Special Edition-New Faculty

Today, in a special edition of Tech Today, we take a look at and welcome faculty who have started with the Fall Semester. The new faculty is listed by College or School.

 

 

College of Sciences and Arts

Biological Sciences

Xiaohu Tang, PhD

Xiaohu Tang joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Biological Sciences as an assistant professor. Tang earned his PhD from the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Prior to coming to Tech, Tang worked as a research scholar in the Center for Genomic and Computational Biology at Duke University's School of Medicine.

Tang received the National Center for Drug Discovery in Neurodegeneration Fellowship from the Drug Discovery Neurodiscovery Center at Harvard University. He also received an award from the Chinese government for excellence as a PhD student abroad.

Computer Science

Stephane Zuckerman, PhD

Stephane Zuckerman has joined Michigan Tech’s Computer Science Department as a visiting assistant professor. He received his PhD in Computer Sciences at the University of Versailles Saint-Wuentin_en_Yvelines (UVSQ).

Prior to coming to Tech, Zuckerman worked as a research associate and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Delaware. He has contributed to and authored numerous journal articles and presented at conferences and workshops.  

Humanities

Dany Jacob, PhD

Dany Jacob joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Humanities as a visiting assistant professor. He earned his PhD in Romance Literature and Languages at State University of New York, Buffalo.

Jacob worked as a graduate teaching assistant at SUNY, Buffalo, teaching multiple levels of French. He also served as Graduate Student Association president for romance literature and language and “The French Connection,” as well as graduate student representative for academic integrity and grievance pool and round table moderator for “Re-opening our Minds” at SUNY, Buffalo. He was a nominee for the Milton Plesur Award and is a member of Association of Teachers of French.

Mathematical Sciences

John Gruver, PhD

John Gruver joins Michigan Tech’s Mathematical Sciences Department as an assistant professor. Gruver received a PhD in Mathematics Education in a joint doctoral program at San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego.

He previously worked as a research assistant at the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence at the University of California, San Diego. Gruver has also worked as an instructor at San Diego State University, providing upcoming elementary educators with additional skills to be used when teaching mathematics. He also mentored student teachers at Brigham Young University. Among his many awards and publications, Gruver is a Winter 2015 Graduate Student Association Travel Grant winner.

Jie Sun, PhD

Jie Sun joins Michigan Tech’s Mathematical Sciences Department as an assistant professor. Sun is no stranger to Michigan Tech. She has been here since 2013 as a visiting assistant professor.

Sun earned a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, in 2009. She has also worked as an instructor at Michigan Tech and at the University of California, Berkeley. Sun served as a member of the organizing committee for the first annual Kliakhandler conference in 2015. She has received multiple awards in teaching and research.  

Zeying Wang, PhD

Zeying Wang joins Tech’s Mathematical Sciences Department as an assistant professor. She has worked as a lecturer at Michigan Tech since 2012. She also served as a visiting assistant professor at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

Wang supervised an undergraduate research project and presentation, as well as serving on the departmental undergraduate committee at Tech. She has worked as an instructor at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio; Ohio University, Athens, Ohio; and University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.  

Teresa Woods, MS

Teresa Woods joins Michigan Tech's Mathematical Sciences Department as a lecturer. She received a BS in Chemical Engineering and Secondary Education at Tech. She obtained an MS from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is currently completing an MS in Applied Sciences at Michigan Tech, with an expected graduation date of 2017.

Woods has worked as a graduate teaching assistant and an instructor in Tech’s Department of Mathematical Sciences. She has worked as a health data researcher for the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and an online mathematics instructor for the Community College of Vermont. She also worked as a performance consultant with Vermont Technical College in Essex Junction, Vermont.

Physics

Katrina Black, PhD

Katrina Black joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Physics as a lecturer. Black earned her PhD in Physics at the University of Maine.

She has research experience with the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education at the University of Maine. She also worked as a graduate research assistant in the University of Maine's Department of Physics and Astronomy and as a course instructor at Michigan Tech. Black is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Social Sciences

Roman Sidortsov, PhD

Roman Sidortsov joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences as an assistant professor. He received his PhD in Polar Studies at the University of Cambridge, Scott Polar Research Institute, Churchill College, and his LLM in Environmental Law as well as his Juris Doctorate at Vermont Law School.

Sidortsov has worked as a professor for Vermont Law School distance learning and summer programs and as a senior global energy fellow of Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment. He was the editor of Energy Research and Social Sciences and served as editor of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. He also serves as a volunteer journalist for Sovetskij Sport out of Moscow, Russia, and program director for Lex Legal Clinic in Irkutsk, Russia.

College of Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Rebecca Ong, PhD

Rebecca Ong joins Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor. Ong received her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University.

She has worked as an instructor in chemical engineering at Tech and as a research assistant professor at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Ong is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

Lei Pan, PhD

Lei Pan joins the Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor. Pan received a PhD in mining engineering at Virginia Tech and also worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Advanced Separation Technologies there.

He received the Pratt Research Fellowship award at Virginia Tech, as well as the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the Mining Department there. He worked as a reviewer for Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review and Minerals Engineering and as a lecturer at Virginia Tech.

Jeana Collins, PhD

Jeana Collins joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Chemical Engineering as a lecturer. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech and has worked at Tech as a graduate teaching assistant as well as a mentor for current undergraduate researchers. Collins is a recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student teaching award.

She is a member of Omega Chi Epsilon, a chemical engineering honor society, as well as Tau Beta Phi engineering honor society, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Alumni Association and Order of the Engineer. Collins also coaches Tech’s dance team and mentors students in time management, coursework and prioritization.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Hyungchul Yoon, PhD

Hyungchul Yoon joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an assistant professor. He earned his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and received his certificate in foundation of teaching at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning there.

Yoon has been a mentor at the Smart Structure Technology Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has had numerous publications in journals such as the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering. He has also given oral presentations in Osaka, Japan; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Stanford, California.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Christian Wagner, PhD

Christian Wagner joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as a visiting professor.

Wagner earned his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. He has served as the director of digital economy in the Digital Catapult Researcher in Residence Programme in London, UK. He also was an associate professor at the University of Nottingham and a consultant for Unilever Data Analysis.

Zhi Zheng, PhD

Zhi Zheng joins the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Tech as a research assistant professor. She earned her PhD in Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she also obtained her certification in college teaching.

Zheng received the Best Paper Award at the 9th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction.

Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sajjad Bigham, PhD

Sajjad Bigham joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. Bigham earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida and has worked as a research assistant in nanostructure energy systems there.

Bigham has multiple patents and journal publications. He was the recipient of an outstanding honor student award for academic achievements.  

Susanta Ghosh, PhD

Susanta Ghosh joins the Department of  Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as a research assistant professor. Ghosh received a PhD in Civil Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, in 2008.

Prior to coming to Michigan Tech, Ghosh worked for the Department of Materials Science Engineering at the University of Michigan as a visiting research investigator. He also worked for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University. He has multiple journal publications and is the recipient of awards and fellowships.  

Darrell L. Robinette, PhD, P.E.

Darrell L. Robinette joins Michigan Tech as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. Robinette received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Tech in 2007.

Prior to joining the Michigan Tech faculty, Robinette worked for General Motors as an advanced hybrid and electrification architecture engineer. He volunteers with FIRST Robotics and has received many awards and recognitions. He was the SAE Foundation Stefan Pischinger Young Industry Leadership Award nominee.

Trisha Sain, PhD

Trisha Sain joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. She earned her PhD in the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore India.

Prior to coming to Tech, she worked as an assistant professor at North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She was a reviewer of grant proposals for the US Army Research Office and a consultant in the mechanics division of Honeywell Technology Solutions lab in Bangalore, India.

Zequn Wang, PhD

Zequn Wang joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics as an assistant professor. He earned a PhD in Industrial Engineering at Wichita State University in Kansas and worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Integrated DEsign Automation Laboratory (IDEAL) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University.

Before coming to Tech, Wang was an instructor for the engineering design optimization iSIGHT lab at Northwestern. He has presented at the Ford Research and Development Center on validating dynamic engineering models under uncertainty.

School of Business and Economics

Jonathan Leinonen, MBA

Jonathan Leinonen has joined Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics as a lecturer. Leinonen received his MBA at the University of Michigan-Flint. He has worked as vice president of Superior Innovations, where he serves as administrator for equity investment under the Michigan Tech Entrepreneurial Support Corp. He has worked as an instructor at Michigan Tech and also served as mentor in residence at Tech.

Leinonen was a presenter at the 2015 Nonprofit Business Model Canvas, Great Lakes Center for Youth Development annual conference. He has also been program director at the MTEC SmartZone and a member of Portage Health Foundation’s personnel and operations committee, and he served on a consulting panel for Michigan State University’s Center for Community and Economic Development.

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences

Curtis Edson, PhD

Curtis Edson joins the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences at Michigan Tech as an assistant professor. He earned his PhD in Forest Resources with a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Science at Oregon State University.

Edson has more than 20 years of military experience, earning numerous medals and awards such as the Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service medals and three Army Commendation medals. Prior to coming to Michigan Tech, he taught GIS in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, US Military Academy-Army.

Xinfeng Xie, PhD

Xinfeng Xie joins Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences as an assistant professor. Xie received his PhD in Forest Resources (Wood Science and Technology) from the University of Maine. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at West Virginia University School of Natural Resources.   

Xie was the site coordinator for National STEM Teacher’s Workshop: Bioenergy and Bioproducts Education Program in Horseheads, New York. He has received many awards including the NSF Travel award, Engineering Sustainability and Outstanding Graduate Student from the School of Forest Resources, University of Maine.