectric ceramics.” International Journal of Fracture, 183(2):135–153, 2013.
  • M. J. Borden, C. V. Verhoosel, M. A. Scott, T. J. R. Hughes, and C. M. Landis. “A phase-field description of dynamic brittle fracture.” Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 217-220:77–95, 2012.
Doug Call

Assistant Professor
PhD (2011), Penn State University

Research Interests: Resource (energy, nutrients, water) recovery from wastewater, environmental microbiology, microbial fuel cell technologies, water-energy nexus and sustainable sanitation

Call obtained a BS in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia in 2003 and a second BS in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in 2005. He received both his MS and PhD in environmental engineering from Penn State University in 2008 and 2011, respectively.

Prior to joining the NC State faculty, Call was an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University. His research interests lie at the intersection of water and energy. More specifically, he studies technologies that extract energy from unconventional water sources, such as wastewater and salinity gradients. Call focuses on a suite of hybrid biological-electrochemical technologies that recover valuable resources, such as energy, biogas and nutrients from wastewater. To advance these systems, he relies on experimentation using molecular, microbiological and electrochemical techniques.

  • Call, D. F.; Logan, B. E. Lactate oxidation coupled to iron or electrode reduction by Geobacter sulfurreducens. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2011, 77(24), 8791-8794.
  • Call, D. F.; Logan, B. E. A method for high throughput bioelectrochemical research based on small scale microbial electrolysis cells. Biosens. Bioelec.2011, 26(11), 4526-4531.
  • Call, D. F.; Wagner, R. C.; Logan, B. E. Hydrogen production by Geobacter species and a mixed consortium in a microbial electrolysis cell. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2009, 75(24), 7579-7587.
  • Call, D. F.; Merrill, M. D.; Logan, B. E. High surface area stainless steel brushes as cathodes in microbial electrolysis cells. Environ. Sci. Technol.2009, 43(6), 2179-2183.
  • Call, D. F.; Logan, B. E. Hydrogen production in a single chamber microbial electrolysis cell lacking a membrane. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42(9), 3401-3406.
Dr. Jim Levis

Research Assistant Professor
PhD (2013), North Carolina State University

Research Interests: Development and use of novel life-cycle, simulation and optimization models for decision support with primary applications related to integrated waste management, energy systems and sustainable infrastructure

Levis received his BS in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He received his MS and PhD in civil engineering from NC State. Prior to joining the NC State faculty, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at NC State.

Presently he is developing and using a life-cycle optimization framework to analyze the interrelated effects of electricity and transportation systems and greenhouse gas policies on sustainable solid waste management and resource recovery. He is also investigating the most sustainable ways to recover nutrients and energy from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW), as well as exploring sustainable long-term management of MSW for local communities. Additionally, Levis is developing a dynamic life-cycle optimization model capable of estimating optimal configurations and process choices for photosynthetic bioreactors used in microalgae-to-biofuel systems.

  • Levis, J. W., Barlaz, M. A., DeCarolis, J. F., Ranjithan, S. R. (2014). A Systematic Exploration of Efficient Strategies to Manage Solid Waste in U.S. Municipalities: Perspectives from the Solid Waste Optimization Life-Cycle Framework (SWOLF). Environ Sci Technol. 48(7): 3625-3631
  • Levis, J. W., Barlaz, M. A., DeCarolis, J. F., Ranjithan, S. R. (2013). A generalized multistage optimization modeling framework for life cycle assessment-based integrated solid waste management. Environ. Modell. Softw. 50(2013): 51-65.
  • Levis, J. W., Barlaz, M. A. (2011). What is the Most Environmentally Beneficial Way to Treat Commercial Food Waste? Environ Sci Technol. 45(17): 7438-7444.
  • Levis, J. W., Barlaz, M. A. (2011). Is Biodegradability a Desirable Attribute for Discarded Solid Waste? Perspectives from a National Landfill Greenhouse Gas Inventory Model. Environ Sci Technol. 45(13): 5470-5476.
Dr. Daniel Obenour

Assistant Professor
PhD (2013), University of Michigan

Research Interests: Water quality and watershed modeling, probabilistic environmental forecasting using bayesian/hierarchical methods and geospatial statistics

Obenour received a BS in civil engineering from the University of Akron. He received an MS in environmental and water resources engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in natural resources and environmental engineering from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the NC State faculty, he was a lecturer and postdoctoral fellow, conducting research at the University of Michigan Water Center and the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

Obenour has a broad background in environmental and water resources engineering. At The University of Texas, Obenour developed GIS approaches for creating, managing and visualizing hydrologic and hydraulic modeling information. As a consulting engineer, he developed watershed and water quality models to address environmental impairments in streams and reservoirs. Presently, his research involves the development of probabilistic modeling approaches for assessing how natural and anthropogenic stressors affect water quality in lakes and estuaries and for assessing how these systems will respond to future management and climate conditions. His current work is largely focused on harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) along the Gulf of Mexico coast. He looks forward to expanding his research to address environmental issues in North Carolina in the coming years.

  • Obenour, D.R., A.M. Michalak, & D. Scavia. (2014 – In Press). Assessing biophysical control on Gulf of Mexico hypoxia through probabilistic modeling. Ecological Applications.
  • Obenour, D.R., D. Scavia, N.N. Rabalais, R.E. Turner, & A.M. Michalak (2013). Retrospective analysis of mid-summer hypoxic area and volume in the northern Gulf of Mexico, 1985-2011. Environmental Science and Technology, 47(17), 9808–9815.
  • Zhou, Y., D.R. Obenour, D. Scavia, T.H. Johengen, & A.M. Michalak. (2013). Spatial and temporal trends in Lake Erie hypoxia, 1987-2007. Environmental Science and Technology, 47(2), 899-905.

MS (1992), NC State University

Welton joined the department with more than 24 years of practicing experience as a structural engineer and with more than 14 years of having his own structural engineering consulting firm. Welton began his engineering education at NC State in 1984. After completing his BS in 1988, he continued at NC State and obtained an MS in civil engineering in 1992. After working for several different firms and gaining diverse structural engineering experience with different types of buildings and structures, Welton then founded his own consulting firm, Welton Structural Design, PC (WSD) in 2000. Projects completed by WSD are both new and renovations of existing buildings that include schools, institutional buildings, office buildings and anti-terrorism/force protection building upgrades. Welton is a registered professional engineer in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Welton has participated in all aspects of a project’s development through investigations, schematic design, value engineering, contract documents, construction administration and special inspections. His understanding and experience with the entire building design and construction process provides him with a unique perspective that he is able to share with the students. Welton also welcomes open communication and teamwork while maintaining his commitment to the profession and the public to which he serves. This simple approach has provided success for WSD, and it is a critical component that Welton strives to share with the students at NC State as a part of their education as they begin their own careers.

Welton currently teaches the steel design class, CE 426, and the senior design class, CE 420, in the department.

  • Schultz, A. E., Welton, S. S., and Rey, L. E., (1994). Sustained Load Effects on the Seismic Performance of Concrete Columns. Fifth U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, July 1994.
  • Welton, S. S. and Schultz, A. E., (1992). Effects of Sustained Load on the Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Columns: Part 2 – Experiment. Department of Civil Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh.

Department of Computer Science

Dr. Guoliang Jin

Assistant Professor
PhD (expected 2014), University of Wisconsin–Madison

Research Interests: Systems, software reliability, program analysis, and software engineering, focusing on solving issues caused by concurrency bugs and performance bugs

Jin is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison; he expects to finish his PhD at the end of 2014. He received his BE in computer science and technology from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2007.

Jin’s research areas are software systems and software reliability, with a focus on understanding, detecting, diagnosing, and fixing concurrency bugs and performance bugs. His work on automated concurrency-bug fixing received a SIGPLAN CACM nomination with the comment, “this is one of the first papers to attack the problem of automated bug fixing.”

  • Bill Harris, Guoliang Jin, Shan Lu, and Somesh Jha. “Validating Library Usage Interactively.” In Proceedings of the 25th international conference on Computer Aided Verification, CAV ’13, July 2013.
  • Guoliang Jin, Wei Zhang, Dongdong Deng, Ben Liblit, and Shan Lu. “Automated Concurrency-Bug Fixing.” In Proceedings of the 10th USENIX Conference on Operating Systems Design and Implementation, OSDI ’12, October 2012.
  • Guoliang Jin, Linhai Song, Xiaoming Shi, Joel Scherpelz, and Shan Lu. “Understanding and Detecting Real-World Performance Bugs.” In Proceedings of the 33rd ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, PLDI ’12, June 2012.
  • Guoliang Jin, Linhai Song, Wei Zhang, Shan Lu, and Ben Liblit. “Automated Atomicity- Violation Fixing.” In Proceedings of the 32nd ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, PLDI ’11, June 2011.
  • Guoliang Jin, Aditya Thakur, Ben Liblit, and Shan Lu. “Instrumentation and Sampling Strategies for Cooperative Concurrency Bug Isolation.” In Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Object Oriented Programming Systems Languages and Applications, OOPSLA ’10, October 2010.
Dr. Tim Menzies

PhD (1995), University of New South Wales, Australia

Research Interests: Software engineering and data mining and AI and search-based SE and open science

Menzies received his BS in computer science from the University of New South Wales, as well as his MS in cognitive science and PhD in artificial intelligence. He has previously served as NASA’s software engineering research chair (IV&V Center, Fairmont, USA). Prior to joining the NC State faculty, he was an associate professor of computer science at West Virginia University.

Presently he studies how to combine human and artificial intelligence for applications in software engineering, as well as other fields such as health science and cockpit design. He is the author of more than 200 refereed publications and is one of the 100 most cited authors in software engineering (out of nearly 40,000 researchers). Menzies is the co-founder of the PROMISE conference series devoted to reproducible experiments in software engineering. He is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Empirical Software Engineering, and Automated Software Engineering.

  • Tim Menzies, Andrew Butcher, David R. Cok, Andrian Marcus, Lucas Layman, Forrest Shull, Burak Turhan, Thomas Zimmermann: Local versus Global Lessons for Defect Prediction and Effort Estimation. IEEE Trans. Software Eng. 39(6): 822-834 (2013).
  • Tim Menzies with Fayola Peters, Liang Gong, Hongyu Zhang: Balancing Privacy and Utility in Cross-Company Defect Prediction. IEEE Trans. Software Eng. 39(8): 1054-1068 (2013).
  • Tim Menzies, Adam Brady, Jacky Keung, Jairus Hihn, Steve Williams, Oussama El-Rawas, Phillip Green II, Barry W. Boehm: Learning Project Management Decisions: A Case Study with Case-Based Reasoning versus Data Farming. IEEE Trans. Software Eng. 39(12): 1698-1713 (2013).
  • Tim Menzies with Ekrem Kocaguneli, Ayse Bener, Jacky W. Keung: Exploiting the Essential Assumptions of Analogy-Based Effort Estimation. IEEE Trans. Software Eng. 38(2): 425-438 (2012).
Dr. Chris Parnin

Assistant Professor
PhD (2014), Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Interests: Examines futuristic programming environments that are facilitated by natural interactions, including gestures, and bio-sensing. Examines how mediums such as Stack Overflow enable a crowd of developers to more effectively create software; build tools that can analyze, visualize and harness crowd’s effort; and collects large-scale empirical evidence about software practices and processes

Parnin is a three-time graduate of the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, receiving a PhD in 2014. His research spans the study of software engineering from empirical, HCI and cognitive neuroscience perspectives. He has worked in Human Interactions in Programming groups at Microsoft Research, performed field studies with ABB Research and has more than a decade of professional programming experience in the defense industry.

His research has been recognized through the receipt of the SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award at ICSE 2009, the Best Paper Award at ICPC 2012 and the IBM HVC Most Influential Paper Award 2013; he was also named a Best Paper Nominee at CHI 2010. Game Developer magazine, Hacker Monthly and Huffington Post have featured his work, and Hacker News, Reddit and Slashdot have frequently discussed Parnin’s research.

  • J. Siegmund, C. Kästner, S. Apel, C. Parnin, A. Bethmann, T. Leich, G. Saake, A. Brechmann. 2014, “Understanding Source Code with Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging,” International Conference on Software Engineering.
  • C. Parnin, C. Treude, MA Storey. 2013, “Blogging Developer Knowledge: Motivations, Challenges, and Future Directions,” International Conference on Program Comprehension.
  • C. Parnin, C. Bird, E. Murphy-Hill. 2012, “Adoption and Use of Java generics,” Empirical Software Engineering.
  • C. Parnin, S. Rugaber. 2012, “Programmer Information Needs After Memory Failure,” International Conference on Program Comprehension.
  • C. Parnin, A. Orso. 2011, “Are Automated Debugging Techniques Actually Helping Programmers?,” International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis.
Dr. Xipeng Shen

Associate Professor
PhD (2006), University of Rochester

Research Interests: Compiler and runtime systems; extreme-scale data-intensive computing; accelerator-based heterogeneous high-performance computing (GPU, CELL, etc.); virtual machines and just-in-time compilation; program dynamic optimizations and parallelization; and statistical machine learning

Shen received his MS and PhD in computer science from the University of Rochester. He received an MS in pattern recognition and intelligent systems from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a BE in industrial engineering from North China University of Technology.

Prior to joining NC State, Shen was the Adina Allen Term Distinguished Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the College of William and Mary. He was a visiting researcher at MIT, Microsoft Research, and Intel Labs between 2012 and 2013, and he was an assistant professor at the College of William and Mary from 2006 to 2012. Shen is a recipient of the Early Career Research Award from the US Department of Energy in 2011 and the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2010. He has been an IBM Canada CAS Research Faculty Fellow since 2010.

Shen has been particularly interested in capturing large-scale program behavior patterns, in both data accesses and code executions, and exploiting them for scalable and efficient computing in a heterogeneous, massively parallel environment. His research leverages multidisciplinary techniques, from compiler technology to machine learning, programming languages and computational theory.

  • Zhao, Zhou, and Shen, “SatScore: Uncovering and Avoiding a Principled Pitfall in Responsiveness Measurements of App Launches,” ASPLOS, 2014.
  • Ding, Zhou, Zhao, Eisenstat, Shen, “Finding the Limit: Examining the Potential and Complexity of Compilation Scheduling for JIT-Based Runtime Systems,” ASPLOS, 2014.
  • Wu, Zhao, Shen, Jiang, Gao, Silvera, “Exploiting Inter-Sequence Correlations for Program Behavior Prediction,” OOPSLA, 2012.
Dr. Ranga Raju Vatsavai

Associate Professor
Associate Director of Computational Methods, Center for Geospatial Analytics
PhD (2008), University of Minnesota

Research Interests: Large-scale spatial and spatiotemporal databases and data mining remote sensing, image understanding, and spatial computing high-performance, distributed, and cloud computing

Vatsavai received his MS and PhD in computer science from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. Over the past two decades he has worked at premier research laboratories, including the Center for Advanced Computing in Pune, India; AT&T Labs in Middletown, NJ; the Remote Sensing Lab at the University of Minnesota; IBM-Research in New Delhi; and most recently as the lead data scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Most of his research focused on developing novel and computationally efficient algorithms for extracting patterns from large scale spatial and spatiotemporal databases. Vatsavai’s work on UMN-MapServer has been widely adopted across the world.

Presently Vatsavai is working at the intersection of big data management, data analytics and high-performance computing with applications in national security, geospatial intelligence, natural resources, climate change, location-based services and human terrain mapping. He is serving on program committees of several international conferences, including ACM KDD and ACM GIS, and co-organizing workshops on emerging research themes, including Big Data Analytics with the Supercomputing, BigSpatial with the ACM GIS, and Spatial and Spatiotemporal Data Mining with the IEEE ICDM conference. He has published more than 75 peer-reviewed articles in leading conferences and journals.

  • Vatsavai, R. 2013. “Gaussian multiple instance learning approach for mapping the slums of the world using very high resolution imagery.” ACM KDD: 1419-1426.
  • Vatsavai, R. Graesser, J. 2012. “Probabilistic Change Detection Framework for Analyzing Settlement Dynamics Using Very High-resolution Satellite Imagery. ICCS: 907-916.
  • Chandola, V., and Vatsavai, R. 2011. “A scalable Gaussian process analysis algorithm for biomass monitoring.” Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, 4(4), 430-445.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Daryoosh Vashaee

Associate Professor
PhD (2004), University of California, Santa Cruz

Research Interests: Microelectronics and nanotechnology, thermoelectric and thermionic energy conversion, solar hydrogen production, and materials for tissue engineering

Vashaee has led or contributed to several of the most important discoveries in the area of nanomaterials and devices for thermoelectric energy conversion. He realized that large thermoelectric figure of merit is possible in metal-semiconductor superlattices, provided the foundation and worked out the details. He formulated the effect of non-conservation of transverse momentum in carrier energy filtering in superlattices. His subsequent work with the PIs at the Office of Naval Research MURI Thermionic Energy Conversion Center resulted in the development of ErAs rare earth nanocomposites and ScN/ZrWN multilayers.

His work with several PIs at MIT on nanostructured BiSbTe resulted in a 40 percent increase in its ZT, which opened a new landscape for the development of high-efficiency thermoelectric materials. He developed new materials based on metal silicide nanocomposites, including SiGe-CrSi2, SiGe-FeSi2, SiGe-Mg2Si and MnSi1.7. His work on type VIII Si46 Clathrate predicted an extraordinarily large thermoelectric power factor in this so far hypothetical material structure. Vashaee has published more than 130 technical articles and is the winner of the 2004 Goldsmid Award for research excellence in thermoelectrics. He worked at MIT as a postdoctoral scholar and worked at Oklahoma State University as a member of the electrical and computer engineering faculty. He arrived at NC State in 2014.

  • Simultaneous enhancement of mechanical and thermoelectric properties of polycrystalline magnesium silicide with conductive glass inclusion, N. Satyala, J. S. Krasinski, D. Vashaee, Acta Materialia, 74:141–150 (2014).
  • Prediction of a large number of electron pockets near the band edges in type-VIII clathrate Si46 and its physical properties from first principles, P. Norouzzadeh, C. W. Myles, and D. Vashaee, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter, 25, 475502 (2013).

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Marie Muller

Assistant Professor
PhD (2006), University Paris Diderot, Paris, France

Research Interests: Propagation of acoustic and elastic waves in complex media and application to nondestructive characterization of complex biological media (bone and soft tissue)

Muller received her BS in physics from the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. She received her MS and PhD in physical acoustics from the University Paris Diderot in Paris, France. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Institut Langevin in Paris and later at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Prior to joining the NC State faculty, Muller was an assistant professor with the Institut Langevin, University Paris Diderot.

Presently, she studies the propagation of elastic waves in complex media in order to build models for the assessment of the micro-architectural properties of a medium using ultrasound. She works in tandem with experimental, numerical and theoretical approaches. In particular, she develops methods for the characterization of micro-damage in bone using ultrasound. She also works on elastographic methods based on ultrafast ultrasonic imaging for the measurement of the viscoelastic properties of biological tissue.

  • Muller M., Moilanen P., Bossy E., Nicholson P., Timonen J., Talmant M., Cheng S., Laugier P.: Comparison of three ultrasonic axial transmission methods for bone assessment, Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 31(5), (2005), 633-642.
  • Muller M., Sutin A., Guyer R., Talmant M., Laugier P., Johnson P.: Nonlinear resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (NRUS) applied to damage assessment in bone, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 188(6), (2005).
  • Muller M., Gennisson J.L., Deffieux T., Tanter M., Fink M.: Quantitative viscoelasticity mapping of human liver using Supersonic shear imaging: A feasibility study, Ultrasound Med. Biol., 35(2), (2009) 219-229.
  • Muller M., Renaud G.: Nonlinear acoustics for non-invasive assessment of bone micro-damage, In Quantitative Ultrasound of Bone, Springer, Ed. P. Laugier and G. Haiat, 2010.

Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science

Dr. Ericka Ford

Assistant Professor
The Nonwovens Institute
PhD (2012), Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Interests: Engineering of nanofiller-polymer interphases to develop functional, high-performance fibers; autonomous protection and drug release from multicomponent fibers; sustainable coatings and polymer technologies; and partnerships in support of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education

Ford holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees in polymer, textiles and fiber engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She received an MS in polymer science from the University of Southern Mississippi. As a graduate student, Ford participated in two NSF-supported IGERTs for integrated graduate education and research training, wherein she studied the commercialization of polymers and fiber technologies. Prior to joining the faculty at NC State, she served as a National Research Council postdoctoral awardee in Chemical and Biological Defense, Science and Technology at the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.

In the interest of developing high-performance textiles and fibers, Ford will employ the use of nanotechnology. Carbon nanotubes are examples of filler particles, having dimensions on the scale of 10-9 m. In consequence to their small size and ability to interact with other molecules, they can be used to strengthen polymeric fibers through structural reinforcement and to create smart multi-component textiles.

  • E Ford, N Suthiwangcharoen, P D’Angelo, R Nagarajan, “Role of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes on Ester Hydrolysis and Topography of Electrospun Bovine Serum Albumin/Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Membranes,” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 6 (2014) 11741-11748.
  • E N J Ford, Y V Gilbert, “Displacement Between Orders of Magnitude Method for SI Unit Conversion,” (Communication) Journal of Chemical Education, 90 (2013) 134–136.
  • E Ford, M L Minus, T Liu, J I Choi, S S Jang, S Kumar, “Influence of SWNTs on the Preferential Alignment of Molecular Moieties in PVA Fibers,” Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 213 (2012) 617-626.
Dr. Wei Gao

Assistant Professor
PhD (2012), Rice University

Research Interests: Graphene/graphene oxide-based energy storage systems (supercapacitors, batteries) and their integrations with various textiles for smart bodysuit prototypes; protonic conducting membranes based on graphene derivatives for hydrogen-air fuel cells; and quantum dot synthesis for sensing, catalysis and biological applications

Gao earned her BS and MS in chemistry and analytical chemistry from Nanjing University in China, working on inverse-opal metal structures for electrooxidation in direct methanol fuel cells, as well as for electrochemiluminescence sensing in biological systems. She then started her PhD program working on graphene materials in Professor Pulickel M. Ajayan’s group at Rice University, where she earned her PhD in chemistry in 2012. She was named a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory the same year, where she worked on hydrogen-air fuel cells and supercapacitors with Dr. Andrew Dattelbaum, an NC State alumnus, and Dr. Piotr Zelenay for more than two years.

Gao’s research interests lie at the interface between nanomaterials science and energy-related technologies, such as batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells. She has extensive knowledge and experience in carbon nanomaterial synthesis, modification and characterizations, such as graphene, graphene oxide and carbon nanotubes, as well as device design and fabrication expertise.

  • W. Gao, G. Wu, M. T. Janicke, D. A. Cullen, R. Mukundan, J. K. Baldwin, E. L. Brosha, C. Galande, P. M. Ajayan, K. L. More, A. M. Dattelbaum and P. Zelenay, Ozonated Graphene Oxide Film as a Proton Exchange Membrane, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 14, 3588-3593.
  • W. Gao, N. Singh, L. Song, Z. Liu, A. L. M. Reddy, L. Ci, R. Vajtai, Q. Zhang, B. Wei, and P. M. Ajayan, Direct Laser Writing of Micro-supercapacitors on Hydrated Graphite Oxide Films, Nature Nanotechnology 2011, 6, 496-500.
  • W. Gao, M. Majumder, L. B. Alemany, T. N. Narayanan, M. A. Ibarr, B. K. Pradhan, and P. M. Ajayan, Engineered Graphite Oxide Materials for Application in Water Purification, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2011, 3, 1821-1826.

Engineering Entrepreneurs Program

Marshall Brain

MS (1986), NC State University

Brain serves as part of NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative team and has been director of the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program since 2012. He coordinates the teaching, resources and support that enable students to develop working prototypes and business plans for their innovations.

He is most widely known as the founder of, an award-winning website that offers clear, objective and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world around us actually works. The site, which he created as a hobby in 1998 and took through several rounds of venture funding totaling approximately $8 million, was purchased for $250 million by Discovery Communications in 2007.

Brain has been featured on everything from CNN and Good Morning Americato The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 2008 and 2009, he was the host of the National Geographic channel’s Factory Floor With Marshall Brain, a series of one-hour factory tours taking the viewer on a journey into the world of product design, engineering and manufacturing.

Brain is the author of more than a dozen books as well as a number of widely known Web publications including How to Make a Million Dollars, Robotic Nation, Manna, and The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World. He frequently works with students at all levels to help them understand science and technology topics, entrepreneurship and how the world works.

He holds an MS in computer science from NC State and was named a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus in 2011.

  • Manna: Two Visions of Humanity’s Future, BYG Publishing (March 2012)
  • The Meaning of Life, BYG Publishing (March 2012)
  • – Revolutionary Transportation system for NCSU
  • Marshall Brain’s How Stuff Works, John Wiley & Sons (September 2001)
  • Marshall Brain’s MORE How STUFF Works, John Wiley & Sons (October 2002)