Growing Jonsson School Reinforces Faculty with Newest Hires

Dr. Mark Spong

Dr. Mark W. Spong

Nearly a dozen new tenured or tenure-track faculty members joined the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science this fall, continuing the trend since 2009 of hiring about 10 new faculty members each year.

This year’s new faculty members include world-class researchers in areas such as biomedical device engineering, medical and surgical robots, neuroengineering, sustainable energy, microelectronics and machine learning. The Jonsson School strategic plan calls for continued growth in all core areas, including energy conversion and harvesting; emerging paradigms for design and manufacturing with application to health care and nanotechnology; mechatronics and robotics with applications to health care, nano- and bio-mechanics, software engineering, microelectronics, optics and photonics, and digital circuits and systems.

“Jonsson School leaders have recruited new faculty of superior quality, in terms of producing high-impact research and educating our students,” said Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Jonsson School.

The Jonsson School has 149 tenured or tenure-track faculty members. An additional 43 full-time senior lecturers and several professors are committed to join the school next semester. The new hires are helping teach 5,740 students — a nearly 19 percent increase from last year. To accommodate the growth, more than 17,000 square feet of classroom and lab space opened this fall for mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering, two of the University’s most popular degree programs for freshmen. The 220,000-square-foot Bioengineering and Sciences Building scheduled to open next fall should also provide space for existing and incoming students and faculty.

“Our newest faculty members understand the tremendous opportunity they have to contribute to the University’s progress toward Tier One, and we are excited to welcome them into the Jonsson School,” said Spong, holder of the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering and the Excellence in Education Chair.

Dr. William Anderson

Dr. William Anderson

Dr. William Anderson, assistant professor, mechanical engineering

Previously: Assistant professor, Baylor University

Research interests: Fluid mechanics, turbulent flows and atmospheric turbulence

Quote: “My research interests focus on the unsteady, swirling motions exhibited by turbulent fluid flows. This research is important in a variety of arenas — from its implications for characterizing gusty atmospheric wind flows over urban environments, to refined aerodynamic controls for naval vessels and aircraft. At UT Dallas, my graduate students and I are using cutting-edge resources at national super-computing centers to model these flows at large scales and unravel mysteries associated with their seemingly random, chaotic nature.”

Dr. Taylor Burton

Dr. Taylor W. Barton

Dr. Taylor W. Barton, assistant professor, electrical engineering

Previously: Postdoctoral associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research interests: High-efficiency circuit design for radio frequency (RF) power applications

Quote: "My work focuses on achieving power efficiency at RF and microwave frequencies in applications where operating conditions change (power levels, frequencies, etc). This category of problem represents a longstanding engineering challenge. Technological advances in this area will have widespread benefits, for example enabling modern wireless connectivity, imaging systems, industrial processing, and smart sensors and networks."

Dr. Seth Hays

Dr. Seth Hays

Dr. Seth Hays, assistant professor, bioengineering

Previously: Postdoctoral fellow, UT Dallas

Research interests: Neuroplasticity, development of novel therapies for neurological disease, systems-level and synaptic neuroscience

Quote: "The brain has a remarkable capacity to change in response to learning and disease. My research focuses on developing strategies to enhance beneficial changes and improve the lives of those suffering from neurological disease. The collaborative, multidisciplinary research environment at UT Dallas is perfectly suited to rapidly develop and translate these therapies to clinical practice."

Dr. Blacomo Valerio Lungo

Dr. Giacomo Valerio Iungo

Dr. Giacomo Valerio Iungo, assistant professor, mechanical engineering

Previously: Scientist at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland.

Research interests: Fluid mechanics and wind energy

Quote: “One of the main objectives of our research is the development of novel models for embedding experimental data into simulation tools for optimization of wind power harvesting.”  

Dr. Ann Majewicz

Dr. Ann Majewicz

Dr. Ann Majewicz, assistant professor, mechanical engineering

Previously: PhD candidate, Stanford University 

Research interests: Medical and surgical robotics, dynamic systems and control, teleoperation and haptics

Quote: “Robotic systems can greatly improve our ability to heal people and improve quality of life. This is especially important in surgery where surgeons must perform complex, nonintuitive, physical maneuvers. Our lab is dedicated to developing novel robotic systems to assist surgeons as they learn new skills, and to enable them to perform surgeries more quickly, safely and effectively. With a rich and growing partnership with the UT Southwestern Medical Center Department of Surgery, as well as an incredible community of talented researchers in robotics, dynamics, controls and sensing, UT Dallas is quickly becoming one of the most exciting places for research in health care technology.” 

Dr. Adrian Marcus

Dr. Andrian Marcus

Dr. Andrian Marcus, associate professor, computer science

Previously: Associate professor, Wayne State University, Detroit

Research interests: Software engineering, software evolution and maintenance, and program comprehension

Quote: “I see software development as a learning process. While developing and maintaining large scale software, developers learn about the problem domain, about the needs of the stakeholders, about what other developers did, etc. During this learning process developers need access to many types of information, spread across various artifacts, such as source code, requirement documents, issue trackers and developer communications. The focus of my research is to improve the way developers store, manage, identify and retrieve information relevant to their daily tasks. This should lead to improved productivity and better software quality.”

Dr. Mario Romero-Ortega

Dr. Mario Romero-Ortega

Dr. Mario Romero-Ortega, associate professor, bioengineering

Previously: Associate professor, bioengineering, the University of Texas at Arlington

Research interests: Regenerative neurobiology, peripheral nerve and spinal cord injury repair, neuroma pain prevention, peripheral neural interfaces and bioelectronic medicines

Quote: “Our approach is to apply basic fundamental knowledge in developmental neurobiology and regenerative medicine to the development of biologically inspired devices and methods for the repair of the injured nervous system. We also develop electrode interfaces for somatic and autonomic nerves, which can be used for the control and feel of bionic prosthetic devices, and to explore the medical effect of organ regulation through peripheral nerve activity modulation.”

Dr. David Schmidtke

Dr. David Schmidtke

Dr. David Schmidtke, professor, bioengineering

Previously: Professor, School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering, University of Oklahoma; director, University of Oklahoma Biomedical Engineering Center

Research interests: Biosensors, cell adhesion, microfluidics and micro/nanofabrication

Quote: “The mission of the Schmidtke Lab is to train and mentor undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral trainees in interdisciplinary research at the interface between biology, engineering and medicine. We develop novel tools (e.g. biosensors, microfluidics, micropatterned and protein surfaces) for basic cell biology studies, medical research and clinical applications related to cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

Dr. Jun Wang

Dr. Jun Wang

Dr. Jun Wang, assistant professor, bioengineering

Previously: Research scientist, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, The University of Texas at Dallas

Research interests: Silent speech recognition/interface, dysarthric speech recognition, articulation-to-acoustics mapping and motor speech disorders 

Quote: “Millions of people in the United States suffer from motor speech disorders that affect their ability to produce intelligible speech in their daily life. Using machine learning approaches, my goals are to objectively assess the integrity of the speech motor system and to develop effective assistive technology for enhancing the impaired oral communication. Although the current focus is on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and laryngectomy, my research is relevant to the assessment and treatment of a broad range of speech motor impairments, including those related to stroke, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s disease.”

Dr. Lingming Zhang

Dr. Lingming Zhang

Dr. Lingming Zhang, assistant professor, computer science

Previously: PhD candidate, the University of Texas at Austin

Research interests: Software engineering — test generation, regression testing, mutation testing, automated debugging, program transformation and analysis — and formal methods and programming languages — symbolic execution, model checking, dynamic invariant inference, first-order logic and points-to analysis

Dr. Stuart Cogan

Dr. Stuart Cogan

Dr. Stuart Cogan, professor, bioengineering

Previously: Vice president at EIC Laboratories Inc.

Research interests: Materials and devices for stimulation and recording of the nervous system

                                         New Faculty Series
News Center has published profiles of tenured and tenure-track professors who have recently joined the University. The following schools’ profiles have been published:

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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