University of Massachusetts Amherst

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New Faculty

During the 2015-2016 academic year, the College of Engineering was fortunate to have six talented new faculty members join us from all four departments... 


John Klier, Department Head, Chemical Engineering

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, ChE Professor Klier joined the university from The Dow Chemical Co., where he was global research and development director for the Performance Materials and Chemicals Segment. At UMass Amherst, Klier will develop a leading interdisciplinary research program devoted to understanding and controlling molecular architecture, association behavior, and properties of interactive and responsive polymers, colloids, and amphiphiles. Applications of his research interests are in the area of coatings, the release of active ingredients, and lightweight and functional materials. He earned his B.S. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.S. and Ph.D. at Purdue University.

Simos Gerasimidis, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

CEE Assistant Professor Gerasimidis focuses on infrastructure resilience, structural response of critical infrastructure systems subjected to extreme-loading events in urban regions, resilient-oriented structural design approaches, damage propagation, and structural response of damaged structures covering a broad spectrum of structural behavior. His rich experience includes working as Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University, a Teaching Assistant at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, a Structural Engineer in Greece, a Structural Engineer for Thornton Tomasetti in New York, and a Teaching Assistant at MIT. He received his degrees from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kara Peterman, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

CEE Assistant Professor Kara Peterman received her B.S. from Swarthmore College and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Before coming to UMass Amherst, she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Northeastern University and a Graduate Research Assistant at Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation at Johns Hopkins was on the Behavior of Full-Scale Cold-Formed Steel (CFS) Buildings Under Seismic Excitations. The goal of this research was to generate the knowledge needed to increase the seismic safety of buildings that use lightweight CFS for the primary beams and columns and enable engineers to account for complete building performance in predicting the response of these buildings to earthquakes.

Juan Jiménez , Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department

MIE Assistant Professor Jiménez studies biomedical engineering; biofluids; fluid dynamics; cardiovascular engineering; medical devices; vascular biology; and cell motility & dynamics. His research group studies the interaction between fluid flow and biology by integrating fluid dynamic engineering with cellular and molecular biology. Body fluids or biofluids, such as blood, lymph, and cerebrospinal fluid, continuously interact with cells in the body, eliciting biochemical and physical responses. His research seeks to elucidate the fluid flow characteristics and fluid flow-dependent biomolecular pathways relevant in medicine. He received his B.S. at  Michigan State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Yubing Sun, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department

MIE Assistant Professor Sun’s research group is the Laboratory for Multiscale Bioengineering and Mechanobiology. From the engineer’s perspective, his group is curious about how the human machine is built and how to fix it when it goes awry. Specifically, it is interested in how mechanical information, encoded in nano-scale molecules, guides micro-scale cells to assemble into mili-scale functional tissues and organs. His group also develops tools that interact with biomolecules, cells, and tissues for a range of applications from diagnostics of diseases to regenerative medicine. He earned his B.S. at the University of Science and Technology of China and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Guangu Xu, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

ECE Assistant Professor Xu studies nano/micro-fabrication, VLSI design, bioelectronics, cell imaging, lab-on-a-chip, and microfluidics. His research group aims to advance integrated molecule detection and multiplexed cell imaging tools for clinical applications, such as analytical genomics, cancer diagnosis, neurobiology, and self-powered implants. He has worked as a Guest Researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, and a Postdoctoral Associate at the MIT Media Lab. He received his B.S. and M.S. from Tsinghua and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles. ​