10 New Full-time Faculty Join College

The CSULB College of Engineering this fall is seeing a major influx of new teaching talent, expanding expertise in important areas such as data analytics, advanced composites, robotics, sustainable energy, smart grids, cognitive radio, transportation planning and distributed systems.

The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department accounts for nearly half of the 10 new faculty, while the Computer Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology (CECET), and Electrical Engineering (EE) departments will each gain two full-time tenure-track positions.

“We are very excited that such high-caliber faculty, working in very cutting-edge technologies, will be joining the college to work with our high-quality students,” said Hamid Rahai, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs. “This marks the College of Engineering’s continued progress toward excellence.”

Ehsan Barjasteh will hold a joint position as an assistant professor in the MAE and Chemical Engineering departments. With a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from University of Southern California (USC), Barjasteh has extensive experience working on polymer composite materials at Composite Technology Corp., Henkel Aerospace and Tencate Advanced Composites. He’s interested in manufacturing advanced composite materials using out-of-autoclave (OOA) processes, smart materials for self-healing and repair, and 3D-printing polymers for high-temperature applications.

Emel Demircan is joining MAE as an assistant professor after obtaining her Ph.D in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and serving as Stanford postdoctoral scholar and University of Tokyo visiting professor. Demircan is interested in human movement, rehabilitation robotics, sports biomechanics, and natural motion in humanoid robotics. She’s also a part-time scientist at Stanford’s Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital Gait Analysis Lab.

MAE assistant professor Qingbin Gao received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from University of Connecticut earlier this year. He is interested in the control of dynamic systems and robotics, including rehabilitation robotics, mechatronics, control synthesis of time-delayed systems, and engineering education research.

In CECS, Bo Fu and Oscar Morales Ponce started this fall as computer science assistant professors. Fu earned her Ph.D in computer science from Trinity College Dublin in 2011 and was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Victoria and research scientist at the Stanford National Center for Biomedical Ontology. She’s interested in knowledge-enabled and data-centric computing in cross-disciplinary research.

Ponce worked as a postdoctoral scholar at Chalmers and Carleton universities, as well as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Information Science and Technology St. Paul the Apostle after earning his Ph.D. in computer science from Carleton University in 2011. He’s also worked as a software engineer and IT consultant and is interested in cooperative algorithms to self-coordinate distributed systems.

In CECEM, meanwhile, Jin Gi Hong and Shailesh Chandra will join the civil engineering faculty. Hong obtained his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology earlier this year. He is interested in clean and sustainable energy generation, and spent five years working as a civil and environmental engineer in the water industry.

Chandra obtained his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 2012, and was a postdoctoral research associate at Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) and an adjunct assistant professor at Prairie View A&M University. His research encompasses transportation engineering, planning and economics. He is interested in first- and last-mile transport connectivity, feeder transit, high-speed rail, freight transportation and transportation safety.

Masoud H. Nazari, who holds a dual Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering and engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University, have joined the EE department, along with Shabnam Sodagari, who obtained her Ph.D in electrical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.

Nazari, who is also an industry consultant, was a recent postdoctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a visiting PhD student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. His research interests include smart grids, distributed system controls, electricity markets, integration of renewable energy sources, and policy implications for modernizing power systems.

Sodagari obtained her Ph.D in electrical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include cognitive radio and dynamic spectrum access, secure wireless communications, and coexistence of radar and communication systems. She co-chairs the CRESS workshop series on cognitive radio and electromagnetic spectrum security.