News Release

Fifteen researchers join the Jacobs School faculty in fall 2023

Sept. 26, 2023--Fifteen researchers are joining the faculty of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in fall 2023. They join the more than 160 faculty members the school has hired in the past 10 years–effectively more than doubling the size of the faculty from 2013 to 2023. 

Get to know the 15 new hires in our New Faculty PDF.

“The Jacobs School is surging forward,” said Dean Albert P. Pisano. “We may have arrived, but we are not resting on our laurels. We are rising still.” 

The school is committed to allowing its faculty to act boldly, he added. “That’s what making bold possible means,” he said, referring to the school’s motto.

This academic year's new faculty are, in alphabetical order: 

Claire Acevedo, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CH
Acevedo investigates mechanisms of deformation, fracture and biological response in skeletal tissues and biomaterials from the molecular level to macro scales. She works to unravel the origins of bone fragility, skeletal disease and to inform design principles of biomaterials–bringing together materials mechanics, biology and experimental high-energy X-ray physics.
Previously: Assistant Professor, University of Utah

Kiana Aran, Bioengineering and UC San Diego School of Medicine
Associate Professor
PhD: Rutgers University
Aran develops bioelectronics for multi-omics studies, targeted drug delivery, and studying the mechanisms of aging. She pioneers approaches to fuse CRISPR and electronics to improve the quality of genotyping and gene editing. She is a founder of two San Diego biotechnology companies.
Previously: Associate Professor, Keck Graduate Institute

Fanny Chapelin, Bioengineering and Radiology
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of California San Diego
Chapelin develops non-invasive MRI methods to track immune cell migration to foci of inflammation in diff erent conditions. Study areas include cell therapy distribution, fate and eff icacy in preclinical studies; inflammation processes in tumor progression; stem cell transplant and graft vs host disease; and cell interactions in vivo.
Previously: Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky

Yufei Ding, Computer Science and Engineering
Associate Professor
Ph.D. North Carolina State University
Ding specializes in programming systems, influencing realms from machine learning to quantum computing. As a leader in intelligent programming, her work delves deeply into domain-specific language innovations, GPU-optimized library development, and cutting-edge compiler and architecture designs.
Previously: Associate Professor, UC Santa Barbara

Wanlu Li, Nanoengineering
Assistant Professor
PhD Tsinghua University, China
Li drives eco-friendly innovation by designing catalysts and materials for sustainable energy applications using quantum mechanics, molecular dynamics and machine learning. As a foundation for this work, Li’s research focuses on investigating the electronic structure, chemical bonding and environmental eff ects of nanoclusters and condensed phases.
Previously: Postdoctoral Researcher, UC Berkeley

Yanran Li, Nanoengineering
Associate Professor
Li, a synthetic biologist, blends chemistry and biology to study plants using engineering techniques. Li’s group creates microbial cell factories to gain insights into plant metabolism and immunity. The goal is to cultivate sturdier plants that are better equipped to withstand a range of challenges, from pests to changing environmental conditions.
Previously: Associate Professor, UC Riverside

Qipeng Liu, Computer Science and Engineering
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Princeton University
Liu focuses on quantum computing, quantum information and cryptography in a quantumworld. His research includes analyzing andunderstanding how safe existing cryptographic systems will be once quantum computing becomes widely available. He also works to build cryptography powered by quantum computing and information.
Previously: Quantum Postdoc Fellow at Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing

Haiwen Luan, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Northwestern University
Luan merges intelligent electronics and microfluidics into living systems to create bio-integrated, multifunctional microsystems that can be used to address medical challenges. These systems mimic living tissues, possess complex 3D geometries, respond to mechanical input, and improve our ability to sense and regulate processes in biological systems.
Previously: Postdoctoral Scholar, Northwestern University

Alessandro Marinoni, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CH
Marinoni primarily studies magnetically controlled nuclear fusion. His research focuses on understanding plasma turbulence and ways to control it. This involves developing innovative diagnostic systems for nuclear fusion devices, designing experiments within them, and using advanced modeling tools for data analysis.
Previously: Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Parinaz Naghizadeh, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Michigan
Naghizadeh develops mathematical models and analytical tools to predict and influence human and/or algorithmic behavior in complex networks. Applications include enhancing the security of cyber-physical systems and designing ethical AI algorithms for systems involving human interaction, such as in hiring, banking and school admissions.
Previously: Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University

Abdoulaye Ndao, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Universite de Franche-Compte, France
Ndao’s research merges theory, simulations, nanofabrication and device integration to develop smaller, lighter, more eff icient optical devices without compromising on functionality. Applications include sensors that can detect biological activity at single-cell resolution and components for building photonic quantum circuits.
Previously: Assistant Professor, Boston University

Alessandro Palermo, Structural Engineering
Ph.D. Politecnico di Milano, Italy 
Palermo’s world-leading expertise covers design oriented resilient and sustainable engineering solutions for earthquake damage protection. He intends to continue researching on novel low-carbon concrete technologies and advanced  engineered timber. Palermo’s research will  cover modern construction methods for timber buildings and concrete bridges including the use  of digital construction techniques. 
Previously: University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand 

Zahra Sadeghizadeh, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Assistant Teaching Professor
Ph.D. Missouri University of Science and Technology 
Sadeghizadeh aims to create and promote evidence-based teaching approaches that can  advance engineering curriculum, particularly  in aerospace engineering. Her pedagogical  methods foster active and hands-on learning;  deep understanding of complex concepts; and  essential problem-solving skills, enhancing students’ success in their academic and  professional paths. 
Previously: Assistant Professor of Teaching, UC Davis 

Rajeev Sahay, Electrical and Computer Engineering 
PhD: Purdue University
Assistant Teaching Professor 
Sahay’s research lies at the intersection of machine learning and networking. This work focuses on two main areas: cellular networks, with the goal of improving communication efficiency in congested networks, and social learning networks, which are deployed in the classroom to foster student interaction and aid effective learning. 
Previously: Senior Machine Learning Software Engineer, Saab, Inc.

Jun-Kun Wang, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Assistant Professor 
PhD: Georgia Institute of Technology 
Wang specializes in optimization and machine  learning. His research aims to make algorithms  faster; build robust theoretical foundations; and  overcome issues such as model mis-specifi cation  or distribution shifts that arise during real-world  deployment of machine learning methods. He holds a joint appointment with the HalıcıoÄŸlu  Data Science Institute. 
Previously: Postdoctoral Researcher, Yale University 







Media Contacts

Ioana Patringenaru
Jacobs School of Engineering