Missouri S&T welcomes 29 new faculty members

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On August 22, 2018

With expertise ranging from American folklore to organic chemistry, 29 new faculty members joined Missouri S&T this fall.

  • Dr. Emilia Barbosa, assistant professor of romance languages and Latin American studies, speaks Portuguese, French and Spanish, and she has researched gender in Hispanic literature and visual arts as well as violence against women in Latin America. She comes to S&T from the University of Kansas, where she earned her Ph.D. in Hispanic studies.
  • Dr. Andrew Behrendt, assistant teaching professor in the department of history and political science, comes to Missouri S&T from the University of Pittsburgh, where earned his Ph.D. in history, he worked as a history instructor, served as academic adviser at the Center for Russian and East European Studies, and worked as program coordinator and editor at the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.
  • Dr. Simon Bronner, the Maxwell C. Wiener Distinguished Visiting Professor of Humanities, is an American folklore scholar, ethnologist and historian. Bronner will present two public lectures, lead a seminar on campus for early-career faculty in the humanities and teach one semester-long undergraduate course this academic year. Bronner is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of American Studies and Folklore from The Pennsylvania State University and holds a Ph.D. in American studies and folklore from Indiana University.
  • Dr. Casey Canfield, assistant professor of engineering management and systems engineering, comes to Missouri S&T from the U.S. Department of Energy, where she was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the Solar Energy Technologies Office. Her areas of expertise and research are in human systems integration, risk analysis and energy systems. Canfield earned a Ph.D. in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Dr. Marco Cavaglià, professor of physics, comes to Missouri S&T from the University of Mississippi, where he worked as a professor of physics and astronomy. His research is focused on the study of experimental and theoretical gravitational-wave detection, classical and quantum models of gravity, high energy cosmic rays, cosmology and applied mathematics. Cavaglià earned his Ph.D. in astrophysics from the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy.
  • Dr. Anthony Convertine, the Roberta and G. Robert Couch assistant professor of materials science and engineering, comes to S&T from the University of Washington in Seattle, where his research was focused on biomedical engineering and nanomedicine, polymer science, and nanoparticles. Convertine earned his Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi.
  • Dr. Carleigh Davis, assistant professor of English and technical communication, comes to S&T from East Carolina University, where she studied rhetoric, writing and professional communication with a focus on memetic rhetorical theory. Davis earned her Ph.D. in rhetoric, writing and professional communication from East Carolina University.
  • Dr. Audrey Deterding, assistant teaching professor of speech, comes to S&T from Northern Arizona University, where she taught a wide variety of communication classes, and developed her current research focus on communication education and how different styles of teaching and class formats impact student success. She earned her Ph.D. in communication arts and sciences from The Pennsylvania State University.
  • Dr. Islam El-adaway, the Hurst/McCarthy Professor in Construction Engineering Management, comes to S&T from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His research focuses on sustainable infrastructure and hazard management, modeling and simulation for construction, decision and risk management, and contractual and legal affairs in construction. El-adaway earned a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Iowa State University.
  • Dr. Patrick Gamez, assistant professor of philosophy, earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include continental philosophy, philosophy and ethics, and social and political theory.
  • Dr. Rainer Glaser, professor and chair of chemistry, comes to S&T from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Since 2010, he has received visiting or guest professorships at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, Northwest University and Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an, and Xiamen University in Xiamen. His research is focused on organic and theoretical and computational chemistry, combining modern methods of electronic structure theory with experimental studies to discover new concepts in chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Michael Gosnell, assistant teaching professor in computer science, earned his master of science degree at Missouri S&T. For several years, he has mentored and instructed S&T students as a lecturer in computer science. Gosnell co-founded Triplet Tech Corp., which offers new technology and software solutions to customers. He also worked for 21st Century Systems Inc. as a computer scientist assisting small businesses and government entities with technology projects. His teaching interests include software engineering, databases and parallel programming.
  • Kendrea James, assistant teaching professor of speech, has worked at S&T as a lecturer of the principles of speech communication since last year. Previously, she taught public speaking at Rogers State University and Tulsa Community College. Her research interests include contemporary forensics, collegiate forensics, interpersonal communication, propaganda, and alternative media and communication and social change.
  • Dr. Benjamin Kwasa, assistant professor of engineering management and systems engineering, comes to S&T from Iowa State University, where his research included organization design in the design of complex systems, unmanned aerial systems integration, value-driven design and multidisciplinary design optimization among other topics. Kwasa earned his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Iowa State.
  • Dr. Anh-Thu (Thu or A.T.) Le, assistant professor of physics, comes to S&T from Kansas State University, where his research focused on ultra-fast, intense laser-atom and molecule interactions, attosecond physics, ion-atom collisions and general three-body collisions. He has published more than 90 research papers that have been cited more than 2,700 times. Le earned his Ph.D. from Belarusian State University in theoretical physics.
  • Dr. Angela Lueking joins Missouri S&T as associate dean of research in the College of Engineering and Computing and professor of chemical and biological engineering. Lueking served as the program director of the Molecular Separations Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 2016 to 2018, and continues as an expert for the NSF Chemical Process Systems cluster in the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems. Previously, she was a professor of energy and mineral engineering and chemical engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, where her research spanned chemical, environmental, mechanical and materials engineering. She earned her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.
  • Dr. Phillip Mulligan, research assistant professor in geosciences and geological engineering and petroleum engineering, earned his Ph.D. in explosives engineering from Missouri S&T. Mulligan founded his own explosives research company, Dagaz Technologies, which conducts research into energetic systems, weapons sciences and force protection. During the last year, he has guided graduate students at S&T as a post-doctoral fellow, helping them design experiments, write proposals and secure external research funding. He also worked for Corvid Technologies as an explosive engineer and computer analyst, investigating the performance of energetic events and testing explosive devices.
  • Dr. Sid Nadendla, assistant professor of computer science, comes to S&T from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where his research focused on the design and analysis of human-system interaction, security and deception in cyber-physical-human systems, and learning choice preferences with the aid of private signals. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Syracuse University.
  • Dr. Monday Okoronkwo, assistant professor in the department of chemical and biochemical engineering, comes to S&T from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where his research included fundamental studies on the chemistry and structure of construction materials and their interactions at the submicroscopic and macroscopic levels. His present research focuses on developing advanced polymer and nanomaterials for sustainable infrastructure. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom.
  • Dr. Guney Olgun, assistant professor in civil, architectural and environmental engineering, comes to S&T from Virginia Tech, where he also earned his Ph.D. Olgun has performed research and taught courses in geotechnical engineering for more than 10 years. His main research focus areas are energy geotechnology, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and disaster resilience and risk management.
  • Dr. Radu Puslenghea, assistant teaching professor of economics, has been an economics instructor at Missouri S&T for the last three years. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia, where his research focused on monetary policy analysis and fiscal policy.
  • Dr. Shun Saito, assistant professor of physics, comes to Missouri S&T from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, where he worked as a postdoctoral fellow. His research is focused on observational cosmology, large-scale structure of the universe, galaxy clustering and galaxy-halo connection. Dr. Saito earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Tokyo.
  • Dr. Taghi Sherizadeh, assistant professor in mining and nuclear engineering, comes to S&T from Golder Associates Inc. in Portland, Oregon, where he modeled and studied the stability of copper mines, coal mines and diamond mines. Sherizadeh’s research covers the geomechanical aspects of mining, petroleum and civil engineering. He earned his Ph.D. in mining engineering at the University of Arizona, where he conducted stability analyses on underground coal mines.
  • Dr. Ryan Smith, assistant professor in geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering, comes to S&T from Stanford University, where he earned his Ph.D. in geophysics. Smith’s research focuses on hydrogeophysics, groundwater extraction and groundwater storage. At Stanford, his research included using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data for groundwater evaluation and management.
  • Dr. Sanjay Tewari, assistant teaching professor in civil, architectural and environmental engineering, comes to S&T from Louisiana Tech University, where his research focused on water quality, desalination and sustainable management of infrastructure in coastal regions. He earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Texas A&M.
  • Dr. Robin Verble, associate professor of biological sciences, is also founding director of the Ozark Research Field Station located south of Rolla in the Bohigian Conservation Area. Her research interests include fire ecology, forest entomology, insect ecology, ant ecology, community ecology, disturbance ecology, wildland fire, prescribed fire, prescribed burning and minorities in STEM. Verble earned her Ph.D. in applied ecology from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.
  • Dr. Kelley Wilkerson, assistant teaching professor in materials science and engineering, is returning to S&T after working at Allied Mineral Products Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, on research into industrial and light metals. She earned a Ph.D. in ceramic engineering from the materials science and engineering department at Missouri S&T in 2012.
  • Dr. Robert Woodley, assistant teaching professor in electrical and computer engineering, earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 2004. Woodley returns to S&T after co-founding Triplet Tech Corp., which offers new technology and software solutions. He has also taught computer engineering and electrical engineering at S&T as an adjunct professor for the last three years. Previously, Woodley was the principal scientist and director of scientific research for 21st Century Systems Inc.
  • Dr. Jiangfan Zhang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, joins S&T from Columbia University in New York City. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His current research interests are in the fields of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and sensor network systems with focus on cybersecurity and cyberattacks. Zhang’s research interests also include signal processing for sensor networking, smart grid, energy-efficient distributed signal processing, target localization and sonar processing.

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On August 22, 2018.

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