The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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New Faculty

Spring 2020


Meghan Huber

Assitant professor, mechanical and industrial engineering

Professor Huber comes to the MIE department after her postdoc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the principal investigator at the Human Robot Systems (HRS) Laboratory, where her mission is to advance how humans and robots learn to guide the physical interactive behavior of one another. “To achieve this,” she says, “our research aims to: develop new methods of describing human motor behavior that are compatible for robot control; understand and improve how humans learn models of robot behavior; and develop robot controllers that are compatible for human-robot physical collaboration. Huber’s interdisciplinary research lies at the intersection of robotics, dynamics, controls, human neuroscience, and biomechanics. She earned her B.S. at Rutgers University, her M.S. at the University of Texas at Dallas, and her Ph.D. at Northeastern University.


Cathal Kearney

Assistant professor, biomedical engineering

Dr. Kearney's research focuses on precise control of therapeutic delivery, the effects of therapeutic timing on efficacy, and integration of these systems within biomaterial scaffolds. Previously, he was a senior lecturer in the Department of Anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) in Ireland, having joined RCSI in 2014. Before that, he undertook his Ph.D. training as a Fulbright Scholar through the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, where his research work focused on the use of a non-invasive, acoustic, shock-wave device to stimulate periosteal cell proliferation and the subsequent use of these cells for bone tissue engineering. He spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and the Wyss Institute with the goal of developing systems that could more precisely control cell behavior. His primary focus was on the development and application of an ultrasound-responsive, alginate-based system for the on-demand delivery of bioactive agents. In addition, he worked on several other drug delivery systems, with a particular emphasis on therapeutic delivery for tissue engineering.


Nianqiang (Nick) Wu

Armstrong-Siadat Endowed Professor, chemical engineering

Professor Wu comes to UMass from West Virginia University (WVU), where he has been a professor and held the George B. Berry Endowed Chair Professorship in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. His research interest lies in: biosensing and photodynamic therapy (precision medicine); photocatalysts and photoelectrochemical cells for environmental and energy sustainability; and electrochemical energy storage. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and other funding agencies. He has authored or co-authored more than 180 journal articles. One of his papers was cited more than 2,800 times in a single year (2019), and he has achieved a total citation count of more than 20,000 throughout his career with an H-index of 65. Among many other accomplishments, Professor Wu was identified in the Highly Cited Researchers list by Clarivate Analytics (Thomson Reuters) in 2018 and 2019.  He is a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He earned his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at Zhejiang University in China.


Fall 2019


Fatima Muhammad Anwar

Assistant professor, electrical & computer engineering

Anwar comes to UMass Amherst from UCLA, where she earned her PhD in electrical and computer engineering. She earned her MS in computer engineering at Ajou University in South Korea and her B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of Engineering & Technology in Lahore, Pakistan. She has also worked as a software engineer at the Advanced R&D Group, Mobile Communications Division, of Samsung Electronics in Korea.  Anwar says about her research, “My interests lie at the intersection of system design, security, and quality of time in distributed cyber-physical systems. In particular, I design trustworthy systems around abstractions to provide key services to Internet of Things applications running on commodity platforms and operating systems.” She has published at least 13 papers in scientific publications and given seven invited talks.


Yu Chen

Associate professor, biomedical engineering

Chen has been at the University of Maryland since 2007 and has been serving as the Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in the bioengineering department during 2016-17. Before that, from 2003 until 2007, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. In 2017 he co-published a book with B. Katab on “Neurophotonics and Brain Mapping,” put out by Taylor & Francis Books. Chen has over 90 publications in refereed journals and more than 3000 total citations. He has received two U.S. patents and earned the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2012. As Chen describes his research, “Our lab has interdisciplinary biomedical engineering research programs focusing on the development of novel optical imaging methods for biomedical applications, including functional neuroimaging, early cancer detection, transplant organ evaluation, and tissue engineering. Our optical imaging technologies include optical coherence tomography, multi-photon microscopy, fluorescence molecular imaging, laminar optical tomography, and endoscopy.”  Chen received his BS degree in physics from Peking University in Beijing, China, in 1997 and his PhD in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003.


Chase Cornelison

Assistant professor, biomedical engineering

Cornelison joins UMass Amherst from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where, since 2015, he was a postdoctoral research associate working to define and target the effects of interstitial fluid flow in the glioblastoma tumor microenvironment. As Cornelison says about his history of research, “I am currently studying how factors associated with glioblastoma influence the cellular tumor microenvironment and devising therapies that target these effects to halt disease progression. My interests have also been focused on studying and engineering the response to neural injury and disease. I previously developed an injectable hydrogel derived from acellular nerve tissue for promoting repair after spinal cord injury.”Cornelison has a U.S. patent for his Tissue Decellularization Methods. In 2014 he served as a Guest Lecturer at the University of Florida. Among his other awards and honors, Cornelison has garnered a NSF Travel Award, a Temple Foundation Graduate Fellowship, a Larry Holmes Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Chemical Engineering, an Engineering Foundation Endowed Graduate Presidential Scholarship, and two National Math and Science Talent Grants. Cornelison earned his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin in 2015 and his BS in chemical and biomolecular engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2011.


Baptiste François

Research assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering

The Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department welcomes Dr. Baptiste François as a research assistant professor after serving here as a postdoctoral researcher since 2016. As he explains, “My research interests focus on the interactions between climate, water, energy, and society.” François has a wealth of experience working as a postdoctorate at the University of Padua in Italy (twice), an invited scientist at the SINTEF Energies Water Resources Group in Trondheim, Norway, a postdoctorate at the University of Grenoble-Alpes in France, and a consultant member of CloudWater LLC in Amherst. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Grenoble-Alpes, his M.S. at the University of Joseph-Fourier in Grenoble, and his B.S. at the University of Toulon in France.


Jeremy Gummeson

Assistant professor, electrical & computer engineering

Gummeson has one patent, four patents pending, and approximately 25 journal publications, conference papers, and workshop papers. “My multidisciplinary research looks at how we can co-design computer hardware and software to enable energy efficient mobile computing systems that can accurately sense humans and the world that surrounds them,” as he explains. “More specifically, my current research largely focuses on developing novel sensing, communication, and energy management techniques that enable closed-loop sensing systems that optimize our resources, health, and wireless environment.” The techniques he develops are applicable to any low-power, energy constrained device and can benefit application spaces including mobile health, smart homes/buildings, and precision agriculture. Prior to joining UMass Amherst, he had appointments at Disney Research and HP Labs. He received his PhD in computer systems engineering from UMass Amherst in 2013.


Christian Guzman

Assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering

Guzman comes to UMass Amherst from Washington State University, where he has been a postdoctoral research associate since 2017. Among his rich experience he has also served in 2016 as a research associate in the Cost-effective Biochar Reactor Project at Cornell University, in 2015 as an adjunct instructor at Cornell’s CienciAmerica Latina American Studies Program, in 2014 as a visiting researcher at the CIAT-International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia, and in 2013 as a visiting researcher at the Panamerican School of Agriculture at Zamorano in Honduras. Guzman did postdoctoral research at Washington State University on food, energy, water system nexus innovations for the Columbia River Basin, hydrological and sediment modeling in the inland Pacific Northwest, and climatic and anthropological impacts on water storages in the Americas. Prior to that, he did doctoral research at Cornell in sediment transport, nutrient depletion, and hydrological variations in sub-humid climates, as well as ethnography of soil degradation perceptions. He has published at least 20 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and two are in review.  Among other honors, Guzman has received a 2018 USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellowship of $163,000, a 2014 NSF GROW/USAID Research and Innovation Fellowship of $16,500, a 2013 U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program Award of $15,000, a 2012 CUAHSI Pathfinder Graduate Student Fellowship of $4,180, a 2010 Food Systems and Poverty Reduction IGERT Fellowship of $70,000, a 2010 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship of $90,000, and a 2009 State University of New York Diversity Fellowship of $28,000. Guzman earned his PhD and MS from Cornell in biological and environmental engineering and his BS from the University of Florida in agricultural and biological engineering.


Jim Lagrant

Professor in practice, mechanical and industrial engineering

Lagrant brings with him more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing engineering, mechanical design, controls design, programming, and electronic process data acquisition; with an emphasis on automating manual processes, process scale-up, new process development, and information-driven decision making. As Lagrant says, “I feel strongly that providing students with the opportunity to apply their education before graduation is essential for success in today’s manufacturing environment. With widespread digitization and renewed need for automation, the manufacturing sector is an exciting field to be in.”  Lagrant adds that “As the professor in practice, I will be drawing upon experience from each position I’ve held, and the breadth of my industry background should enable me to forge working relationships with local and state-wide manufacturers to establish project sites for students. I also hope to collaborate with the various advanced manufacturing centers at UMass for student and industry opportunities.”  Lagrant received his B.S. and M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He has served on the board of the Advanced Casting Research Consortium at WPI and is a current board member of the Foundry Education Foundation. He also serves as a peer reviewer of the International Journal of Metalcasting. He has given numerous presentations on enterprise manufacturing intelligence across the country.


Tongping Liu

Assistant professor, electrical & computer engineering

Liu, who worked as a senior software engineer at COSMOBIC Company and as a software engineer at Hualong Technology, researches software security, reliability, and performance of parallel and distributed systems. Liu comes to UMass after serving as an assistant professor for the University of Texas at San Antonio since 2014. He received his Ph.D. from UMASS Amherst in 2014. His research tries to solve realistic problems and has made real impact on both industry and academia. He has been granted three U.S. patents, and he has five patents in application. Such industrial giants as Intel, IBM, SAS, MathWorks, and Huawei have shown great interest in his false-sharing detection technique and plan to utilize it to discover performance problems inside their products. Many papers are built upon his open-source frameworks. His DTHREADS paper is one of the most influential papers of SOSP 2011 and has been cited more than 210 times.


Olufolajimi (Jimi) Oke

Assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering

Oke comes to the CEE department from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has been serving as a postdoctoral associate since September of 2016 and is the project manager for the Future Urban Mobility study in the MIT Energy Initiative. As Oke describes his research, “I am a systems researcher primarily investigating complex interactions at the transportation-energy nexus. My vision is for tightly-integrated societies where information, technology, and operations are effectively harnessed for sustainability, accessibility, and resilience in their undergirding systems.” Oke adds that “I aim to achieve this by developing transferable and relevant tools for researchers, planners, and policymakers alike in order to improve our urban and global spaces, one solution at a time, and to get this done with the least amount of overhead possible. Effective research must therefore be shareable, reproducible, and relevant.” Besides being an accomplished academic, Oke, who hails from Ibadan, Nigeria, is also a gifted classical and jazz guitarist after having completed majors in physics and music at Williams College. In 2016 Oke obtained his PhD in civil engineering from The Johns Hopkins University at the Mathematical Optimization for Decisions Lab. There he worked on problems in schematic mapping, global bicycling, and multimodal energy network modeling. At Johns Hopkins he received a Gordon Croft Fellowship, a Civil Engineering Graduate Service Award, a Teaching-as-Research Fellowship, an Educational Training Core Traineeship, and a Whiting School of Engineering Research Fellowship, among other accomplishments.


Arman Pouraghily

Lecturer, electrical and computer engineering

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is proud to welcome Arman Pouraghily as a new lecturer. During his Ph.D. studies, Arman has worked on the security of embedded systems and the secure use of these systems in the context of the Internet of Things. His research has resulted in numerous publications in well-respected conferences such ASAP, IoTDI, ISVLSI, etc. His teaching interests include operating systems, computer networks, and embedded systems security. He is a member of the IEEE and the ACM. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering at UMass Amherst, as well as his M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Computer Architecture at the University of Tehran in Iran.


Sanjay Raman

Dean, College of Engineering
Professor, electrical and computer engineering

Raman earned a bachelor’s of electrical engineering degree, with highest honors, from Georgia Tech in 1987 and a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1998.   He joined UMass Amherst in August 2019 from Virginia Tech (VT) where he was associate vice president for the VT National Capital Region, president and CEO of the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, and a tenured full professor in their Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).   From 2007-13, Raman was a program manager in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office.  Prior to his doctoral studies at the University of Michigan, Raman served as a nuclear-trained submarine officer in the U.S. Navy from 1987-92. He is a founding member of the Virginia Tech Multifunctional Integrated Circuits and Systems (MICS) group, focused on innovative research in analog, mixed-signal, and RF/microwave/mm-wave IC designs, optoelectronics, and RF interfaces. Raman is an Elected Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for leadership in adaptive microwave and millimeter-wave integrated circuits. Raman is also an elected member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.


Beatriz Lorenzo Veiga

Assistant professor, electrical & computer engineering

Veiga has produced more than 40 articles in scientific journals and conference papers and delivered approximately 15 invited talks in the last five years. Her research interests are networking, mobile computing, network virtualization, mmWave communications, privacy and trust, network economics (blockchains), machine learning, optimization theory, and their application to the Internet of things and cyber-physical systems. Veiga comes to UMass Amherst after serving since 2014 as a senior researcher at the Atlantic Research Center for Telecommunication Technologies in the Department of Telematics at the University of Vigo in Spain. She earned a PhD degree at the University of Oulu, Finland, an M.Sc. at the University of Vigo. Veiga was also a Fulbright Visiting Researcher at the University of Florida.


Woodrow Winchester, III

Director of Engineering Management, mechanical and industrial engineering

Winchester brings with him over 12 years of active teaching and scholarly activities centered on advocating for more humanity centered approaches to the design and management of technological systems. He is a certified professional in engineering management with over 10 years of industry experience. Active in advancing engineering management as a practice, he is currently the co-director for professional development & continuing education at the American Society for Engineering Management. Winchester has also served as an associate professor of engineering management at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, as well as an engineering educator and advocate. Before serving at Robert Morris, Winchester was an associate professor and systems engineering program coordinator at Kennesaw State University, an associate professor of systems engineering at Southern Polytechnic State University, and a professor of industrial engineering at Virginia Tech. Winchester is also under contract with the CRC Press to write Inclusion by Design: Future Thinking Approaches to New Product Development (ISBN: 978-0-367-41687-4). The book is co-authored with Frances Alston and slated for a late 2020 release. Winchester earned his M.S. and Ph.D. from North Carolina AT&T State University.