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Nineteen new faculty join the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego

San Diego, Calif., Oct. 16 -- Nineteen new faculty members joined the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering this year, which is growing to meet the intense demand for its engineering education programs. The Jacobs School gives students the tools to become tomorrow’s technology leaders and prepares them to meet the workforce needs of both the private and public sectors.

The school also is expanding its research enterprise. Faculty growth will be focused through cluster hires—in robotics, materials and energy, advanced manufacturing, information sciences, engineering and clinical medicine and more. In robotics alone, the school plans to hire five new faculty in the next two hiring cycles.

Below are short summaries of specialties and research for the school’s 19 new faculty, by department.

BIOENGINEERING

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STEPHANIE FRALEY
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University
Fraley studies the multiscale physical and molecular contexts that drive complex cellular behaviors. Her research aims to improve our understanding of disease progression in cancer and sepsis. She works to develop new technologies for early detection and personalized interventions. Fraley received a 2013 national Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards at the Scientific Interface.
sifraley@ucsd.edu
 Previously: Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

 

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PRASHANT MALI
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University
Within synthetic biology and regenerative medicine, Mali’s long-term focus is on developing tools for enabling gene- and cell-based human therapeutics. Over the years, he has developed a range of genome and stem cell engineering technologies. In particular, he pioneered the development of the CRISPR/Cas systems for eukaryotic genome engineering.
amali@ucsd.edu
Previously: Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School

 

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

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NUNO BANDEIRA
Associate Professor
Ph.D. UC San Diego
Bandeira works at the epicenter of a seismic paradigm shift in computational mass spectrometry. Instead of interpreting each spectrum in isolation, he develops algorithms for so-called “spectral networks.” His goal is to collect and organize all mass spectrometry data in the world and make it searchable and accessible to a social network of researchers in order to enable discovery of new drugs.
nbandeira@ucsd.edu
Concurrently: UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy

 

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DANIEL M. KANE
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Harvard University
Topics of Kane’s published papers include algorithms for big data, results on writing numbers as sums of primes, and the structure of polynomials in many variables. He has diverse research interests within mathematics and theoretical computer science, particularly in the areas of combinatorics, number theory, derandomization and Boolean functions.
dakane@ucsd.edu
Previously: Fellow, Stanford University

 

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JULIAN MCAULEY
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Australian National University
McAuley focuses on the linguistic and temporal dimensions of opinions and behavior in social networks and other online communities. He is perhaps best known for having analyzed 42 million Internet product reviews consisting of over five billion words written by 10 million users, including Amazon reviews posted through early 2013, to predict product ratings more accurately.
jmcauley@ucsd.edu
Previously: Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University

 

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MIA MINNES
Teaching Professor
Ph.D. Cornell University
Minnes’ research and teaching expertise is in theory of computation and foundational mathematics. She is a founding faculty member of the Summer Program for Incoming Students and faculty sponsor for the Summer Internship Symposium in the UC San Diego computer science department. She studies the effect of randomness on computational power and models of efficient online computation.
minnes@ucsd.edu
Previously: Assistant Professor, UC San Diego Mathematics

 

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GEORGE PORTER
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. UC Berkeley
Porter reduces barriers to developing, deploying and managing applications that process massive amounts of data while ensuring the resulting systems are practical, low cost and energy efficient. He focuses on improving networks for data-intensive clusters and data centers to support a new generation of applications and data sizes that are an order of magnitude greater than state of the art.
gmporter@ucsd.edu
Previously: Assistant Research Scientist, UC San Diego

 

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LEO PORTER
Teaching Professor
Ph.D. UC San Diego
Porter identifies core course concepts essential to student success; develops pedagogies to facilitate student engagement; and creates assessment instruments to evaluate student learning. He works to improve diversity by using pedagogies fostering community among students. His research includes multicore, multithreaded computer architectures and scheduling in high-performance computing.
leporter@ucsd.edu
Previously: Assistant Professor, Skidmore College

 

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RAVI RAMAMOORTHI
Professor
Ph.D. Stanford University
Ramamoorthi creates realistic images—or renderings—in computer graphics and studies scene appearance in computer vision. He has received many awards, including a White House Presidential Early Career Award. His results are widely adopted in movies such as Avatar and Monsters U., and in games including Halo. He taught the first open online course in computer graphics.
rramamoorthi@ucsd.edu
Previously: Associate Professor, UC Berkeley

 

MECHANICAL AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING

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JAMES FRIEND
Professor
Ph.D. University of Missouri
To develop new biomedical devices, Friend combines fundamental and applied studies of the interaction of electromechanical fields in novel materials and across various interfaces at the micro and nano scale. His team created several medical technologies, including a new pulmonary drug delivery system and a robot capable of swimming inside human arteries.
jfriend@eng.ucsd.edu
Previously: Professor, RMIT University, Melbourne

 

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PADMINI RANGAMANI
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai
Rangamani’s long-term research goal is to understand how cell shape regulates cellular function by analyzing biological membranes, biochemical signaling and the cytoskeleton. Her work uses a combination of novel mathematical theories and computational approaches to simulate cellular processes. Model predictions are validated in collaboration with experimentalists.
prangamani@ucsd.edu
Previously: Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley

 

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ANTONIO SANCHEZ
Professor
Ph.D. UC San Diego
Sánchez focuses on multiscale research problems that involve the interplay of fluid mechanics, transport processes, and chemical reactions, in particular those emerging in practical combustion systems. Applications include clean combustion technologies, aerospace propulsion devices, and safety hazards in the built environment.
alsp@eng.ucsd.edu
Previously: Professor, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

 

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MICHAEL TOLLEY
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Cornell University
Tolley focuses on the design and fabrication of bioinspired robotic systems that inherit beneficial properties from natural systems: e.g. resilience and self-organization. He developed origami-inspired print-and-fold methods for rapid robot fabrication and deployment; untethered soft robots that walk or jump; and systems that employ fluid forces for self assembly.
mttolley@ucsd.edu
Previously: Postdoctoral Associate, Harvard University

 

NANOENGINEERING

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YI CHEN
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Purdue University
Chen builds DNA nanostructures to deliver therapeutic agents and functional biological components. Beyond its genomic properties, DNA is also recognized as a novel material. Chen’s group uses DNA strands as building blocks that self-assemble into highly structured materials with specific nanoscale features such as rationally designed DNA 3D crystals and autonomous nanomachines.
yic047@ucsd.edu
Previously: Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT Cancer Center

 

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AARON DREWS
Teaching Professor
Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University
Drews develops and improves core undergraduate chemical engineering laboratory courses with an emphasis on active classrooms that promote self-directed learning and increase the quantity and usefulness of teacher-student interactions. A 2014 Teaching Fellow for the Chemical Engineering Department at Penn State, Drews is passionate about excellence in engineering education.
adrews@ucsd.edu
Previously: Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University

 

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DAVID FENNING
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Fenning designs and develops materials and technology for solar energy conversion and storage. His research centers on modeling, characterizing and controlling defects in solar cells to raise efficiency and on developing new materials and device architectures for solar-to-fuel conversion for energy storage.
dfenning@ucsd.edu
Previously: 1366 Technologies

 

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JESSE JOKERST
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin
Jokerst engineers nanoparticles for molecular imaging and in vitro diagnostics. His focus includes ultrasound imaging, which has broad clinical utility and high spatial and temporal resolution, and photoacoustic imaging for high-contrast imaging. Current projects include tools to image stem cells in cardiac regenerative medicine and increase the specificity of ovarian cancer screening.
jokerst@gmail.com
Previously: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford School of Medicine

 

STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING

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JIUN-SHYAN “JS” CHEN
William Prager Endowed Chair Professor
Ph.D. Northwestern University
Chen is a leader in computational mechanics and specializes in developing mesh-free computer simulation methods using image pixels as data points. His research team applies advanced computational methods to fragment-impact processes in homeland security applications, landslides, natural-disaster prediction, manufacturing processes modeling and biological systems simulation.
jsc137@ucsd.edu
Previously: Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, UCLA

 

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JOHN MCCARTNEY
Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin
McCartney solves problems that arise when geotechnical engineering systems such as foundations, retaining walls, and landfills are used as geothermal resources; and he investigates ways of using heat to improve their behavior. He explores the fundamental response of unsaturated soil layers to seismic shaking, temperature changes, wetting and drying, and compression under high stresses.
mccartney@ucsd.edu
Previously: Associate Professor, University of Colorado

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Media Contacts

Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering
Phone: 858-534-3262
dbkane@ucsd.edu Ioana Patringenaru
Jacobs School of Engineering
Phone: 858-822-0899
ipatrin@ucsd.edu

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