Faculty Highlights: Fall 2020

Bryan Beckingham, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Lauren Beckingham, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, received a $331,833 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project titled “3D Printing of Reactive Porous Media to Enhance Understanding of Porosity-Permeability Evolution.”

David Bevly, the Bill and Lana McNair Professor of mechanical engineering, received $443,000 from four awards for GPS and alternative positioning, navigation and timing research in the GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory.

Ben Bowers, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, received a $250,000 grant from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program to develop construction guide specifications for Cold Central Plant Recycled and Cold In-Place Recycled asphalt pavements. Co-investigators are Adriana Vargas and Fan Gu from the National Center for Asphalt Technology, Brian Diefenderfer from the Virginia Transportation Research Council and Stephen Cross from S. Cross and Associates.

Mario Eden, the Joe T. and Billie Carole McMillan Professor of chemical engineering and department chair, was elected chair of the Computing and Systems Technology Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and was named to the executive committee for the International Organization for Process Systems Engineering as the Delegate for the Americas.

Jeffrey Fergus, professor of materials engineering and associate dean for undergraduate studies and program assessment, was named a fellow of ABET, the organization that accredits collegiate engineering programs.

Peter He, associate professor of chemical engineering, and his collaborators Jin Wang, Zhihua Jiang and Mario Eden, all from chemical engineering, have been awarded a one-year $280,000 grant from the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute for a project titled “IoT-Enabled Manufacturing Testbeds for Democratizing Smart Manufacturing Knowledge, Technology and Innovation.”

Robert Jackson, the Albert J. Smith, Jr. Professor of mechanical engineering, won a Best Presentation Award at the 2020 International Tribology Research Symposium for his presentation titled “An Investigation of the Elastic Cylindrical Line Contact Equations for Plane Strain and Stress Considering Friction.”

Pradeep Lall, the John and Anne MacFarlane Endowed Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering, won the IEEE Region 3 Biedenbach Outstanding Engineering Educator Award for 2020.

Elizabeth Lipke, the Mary and John H. Sanders Professor of chemical engineering, was named an associate editor for the journal Science Advances.

Masoud Mahjouri-Samani, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, was recently appointed senior editor of the Journal of Laser Applications and associate editor of the International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing.

Shiwen Mao, the Earle C. Williams Scholar Chair of electrical and computer engineering, won the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society’s 2020 Jack Neubauer Memorial Award for the paper titled “CSI-Based Fingerprinting for Indoor Localization: A Deep Learning Approach.” It was coauthored with his former students Xuyu Wang and Lingjun Gao, and Santosh Pandey with Cisco.

Scott Martin, assistant research professor of mechanical engineering, received $696,000 from three awards for GPS and alternative positioning, navigation and timing research in the GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory.

Frances O’Donnell, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture for a project titled “A landscape-scale approach to wetland mitigation of non-point source agricultural runoff.” Collaborators are Matt Waters, assistant professor of crop, soil and environmental sciences, and Steven Brantley and Steve Golladay, research scientists from the Jones Center at Ichauway.

Alice Smith, the Joe W. Forehand/Accenture Professor of industrial and systems engineering, gave the keynote address at the 2020 Midwest Industry Conference hosted by IEEE.

Yin Sun, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the Best Paper Runner-up Award of the ACM MobiHoc conference his paper, “Optimizing Information Freshness using Low-Power Status Updates via Sleep-Wake Scheduling.”

Jakita Thomas, the Philpott-WestPoint Stevens Associate Professor of computer science and software engineering, was recognized by the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing for her paper, “I Can’t Breathe: Reflections from Black Women in CSCW and HCI,” and its contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion within CSCW scholarship.

Rick Williams, senior lecturer of mechanical engineering, co-authored a new textbook, “Engineering Computation: An Introduction using MATLAB and Excel, 2nd edition,” published by McGraw Hill.

Huaguo Zhou, the Elton Z. and Lois G. Huff Professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Chris Correia, professor of psychology, received a $150,000 grant from California Department of Transportation to develop effective countermeasures for severely intoxicated wrong-way drivers.