TTU College of Engineering Welcomes New Faculty

Fall semester 2013 has seen some changes in the faculty lineup as TTU College of Engineering welcomes new instructors aboard.

Mechanical Engineering’s new chairperson is Mohan Rao, who holds a Ph.D. from Auburn University as well as an M.S. from Indian Institute of Science and a B.S. from Bangalore University. Rao comes from Michigan Tech, where he served as a professor of Mechanical Engineering; Rao is also a Fulbright Scholar and a fellow in SAE and ASME. Rao’s resume includes research sponsored by NASA, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, TRW, John Deere, GM, Xerox , Polaris, NSF, Caterpillar and Volvo, and he has been honored by NASA for his work on the Hubble Space Telescope as well as receiving the 2011 Outstanding Educator Award from the Institute of Noise Control Engineering. Rao’s specialties include acoustics, noise and vibration damping, speech intelligibility and engineering education.

The new COE Associate Dean for Research and innovation is Vahid Motevalli; Motevalli earned his Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at University of Maryland. Prior to his post at TTU, Motevalli served as Founding Director of the Center for Technology Development at Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus, as well as a post as Head of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue. Motevalli brings nearly 30 years of teaching, research and administrative expertise, with specialties in combustion, fire safety, aviation safety, transportation safety and security. Motevalli’s resume also includes time as Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic and Professor of Engineering and Associate Provost at Dubai Aerospace Enterprise University. He is an ASME Congressional Fellow and was lead investigator in Purdue’s EcoCAR2 project, converting a 2013 Chevy Malibu to a hybrid-electric drivetrain.

Newly-minted Chemical Engineering professor Jennifer Pascal is a TTU alumna, having earned her Ph.D. and B.S. in Chemical Engineering at this university. Pascal specializes in electrical field-based cancer therapies, scaling and biomedical applications in chemical engineering education. She has also served as postdoctoral fellow with NIH Academic Science Education and Research Training at the University of New Mexico, and was adjunct faculty at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute. Her awards include the Dr. John McGee Chemical Engineering Scholarship, Summer School in Biophysics (ORNL), Outstanding Ph.D. Student of the Year and American Electrophoresis Society Travel Grant Award. Pascal was selected for NIMBios Investigative Workshop and NSF Future Faculty Workshop, and has made presentations at many academic and technical conferences.

Electrical and Computer Engineering welcomes professor Mohamed Mahmoud; Mahmoud earned his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Canada’s University of Waterloo, and also holds a M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Zagazig in Cairo, Egypt. During his time at University of Waterloo, Mahmoud was a postdoctoral fellow and visiting scholar, as well as an instructor and research/teaching assistant. He has also served as a postdoctoral fellow at University of Ryerson, and as lecturer/research assistant at University of Zagazig. Mahmoud’s awards include the NSERC-PDF award, the distinguishable teaching assistantship award at Waterloo, and best paper award from the IEEE ICC conference.

Civil Engineering’s newest addition is professor Matthew Yarnold, who holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Drexel University, as well as a M.S. and B.S. from Lehigh University. Yarnold’s specialties include bridge design and stress analysis with remote sensing; his resume includes stints as Project Engineer at Intelligent Infrastructure Systems in Philadelphia, and Structural Engineer at Ammann and Whitney. Yarnold holds memberships in the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Highway Engineers and American Segmental Bridge Institute.

TTU’s Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Department welcomes Awni Qasaimeh; Qasaimeh holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from State University of New York, a M.S. in Industrial Automation Engineering from Yarmouk University in Jordan, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology. Prior to his arrival at TTU, Qasaimeh worked as an instructor with Tafila Technical university in Jordan, and was a doctorate research associate at Watson Institute of Systems Excellence and a teaching assistant at Binghamton University, Systems Science and Industrial Engineering Department. Qasaimeh has worked as a reliability engineer with Advanced Energy Industries; his specialties include manufacturing automation, electronics packaging, processes for electronic manufacturing, statistical quality control and applied soft computing.

Indranil Bhattacharya is the latest addition to the faculty at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tennessee Tech. Bhattacharya earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Florida State University, and a B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering in Bangalore, India. During his time at Florida State, Bhattacharya served as adjunct professor and graduate research assistant, as well as project leader for the Boeing Project. His awards include the Florida State Innovators Award, the Award for Research Excellence and Graduate Research Poster Award; he also holds patents for a high efficiency photovoltaic cell and a four junction solar cell.

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