Jonsson School Builds Bigger Roster of Researchers, Engineers

Dean Mark Spong

Dr. Mark Spong

The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science welcomed a dozen new tenured or tenure-track professors this fall, bringing the total number of faculty members above the 150 mark. 

The majority of the new faculty joined the bioengineering and mechanical engineering programs with experience in cancer research, medical imaging, nanomaterials, control, and power and energy systems. They also bring expertise and interests in the algorithmic foundation of computer science, supply-chain security and intelligent systems. 

Most of the new faculty members cite the collaborative, interdisciplinary research opportunities at UT Dallas as important reasons for joining the school. 

“We recognize that innovation can be fostered by working across boundaries, and our programs support this kind of creativity,” said Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Jonsson School and holder of both the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering and the Excellence in Education Chair. “Our new faculty members will add to this tradition as we continue to grow in numbers and stature.” 

Among the senior faculty recruited are Dr. Reza Moheimani, an expert in nanotechnology who fills the James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology and is a professor of mechanical engineering, and Dr. Joseph Pancrazio, a professor of bioengineering who also serves as associate provost. 

The 220,000-square-foot Bioengineering and Sciences Building, scheduled to open spring 2016, will help add research and office space for faculty members in the school.

New Tenure-Track Faculty

Ken Hoyt

Dr. Ken Hoyt

Dr. Kenneth Hoyt, associate professor, bioengineering

Previously: associate professor, the University of Alabama at Birmingham

Research interests: cancer research, medical imaging, signal and image processing, ultrasound

Quote: “UT Dallas is undergoing tremendous growth, and I am delighted to now be part of the transformation. The faculty and student body in the Jonsson School are truly impressive, and collaborative research opportunities are endless. Having a joint faculty appointment at the nearby UT Southwestern Medical Center provides additional opportunities to advance my research, especially on the clinical front.”

Arif Malik

Dr. Arif Malik

Dr. Arif Malik, associate professor, mechanical engineering

Previously: assistant professor, St. Louis University

Research interests: computational structural mechanics, uncertainty analysis, reliability-based design

Quote: “UT Dallas is securing a great future by investing in very bright and energetic students. At the same time, world-class faculty have been flocking to the University. With UT Dallas poised to become a Tier One, best-in-value institution, I feel very privileged to join the mechanical engineering program in the Jonsson School and take part in its exciting pace of growth.”

Reza Moheimani

Dr. Reza Moheimani

Dr. Reza Moheimani, James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology; professor, mechanical engineering

Previously: professor, Australian Research Council Future Fellow, the University of Newcastle, Australia

Research interests: microelectromechanical systems, micro- and nano-manufacturing research, control systems

Quote: “UT Dallas is a young and ambitious university with clear direction. In a vibrant environment like this, more interesting things happen: People are more open to new ideas, and the desire to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries fuels growth and innovation.”

Joseph Pancrazio

Dr. Joseph Pancrazio

Dr. Joseph Pancrazio, associate provost; professor, bioengineering

Previously: professor, founding chair, Department of Bioengineering, George Mason University

Research interests: leveraging advances in microscale technology, materials science, and imaging to develop novel neural interfaces

Quote: “With the significant research infrastructure, collaborative colleagues across multiple disciplines, and exceptional students, I look forward to contributing to the continued growth of bioengineering at UT Dallas — especially in the area of bioelectronics.”

Zhenpeng Qin

Dr. Zhenpeng Qin

Dr. Zhenpeng Qin, assistant professor, mechanical engineering

Previously: postdoctoral researcher, University of Minnesota

Research interests: nanomaterials and thermoplasmonic effects, infectious disease diagnosis, brain drug delivery

Quote: “We are developing novel amplification strategies to diagnose infectious diseases and new platforms to deliver and release drugs in the brain. The supportive environment and close collaboration with researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center make UT Dallas a prime place to perform this type of research.”

Benjamin Raichel

Dr. Benjamin Raichel

Dr. Benjamin Raichel, assistant professor, computer science

Previously: PhD candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research interests: algorithms and theory, discrete and computational geometry, computational topology, combinatorial optimization, randomized and approximation algorithms

Quote: “My research deals with the algorithmic foundations of computer science, and I joined the Department of Computer Science at UT Dallas as it is a top department with the means and desire to support my research efforts.”

Dr. J.V. Rajendran

Dr. J.V. Rajendran

Dr. J.V. Rajendran, assistant professor, electrical engineering

Previously: PhD candidate, New York University

Research interest: hardware security

Quote: “My research develops techniques to prevent supply-chain attacks. The strong collaboration among the various schools and department makes UT Dallas an attractive place to work.”

Dr. Nicholas Ruozzi

Dr. Nicholas Ruozzi

Dr. Nicholas Ruozzi, assistant professor, computer science

Previously: postdoctoral research scientist, adjunct assistant professor, Institute for Data Science and Engineering, Columbia University

Research interests: combinatorial optimization, large-scale graphical models, approximate counting and inference, belief propagation style (e.g., min-sum, sum-product, etc.) message-passing algorithms with applications in machine learning and information theory

Quote: “I’m pleased to join the intelligent systems group in the Department of Computer Science at UT Dallas. The rate of growth of the University, and the Department of Computer Science in particular, makes UT Dallas a dynamic and exciting place to work.”

Dr. Shashank Sirsi

Dr. Shashank Sirsi

Dr. Shashank Sirsi, assistant professor, bioengineering

Previously: senior research scientist, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Research interests: cancer research, image-guided drug delivery, ultrasound imaging

Quote: “I joined UT Dallas to build a state-of-the-art, image-guided drug delivery program for cancer therapy at a fantastic university with all of the elements needed to be recognized as a Tier One research institute.”


Dr. Tyler Summers

Dr. Tyler Summers

Dr. Tyler Summers, assistant professor, mechanical engineering

Previously: postdoctoral fellow, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Research interests: control and optimization in complex dynamical networks, applications in power and energy networks and distributed robotics

Quote: “My research seeks to understand the rich interplay of dynamics, control, optimization, information and uncertainty in large-scale, complex networks, such as the electric power grid and distributed multi-robot teams. UT Dallas has a strong and growing focus on control and optimization, and I am excited to begin building my lab and interacting with the excellent students and faculty here.”

Dr. Taylor Ware

Dr. Taylor Ware

Dr. Taylor Ware MS’11 PhD’13, assistant professor, bioengineering

Previously: postdoctoral researcher, Air Force Research Laboratory

Research interests: biomaterials, stimuli-responsive materials, microfabrication, smart implantable devices

Quote: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to return to UT Dallas and to contribute to the incredible momentum of the University. My primary research goal is to better control the way in which materials interact with the human body. Through collaborative work with students and faculty colleagues, I expect UT Dallas to make important contributions in this area.”

Dr. Die Zhang

Dr. Jie Zhang

Dr. Jie Zhang, assistant professor, mechanical engineering

Previously: research engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Research interests: multidisciplinary design optimization, renewable energy, power and energy systems, big data analytics, probabilistic design

Quote: “Fundamental and applied research in renewable energy systems will be conducted to support the transition of the electricity industry to a paradigm based on large penetrations of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The fast growth of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the University will provide great opportunities for my research.”


New Faculty Series

News Center is publishing profiles of tenured and tenure-track professors who have recently joined the University. The following school profiles have been published:

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

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