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  5. College welcomes 11 new faculty

College welcomes 11 new faculty

Eleven new faculty have joined the College of Engineering, bringing with them cutting-edge knowledge in such fields as microdevices, nanotribology, superconductors, cellular engineering and manufacturing processes.

An assistant professor of biomedical engineering, David Beebe previously was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and earned his PhD in electrical engineering from UW-Madison in 1994. His research interests include designing, fabricating and testing novel microfabrication techniques; and microdevices and microsystems designed to facilitate advances in the biological sciences.

A 1998 graduate of Stanford University, Walter Block joins biomedical engineering as an assistant professor, and holds a joint appointment in Medical Physics. His research interests include magnetic resonance (MR) interventional procedures; MR angiography and cardiac imaging, specifically designing real-time magnetic resonance acquisition and processing algorithms and systems for these procedures; MR contrast mechanisms; signal and image processing; and distributed computing.

Assistant Professor Robert Carpick complements the mechanics faculty in the Department of Engineering Physics. His research interests include experimental nanomechanics and nanotribology (friction, adhesion, elasticity and wear); applying and developing advanced scanning-force microscopy tools; and nanoscale characterization of materials, including ultrathin organic films, solid single-crystal and thin-film surfaces and nanocomposites. Carpick earned his PhD in Physics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1997 and spent two years at Sandia National Laboratories as a postdoctoral appointee.

A 1994 PhD recipient from the University of Michigan, Dariusz Ceglarek joins the Department of Industrial Engineering as an assistant professor. His research interests include manufacturing process performance and quality improvement (statistical methods driven by engineering models for quality improvements and dimensional analysis of manufacturing processes); design and manufacturing with emphasis on reconfigurable and reusable assembly systems; design for manufacturability; monitoring and diagnostics; and information integration for design and manufacturing (fusion of design and manufacturing characteristics with statistics).

Formerly a professor at Duke University, Chang-Beom Eom begins this year as a professor of materials science and engineering. His research interests include heteroepitaxy of complex-oxide thin films, nanostructure fabrication, ferroelectric and piezoelectric films for high-frequency medical ultrasound transducers, spin-dependent magnetic tunnel junctions, and high Tc superconducting thin films. Eom received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

After earning his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1999, Joel Hetrick joins the Department of Mechanical Engineering as an assistant professor. His research interests are related to modeling and designing compliant mechanisms (structures that transmit forces and motions through elastic strain), microelectromechanical systems and smart structures.

Sean Palecek earned a PhD in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at the University of Chicago from 1998 to 2000. Palecek joins the Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor. His research interests include cellular engineering, signal transduction kinetics and biopolymers.

Nimmi Ramanujam, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, received her PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1995, and was a postdoctoral fellow from 1996 to 1998 in the department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include biomedical optics; fluorescence, absorption and Raman spectroscopies; and near infrared, diffusive wave optical tomography.

A 1989 PhD recipient from Moscow State University, Yuri Shkel is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. His research interests include field-controllable "smart" materials, macro and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), electrostriction, magnetostriction in sensor and actuator applications, and rheology of composite materials in electromagnetic field.

An assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Elizabeth Smith earned her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1999. Her research interests include laser materials processing, on-line monitoring and control techniques for manufacturing processes, and micromachining and microjoining.

Lih-Sheng (Tom) Turng is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. He earned his PhD in 1990 from Cornell University. His research interests include injection-molding and innovative plastics manufacturing processes, computer-aided engineering (CAE), microchip encapsulation, material characterization for plastics and metals, net-shape die-casting using semi-solid alloys, and Internet-based collaboration for design and manufacturing.