Missouri S&T welcomes new faculty

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On August 27, 2020

As classes begin this week, Missouri S&T welcomes new faculty this school year with expertise ranging from big data in precision medicine to 19th-century French literature.

  • Julia Alexander,assistant teaching professor in teacher education and certification, worked in elementary and middle school education for 11 years. She holds a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in special reading from Drury University. Her research interests include early detection and intervention of dyslexia and phonics intervention in struggling readers.
  • Dr. Avah (Indranil) Banerjee, assistant professor of computer science, earned a doctorate and a master’s degree in computer science from George Mason University as well as a bachelor’s degree of technology with honors in electrical engineering. Prior to joining S&T, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University’s Center for Computation and Technology investigating approximation hardness of certain graph partitioning problems.
  • Dr. David Bayless will return to Missouri S&T in January 2021 as the chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering. A 1987 Missouri S&T mechanical engineering graduate, Bayless is the graduate chair of mechanical engineering and Gerald Loehr Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. An expert in the connections among energy, water and waste, Bayless’ research focuses on carbon recycling and wastewater remediation, enhancing hydrocarbon recovery from hydraulically fractured (fracked) shale formations, and developing photobioreactors to grow algae for commercial use. Bayless earned a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Central Florida near Orlando and his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Dr. Mario Buchely, assistant research professor in materials science and engineering, is also a principal investigator in the Peaslee Steel Manufacturing Research Center at S&T. He earned his doctorate in engineering from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.
  • Dr. Arezoo Emdadi, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, was a postdoctoral research fellow at S&T in the 2019-20 school year. Emdadi earned a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from S&T. She also earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in structural engineering from the University of Tehran in Iran as well as a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
  • Dr. Mary Gillis, assistant teaching professor in teacher education and certification, comes to S&T from Rolla High School, where she was department chair and curriculum specialist for the English department. She holds a doctorate in educational practice with an emphasis in heritage leadership for sustainability, social justice and participatory culture from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
  • Dr. Michel Gueldry, professor of French, comes to Missouri S&T from Middlebury Institute of International Studies, where he was a professor and program chair. He holds a Ph.D. in political sciences from the University of Toulouse in Toulouse, France. His research focuses on global connections between natural resources, conflicts and security.
  • Dr. Gerry W. Howser, associate teaching professor in computer science, earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in computer science as well as a bachelor’s degree in physics from Missouri S&T. He was a visiting assistant professor at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Howser says his background in physics and computer science give him a unique perspective on analyzing cyber-physical security systems.
  • Dr. Khalid Kaddoura,adjunct professor teaching civil engineering, is a project manager and asset management and condition assessment specialist at AECOM, an infrastructure firm. Kaddoura earned a Ph.D. in asset and construction management from Concordia University. His interests include machine learning, infrastructure asset management, optimization, condition assessment, automation, project management and construction productivity analysis.
  • Dr. Hongseok Kim, assistant research professor in the Electromagnetic Compatibility Laboratory (EMC), earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in future vehicle from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He earned a bachelor’s degree in electronic and electrical engineering from Sungkyunkwan University. Kim was a visiting assistant research professor at the S&T EMC Laboratory. His current research interests include automotive electromagnetic compatibility, power electronics EMC, wireless power transfer, automotive and electric vehicles.
  • Dr. Marie Lathers, the Maxwell C. Weiner Distinguished Visiting Professor of Humanities, joins Missouri S&T for the 2020-21 academic year from Case Western Reserve University where she is the Elizabeth M. and William C. Treuhaft Professor of Humanities and French. Her research and creative interests include 19th-century French literature; gender, science, and technology; visual arts; science and literature; and creative writing. Lathers holds a Ph.D. in French studies from Brown University.
  • Dr. Jinling Liu, assistant professor in both engineering management and systems engineering and biological sciences, has expertise in both biology and informatics. Liu’s current research interests include modeling big data in biology and medicine for precision medicine. Her expertise not only allows her to identify interesting biomedical problems to model, but also helps her to build a better model with molecular-level biological understanding of the complex data.
  • Dr. Tony T. Luo, associate professor of computer science, earned a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the National University of Singapore. His research interests include the Internet of Things, machine learning and cybersecurity. Luo was a program lead and research scientist with A*STAR in Singapore.
  • Dr. Jeremy Maurer, assistant professor of geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering, worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He earned a doctorate in geophysics and seismology from Stanford University and a master’s degree in geosciences from Indiana University. Maurer uses many different kinds of quantitative tools and data to understand earthquakes – how they work, and when and where they happen.
  • Amanda Meek, extension state specialist in youth STEM education and engagement, was previously the 4-H youth development specialist and STEM 4-H educator in St. Louis County. She works in teacher education and certification and holds a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in online education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Meek will start a doctorate in education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis this fall.
  • Dr. Wouter Mostert, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was a postdoctoral research associate in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University . His research is primarily in computational and theoretical fluid dynamics for wave-dominated fluid flows and hydrodynamic stability. He investigates surface waves in ocean science particularly breaking waves in deep and shallow water and is developing interest in bubble dynamics. Prior to that, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology. Mostert earned bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Queensland in Queensland, Australia.
  • Dr. Vahe Permzadian, assistant professor of psychological science, joined S&T from State University of New York Plattsburgh. He earned a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from the University at Albany, State University of New York. His research is categorized in the domains or organizational socialization and goal setting.
  • Lt. Col. Daniel Willis, commander professor of aerospace studies, was deputy commander of 5 Operations Group at Minot Air Force Base near Minot, North Dakota. Willis leads S&T’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp Detachment 442. He holds masters degrees in communications from Missouri State University and in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College.
  • Dr. Hu Yang, professor and chair of chemical and biochemical engineering, was the Qimonda Endowed Chair in chemical and life science engineering, biomedical engineering, and pharmaceutics at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Yang earned his bachelor’s degree at Sichuan University in China. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Akron in Ohio and conducted postdoctoral research in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Engineering, materials science and medicine meet in Yang’s research. In his internationally known, interdisciplinary research initiatives at VCU, he investigated the role of biomaterials and nanotechnology in the treatment of cancer, glaucoma and arterial plaque buildup as well as the use of hydrogels and dendrimers in targeted drug and gene therapies and tissue engineering.
  • Wangchuchu Zhao, academic specialist in business and information technology, was previously a graduate research assistant in machine learning at S&T. She earned a master’s degree in information science and technology, a graduate certificate in artificial intelligence, and a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Missouri S&T. Her research interests include using machine-learning approaches to classify human emotion.

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