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New Faculty — Year 2021-22

Annual Lists

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 Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering

Amy Adkins

Assistant Teaching Professor
Ph.D. (2021), Northwestern University

Research Interests: Biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering, musculoskeletal imaging, engineering education.

Adkins received her M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University. She received her B.S. in engineering science from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Her technical graduate research focused on using multiscale imaging techniques and biomechanical analysis to quantify muscle structure and function in individuals with and without orthopedic and neurological impairments. Prior to joining NC State, she was a Searle Teaching Certificate Fellow and an instructor in the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. She desires to implement innovative teaching, mentoring and hands-on problem solving to develop students’ deep understanding of engineering principles and to inspire them to tackle real-world problems which can aid human health.

  • A.N. Adkins, J.P.A. Dewald, L.P. Garmirian, C.M. Nelson, W.M. Murray. 2021. Serial Sarcomere number is substantial decreased in the paretic limb of individuals with chronic hemiparetic stroke. Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS). 118 (26) e2008597118.
  • A.N. Adkins, D. P. O’Neill, C. J. Ankeny. 2021. Work-in-Progress: Effectiveness of different reflection approaches for improving mastery in an engineering laboratory course. American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition.
  • A.N. Adkins, W.M. Murray. 2020. Guide to Obtaining Extended Field-Of-View Ultrasound Images of Skeletal Muscle for the Purpose of Measuring Muscle Fascicle Length. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (166) e61765.
  • A.N. Adkins, P.W. Franks, W.M. Murray. 2017. Demonstration of extended field-of-view ultrasound’s potential to increase the pool of muscles for which in vivo fascicle length is measurable. Journal of Biomechanics. 63: 179-185.
Kennita Johnson

Assistant Professor and Director of Diversity and Equity
Ph.D. (2003), University of Florida

Research Interests: Biomedical imaging, ultrasound, computed tomography, contrast imaging, diabetic kidney disease, maternal health, microscopy.

Johnson earned her B.S. in physics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar. She completed her M.S. in medical physics and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at the University of Florida. Johnson conducted postdoctoral research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) before joining the UNC / NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. She started as a research associate and laboratory manager, then a research assistant professor, before moving to her current position on the tenure track. She is also an adjunct assistant professor in the North Carolina A&T State University’s Chemical, Biological and Bioengineering Department, where she teaches a class each spring.

Johnson’s laboratory focuses on using biomedical imaging to investigate diabetic kidney disease and maternal health issues, which disproportionately affect the black population. She correlates various ultrasound techniques with microscopy to quantify abnormalities in physiology caused by disease or loss of organ function. Johnson is developing novel contrast agents for computed tomography that are safe for kidneys.

  • Djorgbenoo R, Mac Michael MR, Yin Z, Moore KJ, Jayapalan A, Fiadorwu J, Collins B, Velasco B, Allado K, Tsuruta JK, Gorman CB, Wei J, Johnson KA* and He P*. Amphiphilic phospholipid-iodinated polymer conjugates for bioimaging. Biomaterials Science. 2021. 2021, 9(14): 5045-5056 *Corresponding Authors
  • White RE, Kavanagh K, Sherrill C, Uberseder B, Bikdash M, Bain J, Chang EH, and Johnson KA. “Assessing Vascular Markers of Diabetic Disease Progression Through Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound.” In 2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS), pp. 1334-1337. IEEE, 2019.
  • Johnson, K. A., Nyankima, A. G., Dayton, P. A., & Chang, E. Characterizing volumes of kidney segments in Streptozotocin induced diabetic rat model utilizing 4D contrast-enhanced ultrasound. In Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS), 2016 IEEE International (pp. 1-4). IEEE.
  • K. Johnson, R. Cianciolo, R.C. Gessner, and P.A. Dayton, A Pilot Study to Assess Markers of Renal Damage in the Rodent Kidney after Exposure to 7 MHz Ultrasound Pulse Sequences Designed to Cause Microbubble Translation and Disruption. Ultrasound Med Biol., 2012, 38(1): 168-172.
  • P. Kogan+, K. Johnson+, S. Feingold, N. Garrett, I Guracar, W. J. Arendshorst, P.A. Dayton, Validation of dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound in rodent kidneys as an absolute quantitative method for measuring blood perfusion. Ultrasound Med Biol., 2011, 37(6): 900-908. +First Authors
Bruce Wiggin

Associate Teaching Professor
Ph.D. (2014), NC State University

Research Interests: Surgical robotics, human exoskeletons, medical device design, collaborative robotics.

Wiggin is an NC State alumnus who received his B.S. and Ph.D. from the UNC / NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is a product development engineer specializing in mechatronic, robotic, endoscopic and medical device design. Wiggin is a Nature published author who developed the first portable exoskeleton to make human locomotion more efficient. His designs have received many national awards including a Da Vinci Award, the President’s Award from the American Society of Biomechanics and a feature exhibit in the London Museum of Science, as well as research featured by BBC, Discovery Channel, Popular Science and many other scientific sources. Prior to joining the faculty, Wiggin worked in industry developing surgical robotic systems where he has developed and launched several novel medical devices. Wiggin will be teaching senior design.

  • Reducing the energy cost of human walking using an unpowered exoskeleton, Wiggin MB, Collins SH, Sawicki GS (2015 Nature)
  • Dynamic Walking 2013 Spring stiffness affects energy cost during walking with a clutched ankle- foot orthosis
  • Dynamic Walking 2012 Passive Dynamic Ankle Exoskeleton Reduces Metabolic Cost of Walking – An exoskeleton using controlled energy storage and release to aid ankle propulsion.
  • IEEE Int Conf Rehabil Robot Wiggin, MB., Collins, S.H., Sawicki, G.S. (2011) – Regional SICB 2011 A Bio-Inspired, Passive-Elastic, Ankle Exoskeleton

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Gregory B. McKenna

Research Full Professor
Ph.D. (1976), University of Utah

Research Interests: Material behavior at the nanoscale; ultra-stable glasses: testing paradigms of the glass transition; molecular rheology; colloid rheology and dynamics; dynamics and crystallization in pharmaceuticals and energetic materials; mechanical and viscoelastic responses of glassy polymers and their nanocomposites.

McKenna attended the U.S. Air Force Academy from which he received his B.S. in engineering mechanics in 1970. He earned an S.M. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the area of composite materials before being stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, where he served until 1975 when he left the Air Force at the rank of captain. In 1976 he received his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Utah.

McKenna was honored with a National Research Council Postdoc at the then National Bureau of Standards (NBS) and accepted a permanent position at NBS (now National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST) in 1977. He was the head of the structure and mechanics group in the polymers division at NIST from August 1992 until July 1999 when he moved to Texas Tech University as professor and endowed chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering. In August 2021, he moved to the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State, taking a position as research full professor. McKenna’s research ranges from glassy materials to soft rubbery materials and polymer melts and explores the physics of small molecules as well as long chain macromolecules.

  • S. Cheng, P. Chakravarty, K. Nagapudi, and G. B. McKenna, “Isothermal Crystallization Monitoring and Time−Temperature-Transformation of Amorphous GDC-0276: Differential Scanning Calorimetric and Rheological Measurements,” Mol. Pharmaceutics, 18, 158−173 (2021).
  • D. Chen and G.B. McKenna, “Deep glassy state dynamic data challenge glass models: Configurational entropy models,” Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 566, 120871 (2021).
  • S. Jin and G.B. McKenna, “Effect of Nanoconfinement on Polymer Chain Dynamics,” Macromolecules, 53, 10212-10216 (2020).
  • Q. Li, X. Peng, D. Chen and G.B. McKenna, “The Laplace approach in microrheology,” Soft Matter, 16, 3378-3383 (2020).
  • H. Yoon and G.B. McKenna, “Testing the paradigm of an ideal glass transition: Dynamics of an ultrastable polymeric glass,” Science Advances, 4, eaau5423 (2018).
Sindee Simon

Head and Professor
Ph.D. (1992), Princeton University

Research Interests: Physics of the glass transition, cure and properties of thermosetting materials, properties and reactivity at the nanoscale.

Simon received her B.S. in chemical engineering from Yale University in 1983, followed by three years at Beech Aircraft working on the all-composite Starship. She received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University in 1992. She started her academic career as assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, then moved to Texas Tech in 1999 as associate professor. At Texas Tech, Simon was named P. W. Horn Distinguished Professor in 2010 and served as the Whitacre Department Chair of Chemical Engineering for seven years from 2012-19.

She has published over 125 refereed journal publications and has over 4,500 citations and an h-index of 36 (according to Web of Science). She has received numerous honors, including the Society of Plastics Engineers International Award, the Society of Plastics Engineers Research Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the North American Thermal Analysis Society. Simon has also been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Society of Plastics Engineers, the North American Thermal Analysis Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

  • H. Y. Zhao and S. L. Simon, “Synthesis of Polymers in Nanoreactors: A Tool for Manipulating Polymer Properties,” Polymer, 211, 123112 (2020); DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2020.123112.
  • N. Sakib, Y. P. Koh, Y. C. Huang, K. I. S. Mongcopa, A. Le, B. C. Benicewicz, R. Krishnamoorti, and S. L. Simon, “Thermal and Rheological Analysis of Polystyrene-Grafted Silica Nanocomposite,” Macromolecules, 53 (6), 2123 – 2135 (2020); DOI: 10.1021/10.1021/acs.macromol.9b02127.
  • Y. P. Koh and S. L. Simon, “Enthalpy Recovery of Ultrathin Polystyrene Film Using Flash DSC,” Polymer, 143, 40-45 (2018); DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2018.02.038.
  • S. L. Simon and G. B. McKenna, “50th Anniversary Perspective: Challenges in the Dynamics and Kinetics of Glass-Forming Polymers,” Macromolecules, 50, 6333-6361 (2017); DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01014.
  • R. Tao, E. Gurung, M. M. Cetin, M. F. Mayer, E. L. Quitevis, S. L. Simon, “Fragility of Ionic Liquids Measured by Flash Differential Scanning Calorimetry,” Thermochimica Acta, 654 (10), 121-129 (2017); DOI: 10.1016/j.tca.2017.05.008

Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

Katherine Anarde

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. (2019), Rice University

Research Interests: Barrier island response to sea level rise, human activities and storms; the drivers and impacts of chronic (“sunny-day”) flooding; meteotsunami generation and contributions to extreme water levels and shoreline impacts during tropical cyclones.

Anarde received a B.A. in geology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011. She then worked as an environmental consultant at ENVIRON International Corp. before returning for a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at Rice University. Prior to joining the NC State faculty, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Coastal Environmental Change Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and project manager for the Collaboratory for Coastal Adaptation over Space and Time (C-CoAST).

Anarde’s research combines observational and numerical approaches to investigate how acute and chronic hazards influence the habitability of coastlines. Her research on acute hazards has focused on tropical cyclone impacts to sandy coastlines, with projects spanning measurement of ocean waves during storm impact, meteotsunami generation and infrastructure vulnerability. Presently, Anarde is investigating the chronic effects of sea level rise on coastal communities, focusing on the frequency and impacts of “sunny day” floods. Anarde also studies how coastal management practices (e.g., beach nourishment) feedback to alter natural processes in ways that reduce the habitability of the coast.

  • Anarde, K., Cheng, W., Tissier, M., Figlus, J., and Horrillo, J., 2020. Meteotsunamis Accompanying Tropical Cyclone Rainbands During Hurricane Harvey. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 126. DOI: 10.1029/2020JC016347.
  • Anarde, K., Figlus, J., Sous, D., and Tissier, M., 2020. Transformation of Infragravity Waves during Hurricane Overwash. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 8(8), pp.545. DOI: 10.3390/jmse8080545.
  • Anarde, K.A., Kameshwar, S., Irza, J.N., Nittrouer, J.A., Lorenzo-Trueba, J., Padgett, J.E., Sebastian, A., and Bedient, P. B., 2018. Impacts of Hurricane Storm Surge on Infrastructure Vulnerability for an Evolving Coastal Landscape. National Hazards Review, 19(1).
  • Reeves, I.R.B., Moore, L.J., Murray, A.B., Anarde, K.A., and Goldstein, E.B., 2021. Dune Dynamics Drive Discontinuous Barrier Retreat. Geophysical Research Letters, 48. DOI: 10.1029/2021GL092958.
  • Sichani, M.E., Anarde, K.A., Capshaw, K.M., Padgett, J.E., Meidl, R.A., Hassanadeh, P., Loch-Temzelides, T.P., and Bedient, P. B., 2020. Hurricane Risk Assessment of Petroleum Infrastructure in a Changing Climate. Frontiers in Built Environment, 6. DOI: 10.3389/fbuil.2020.00104.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Jonathan Wierer

Ph.D. (1999), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests: Novel semiconductor devices, including light-emitting diodes, laser diodes, solar cells, power devices and modulators; semiconductor materials growth using metalorganic chemical vapor deposition; materials and device processing; physics of semiconductors materials and devices.

Wierer received his B.S. (1994), M.S. (1995) and Ph.D. (1999) from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, all in electrical engineering. From 1999-2008, he worked at Hewlett Packard, which later became Lumileds Lighting, researching novel III-nitride light-emitting diodes (LEDs). At Lumileds’ Advanced Laboratories, research highlights include developing the first high-power (1 Watt) flip-chip III-nitride LED and seminal work on photonic crystal LEDs. In 2008 he joined Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, and his most notable work was proposing to use laser diodes as an ultra-efficient light source for solid-state lighting. From 2015-21, he was an associate professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics.

His group’s focus is on novel light emitters and power devices made from III-nitride semiconductors. His broader research interests are in semiconductor materials, device physics and novel semiconductor devices. His research can be best characterized as applied science, at the intersection of physics and engineering, and spans from answering basic science questions to creating devices for practical applications.

  • M. R. Peart, X. Wei, D. Borovac, W. Sun, N. Tansu, and J. J. Wierer, Jr., “Thermal Oxidation of AlInN for III-nitride Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices”, ACS Applied Electronic Materials, 1, 1367-1371 (2019). DOI: 10.1021/acsaelm.9b00266
  • J. J. Wierer, Jr. and N. Tansu, “III-nitride micro-LEDs for efficient emissive displays” Lasers and Photonics Review, 13, 1900141 (2019). DOI: 10.1002/lpor.201900141
  • J. J. Wierer, Jr., D. S. Sizov, and J. Y. Tsao, “Comparison between Blue Laser and Light-Emitting Diodes for Future Solid-State Lighting”, Lasers and Photonics Reviews, 7, 963 (2013). DOI:10.1002/lpor.201300048
  • J. J. Wierer, Jr., A. David, M. M. Megens, “III-nitride photonic crystal light-emitting diodes with high extraction efficiency,” Nature Photonics, 3, 1 (2009). DOI:10.1038/nphoton.2009.21
  • J. J. Wierer, D. A. Steigerwald, M. R. Krames, J. J. O’Shea, M. J. Ludowise, G. Christenson, Y.-C. Shen, C. Lowery, P. S. Martin, S. Subramanya, W. Götz, N. F. Gardner, R. S. Kern, S. A. Stockman “High-Power AlGaInN Flip-Chip Light-Emitting Diodes,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, pp. 3379 (2001). DOI: 10.1063/1.1374499

Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Semra Sebnem Ahiska King

Associate Teaching Professor
Ph.D. (2008), NC State University

Research Interests: Applications of operations research, systems modeling, stochastic decision making, production and inventory management, logistics and supply chains, recoverable systems.

Ahiska King received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in industrial engineering from Istanbul Technical University and Galatasaray University (located in Istanbul, Turkey), respectively. She received her Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from NC State University. She started her career as an assistant professor in the Industrial Engineering Department at Galatasaray University where she worked for 10 years teaching operations research related courses in English and French languages. Her research focused on the application of stochastic processes in the control of stochastic manufacturing / remanufacturing systems with / without product substitution as well as the unreliable multi-supplier systems, and the applications of mathematical programming for the design of product assembly system and logistics network. A couple of years after she received her associate professor title from Turkey’s Council of Higher Education in 2015, she taught ISE courses at NC State University as adjunct associate professor / lecturer. Currently, she continues her career as associate teaching professor at the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Her teaching interests are in operations research-related courses, including mathematical programming modeling and applications, stochastic processes, discrete optimization, inventory management, analysis of production and service systems, logistics engineering and engineering economic analysis.

  • Ahiska, S.S, F. Gocer, R.E. King (2017), Heuristic inventory policies for a hybrid manufacturing/remanufacturing system with product substitution, Computers & Industrial Engineering, 114:206-222.
  • Ahiska, S.S., R.E. King (2015) Inventory policy characterization methodologies for a single-product recoverable manufacturing system, European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 9(2):222-243.
  • Ahiska, S.S., E. Kurtul (2014) Modeling and analysis of a product substitution strategy for a stochastic manufacturing/remanufacturing system, Computers & Industrial Engineering, 72: 1-11.
  • Ahiska, S.S., S.R. Appaji, R.E. King, D.P. Warsing, Jr. (2013) A Markov decision process-based policy characterization approach for a stochastic inventory control problem with unreliable sourcing, International Journal of Production Economics, 144: 485-496.
  • Ahiska, S.S., R.E. King (2010) Inventory optimization in a one product recoverable manufacturing system, International Journal of Production Economics, 124 (1): 11-19.
Nur Özaltin

Assistant Teaching Professor
Ph.D. (2012), University of Pittsburgh

Research Interests: Improving the innovativeness of students through modeling of the engineering design processes, using methods including Bayesian network modeling and quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

Özaltin received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned her B.S. from Bogazici University in Turkey. She teaches supply chain economics, engineering economic analysis and computer-based modeling at the graduate and undergraduate level. Özaltin published articles in Advances in Engineering Education, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, International Journal of Engineering Education and the Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship.

  • Özaltin, N. O., Besterfield-Sacre, M. E., Clark. R., An Engineering Educator’s Decision Support Tool for Improving Innovation in Student Design Projects, Advances in Engineering Education, 2015, 4(4). Featured in December 2015 issue of PRISM (monthly research magazine of ASEE), “Midcourse Correction: A New Decision-Making Tool Can Help Guide Engineering Students Toward More Innovative Designs” Available at
  • Özaltin, N. O., Besterfield-Sacre, M. E., Kremer, G., Shuman, L. J. An Investigation on the Implications of Design Process Phases on Artifact Novelty, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 2015, 137(5).
  • Özaltin, N. O., Besterfield-Sacre, M. E., Clark. R., M. Design Team Processes that Contribute to Innovative Outcomes: A Mixed Methods Approach, International Journal of Engineering Education, 2014, 31(6A).
  • Besterfield-Sacre, M. E., Robinson, A. M., Özaltin, N. O., Shuman, L. J., Shartrand, A. M., Weilerstein, P. Essential Factors Related to Entrepreneurial Knowledge in the Engineering Curriculum, The Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship, 2013, 4(1).

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Nina Balke

Associate Professor
Ph.D. (2006), Technical University of Darmstadt

Research Interests: Atomic force microscopy for electro-(chemo-)mechanical phenomena including piezoelectricity and ferroelectricity in ferroelectric ceramics, thin films and 2D materials, as well as mechanical analogs to electrochemical characterization techniques for local mapping of electrochemical reactions.

Balke received her Ph.D. in materials sciences from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, in 2006. After being a Feodor-Lynen Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of California, Berkeley, she became a research staff member at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2010 prior to joining NC State. In her research, she aims to understand nanoscale materials functionality driven by electric fields and potentials and explore the link to macroscopic materials performance for information and energy technology. This encompasses electromechanical, mechanical and transport phenomena in inorganic materials and across fluid-solid interfaces. Her scientific focus includes ferroelectrics, dielectrics and energy storage materials as well as in-situ characterization of solid-liquid interfaces. This is accomplished by utilizing state-of-the-art atomic force microscopy with a strong emphasis on imaging and extraction of quantitative materials parameters.

  • W. Y. Tsai, R. Wang, S. Boyd, J. Mitchell, V. Augustyn, N. Balke, “Probing Local Electrochemistry via Mechanical Cyclic Voltammetry Curves,” Nano Energy 81, 105592 (2021).
  • Q. Gao, W. Sun, P. Ilani-Kashkouli, A. Tselev, P. R. C. Kent, N. Kabengi, M. Naguib, M. Alhabeb, W. Y. Tsai, A. P. Baddorf, J. Huang, S. Jesse, Y. Gogotsi, N. Balke, “Tracking ion intercalation into layered Ti3C2 MXene films across length scales”, Energy Environ. Sci. 13, 2549-2558 (2020).
  • J. A. Brehm, S. Neumayer, L. Tao, A. O’Hara, M. Chyasnavichus, M. A. Susner, M. A. McGuire, S. V. Kalinin, S. Jesse, P. Ganesh, S. T. Pantelides, P. Maksymovych, and N. Balke, “Tunable quadruple-well ferroelectric van-der-Waals crystals”, Nat. Mater. 19, 43-48 (2020).
  • W. Y. Tsai, J. Come, W. Zhao, R. Wang, G. Feng, B. P. Thapaliya, S. Dai, L. Collins, N. Balke, “Hysteretic order-disorder transitions of ionic liquid double layer structure on graphite,” Nano Energy 60, 886-893 (2019).
  • S. M. Neumayer, E. A. Eliseev, M. A. Susner, A. Tselev, B. J. Rodriguez, J. A. Brehm, S. T. Pantelides, G. Panchapakesan, S. Jesse, S. V. Kalinin, M. A. McGuire, A. N. Morozovska, P. Maksymovych, and N. Balke, “Giant negative electrostriction and dielectric tunability in a van der Waals layered ferroelectric,” Phys. Rev. Mater. 3, 024401 (2019).
Albert Kwansa

Assistant Research Professor
Ph.D. (2013), Virginia Tech University

Research Interests: Molecular modeling and parameter development for polymers, small molecules and various constituents of materials of interest; model validation; data reproducibility and uncertainty; property prediction best practices; multiscale modeling; high-performance computing; GPU (graphics processing unit)-accelerated computing; materials informatics.

Kwansa obtained a B.S. in biomedical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Subsequently, he earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at the Blacksburg / Virginia Tech campus of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. Thereafter, he joined NC State University as a postdoctoral researcher and then a research associate in the Yingling Research Group within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

While at NC State, he has been employing computational techniques and developing methods, at different length and time scales, to fundamentally investigate structure-processing-property relationships for a variety of natural and / or synthetic materials with applied interests such as the design of chemical additives and formulations for plastics, utilizing cellulose-synthesizing proteins and cellulosic biomass for bioenergy applications and tailoring cellulose nanocrystals for selected physical and optical properties.

  • Peerless, J.S., Kwansa, A.L., Hawkins, B.S., Smith, R.C., & Yingling, Y.G. (2021). Uncertainty quantification and sensitivity analysis of partial charges on macroscopic solvent properties in molecular dynamics simulations with a machine learning model. J. Chem. Inf. Model., 61(4): 1745-1761.
  • Singh, A., Kwansa, A.L., Kim, H.S. Williams, J.T., Yang, H., Li, N.K., Kubicki, J.D., Roberts, A.W., Haigler, C.H., & Yingling, Y.G. (2020). In silico structure prediction of full-length cotton cellulose synthase protein (GhCESA1) and its hierarchical complexes. Cellulose, 27(10): 5597-5616.
  • Kwansa, A.L., De Vita, R., & Freeman, J.W. (2016). Tensile mechanical properties of collagen type I and its enzymatic crosslinks. Biophys. Chem., 214-215: 1-10.
  • Kwansa, A.L. & Freeman, J.W. (2015). Ligament tissue engineering. In S.P. Nukavarapu, J.W. Freeman, & C.T. Laurencin, Regenerative Engineering of Musculoskeletal Tissues and Interfaces. Waltham, MA: Woodhead Publishing. Ch. 7, p. 161-193.
  • Kwansa, A.L., De Vita, R., & Freeman, J.W. (2014). Mechanical recruitment of N- and C-crosslinks in collagen type I. Matrix Biol., 34: 161-169.

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Mingtai Chen

Assistant Teaching Professor
Ph.D. (2021), University of Alabama

Research Interests: Experimental aerodynamics, rotor-wing interaction and luminescent sensing.

Chen earned his B.Eng. at Shenyang Aerospace University and his M.Eng. at the University of Toronto. He is an experimentalist fascinated with designing a test setup, acquiring test data, analyzing the data and making the final conclusions and recommendations. As an educator, his goal in the long term is to make experiments in aerodynamics and vehicle structures more appealing to students.

Before joining NC State, Chen was a flight test engineer at Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd, Shanghai. This job provided experience on how the ideas in textbooks are transferred to industry and tested in real flights. This working opportunity motivated him to learn more in aerospace engineering, and he chose to pursue his Ph.D. in 2016 at the University of Alabama. His dissertation, inspired by a senior design topic, was to investigate rotor-wing interaction at low disk loading and low Reynold number to which he will continue devoting efforts and time in the future. Chen’s ongoing research includes: low-order numerical simulation in rotor-wing interaction, download force reduction in rotor-wing interaction, and aero-acoustic investigation in rotor-wing interaction.

  • Chen, M., Hubner, J.P., “Experimental and Analytical Analysis of Rotor-Wing Interaction in hover for Low Reynolds Number Flow,” Journal of Aerospace Engineering, July 2021, 34 (6), pp. 04021073-1-04021073-12. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)AS.1943-5525.0001307
  • Chen, M., Hubner, J.P., “Experimental Investigation of Wing-on-Rotor Effect at Low Disk Loading and Reynolds Number,” Journal of Aircraft, May 2021, 58 (3), pp. 487-496. DOI: 10.2514/1.C035763
  • Chen, M., Hubner, J.P., “Numerical Simulations of Single-Rotor/Wing Interaction in Hover at Low Reynolds Number,” AIAA-2021-2592, August 2021. DOI: 10.2514/6.2021-2592
  • Chen, M., Hubner, J.P., “Prediction of Dual-Rotor-Wing Interaction in Hover Using Actuator Disk Theory,” AIAA-2020-2793, June 2020. DOI: 10.2514/6.2020-2793
  • Chen, M., Crane, D., and Hubner, J.P., “Experimental Investigation of Rotor-Wing Interaction at Low Disk Loading and Low Reynolds Number,” AIAA-2019-3034, June 2019. DOI: 10.2514/6.2019-3034
Jingjie Hu

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. (2018), Princeton University

Research Interests: Vascular embolization devices, biomedical and biological
materials, mechanics of materials, biomechanics, adhesion, nanomaterials,
self-assembly, colloidal gels, decellularized matrices, targeted therapy, medical imaging.

Hu received her B.S.E. in mechanical engineering from University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Princeton University. Prior to joining NC State, she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of radiology at the Mayo Clinic.

Hu’s research focuses on the mechanical behavior of biomedical and biological materials. Her work contributes to this understanding by focusing on the design, fabrication and characterization of bio-related structures through integrated mechanics, materials and bioengineering approaches. It combines experimental and theoretical tools that enable the prediction of mechanical behaviors at the nano-, micro- and macro-scales. Hu’s research is highly interdisciplinary and impacts critical biomedical applications such as cancer detection and vascular embolization.

  • J. Hu, I. Altun, Z. Zhang, H. Albadawi, M. A. Salomao, J. L. Mayer, L.P. M. P. Hemachandra, S. Rehman, and R. Oklu, “Bioactive tissue derived nanocomposite hydrogel for permanent arterial embolization and enhanced vascular healing,” Advanced Materials, 32, 2070248 (2020).
  • J. Hu, H. Albadawi, B. W. Chong, A. R. Deipolyi, R. A. Sheth, A. Khademhosseini, and R. Oklu, “Advances in Biomaterials and Technologies for Vascular Embolization,” Advanced Materials, 31, 1901071 (2019).
  • J. Hu, S. Youssefian, J. D. Obayemi, K. Malatesta, N. Rahbar and W. O. Soboyejo, “Investigation of Adhesive Interaction in the Specific Targeting of Triptorelin-conjugated PEG-coated Magnetite Nanoparticles to Breast Cancer Cells,” Acta Biomaterialia, 71, 363-378 (2018).
  • J. Hu, Y. Zhou, J. D. Obayemi, J. Du and W. O. Soboyejo, “An Investigation of the Effects of Cancer Progression on the Viscoelastic Properties and Actin Cytoskeletal Structure of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells,” Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 86, 1-13 (2018).
  • J. Hu, J. D. Obayemi, K. Malatesta, A. Kosmrlj and W. O. Soboyejo, “Enhanced Cellular Uptake of LHRHConjugated PEG-Coated Magnetite Nanoparticles for Specific Targeting of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells,” Materials Science and Engineering: C – Materials for Biological Applications, 88, 32-45 (2018).
Andrew Lee

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. (2019), University of Michigan

Research Interests: Lightweight space structures, thin-ply composite materials, dynamical and vibrational systems, elastic instabilities.

Lee received his B.S.E., M.S.E. and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining NC State, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at the California Institute of Technology. Previously, he was also a mechanical engineer at Raytheon Technologies.

His research focuses on leveraging the actuation and sensing capabilities of active materials to develop deployable and reconfigurable structures which are multifunctional. The aim is to design structural systems and architectures that can adapt to dynamic environments through self-shaping and monitoring.

  • Lee, A.J., Xie, A. and Inman, D.J., 2020. “Suppression of cross-well oscillations for bistable composites through potential well elimination.” Journal of Vibration and Acoustics, 142(3).
  • Lee, A.J. and Fernandez, J.M., 2019. “Inducing bistability in Collapsible Tubular Mast booms with thin-ply composite shells.” Composite Structures, 225, p. 111166.
  • Lee, A.J. and Inman, D.J., 2019. “Electromechanical modelling of a bistable plate with macro fiber composites under nonlinear vibrations.” Journal of Sound and Vibration, 446, pp. 326-342.
  • Lee, A.J. and Inman, D.J., 2018. “A multifunctional bistable laminate: Snap-through morphing enabled by broadband energy harvesting.” Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 29(11), pp. 2528-2543.
  • Lee, A.J., Moosavian, A. and Inman, D.J., 2017. “Control and characterization of a bistable laminate generated with piezoelectricity.” Smart Materials and Structures, 26(8), p. 085007.
Hao Su

Associate Professor
Ph.D. (2013), Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Research Interests: Design and control, autonomous systems, soft robots, wearable robots, surgical robots, sensors and actuators.

Su received his B.S. from Harbin Institute of Technology, M.S. from State University of New York at Buffalo and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was a research scientist at Philips Research North America where he designed robots for lung surgery, and then a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Prior to joining NC State, he was Irwin Zahn Assistant Professor at the City University of New York, City College.

He received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Toyota Mobility Challenge Discover Award, Best Medical Robotics Paper Runner-up Award in the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) and Philips Innovation Transfer Award. He is principal investigator for $6.4M in grants that are supported by NSF, NIH R01, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and Toyota Mobility Foundation. Su is an associate editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), IEEE / RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) and Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC).

  • Su H, Di Lallo A, Murphy RR, Taylor RH, Garibaldi BT, Krieger A. “Physical human–robot interaction for clinical care in infectious environments”, Nature Machine Intelligence, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 184-186, Mar. 2021.
  • Gao A, Murphy RR, Chen W, Dagnino G, Fischer P, Gutierrez MG, Kundrat D, Nelson BJ, Shamsudhin N, Su H, Xia J. “Progress in robotics for combating infectious diseases”, Science Robotics, vol. 6, no. 52, Mar. 2021.
  • Di Lallo A, Murphy RR, Krieger A, Zhu J, Taylor RH, Su H. “Medical Robots for Infectious Diseases: Lessons and Challenges from the COVID-19 Pandemic”, IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 18-27, Mar 2021.
  • Yu S, Huang TH, Yang X, Jiao C, Yang J, Chen Y, Yi J, Su H. “Quasi-Direct Drive Actuation for a Lightweight Hip Exoskeleton with High Backdrivability and High Bandwidth”, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 1794-1802, Aug. 2020.
  • Su H, Shang W, Cole G, Li G, Harrington K, Camilo A, Tokuda J, Tempany CM, Hata N, Fischer GS. “Piezoelectrically-Actuated Robotic System for MRI-Guided Prostate Percutaneous Therapy”, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 1920-1932, 2015.
Henry Oliver Tenadooah Ware

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. (2020), Northwestern University

Research Interests: Scalability of high- resolution (microscale) fabrication to larger areas (centimeter or meter scale) and increasing the palette of available materials that can be used in advanced manufacturing methods (polymers and composites).

Ware is Native American, being an enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and of Creek and Euchee tribal descent. Ware obtained his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University under the guidance of Cheng Sun. Ware is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. His Ph.D. was spent investigating additive manufacturing (3D printing) of polymers and polymer / ceramic composites for the creation of implantable biomedical implants. His additive manufacturing expertise includes the various generations of stereolithography (controlled photopolymerization 3D printing).

As a new assistant professor, Ware will be investigating advanced manufacturing and materials development for advanced manufacturing.

  • Ware, Henry O.T., & Sun, C. (2019). Method for attaining dimensionally accurate conditions for high-resolution three-dimensional printing ceramic composite structures using MicroCLIP process. Journal of Micro-and Nano-Manufacturing, 7(3), 031001.
  • Ware, Henry O.T., Farsheed, A. C., Akar, B., Duan, C., Chen, X., Ameer, G., & Sun, C. (2018). High-speed on-demand 3D printed bioresorbable vascular scaffolds. Materials Today Chemistry, 7, 25-34.
  • Van Lith, R., Baker, E., Ware, Henry, Yang, J., Farsheed, A. C., Sun, C., & Ameer, G. (2016). 3D‐printing strong high‐resolution antioxidant bioresorbable vascular stents. Advanced Materials Technologies, 1(9), 1600138.
Chi-An Yeh

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. (2018), Florida State University

Research Interests: Control of unsteady aerodynamics and turbulent flows using physics- and data-driven modeling techniques; addressing the challenges of Big-Data arising from complex turbulent flows; computational fluid dynamics, network science and physics-constrained optimization.

Yeh received his Ph.D. from Florida State University, M.S. from National Taiwan University and B.S. from National Chiao Tung University, all in mechanical engineering. Prior to joining NC State, Yeh was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles. Yeh’s research focuses on unsteady aerodynamics and the control of turbulent flows, with particular emphasis on innovating active flow control technologies for unsteady aerodynamic applications. His multi-disciplinary research efforts span across the fields of unsteady fluid mechanics, data science and network science. With the combinations of these novel toolsets, he aims to develop flow control strategies that improve air vehicles’ operational safety and enhance their fuel efficiency that translates to reduced carbon emissions and cleaner air. These techniques are also critically needed for the development of personalized urban flights to revolutionize future transportation.

  • Yeh, C.-A., Gopalakrishnan Meena, M. & Taira, K. 2020, “Network Broadcast Analysis and Control of Turbulent Flows,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 910, A15.
  • Yeh, C.-A., Benton, S. I., Taira, K. & Garmann, D. J. 2020, “Resolvent Analysis of an Airfoil Laminar Separation Bubble at Re = 500, 000,” Physical Review Fluids, 5(8), 083906.
  • Ribeiro, J. H. M., Yeh, C.-A. & Taira, K. 2020, “Randomized Resolvent Analysis,” Physical Review Fluids, 5(3), 033902.
  • Yeh, C.-A. & Taira, K. 2019, “Resolvent-analysis-based design of airfoil separation control,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 867, 572-610.
  • Yeh, C.-A., Munday, P. M. & Taira, K. 2017, “Laminar shear layer modification using localized periodic heating,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 822, 561-589.