Notable Achievements: Fall 2018

Jennifer Pazour

Jennifer Pazour, assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering, has won a Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). She will use the five-year, $500,000 award to study “Distribution Resource Elasticity: A New Hierarchical Approach for On-Demand Distribution Platforms.” The CAREER Award is given to faculty members near the beginning of their academic careers and is one of the most competitive awards given by the NSF to junior faculty. Pazour has also been named an inaugural recipient of the Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM²D Scholars Award.

Ganpati Ramanath

Nanomaterials expert Ganpati Ramanath, the John Tod Horton ’52 Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, has been named a fellow of the Materials Research Society “for developing creative approaches to realize new nanomaterials via chemically directed nanostructure synthesis and assembly and for tailoring interfaces in electronics and energy applications using molecular nanolayers.”

Meng Wang

Meng Wang, assistant professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering, has won a Young Investigator Program award from the Army Research Office. Wang will use the three-year, $360,000 grant to develop methods to extract useful information from complex data that could lead to improved image classification and object identification in modern surveillance systems. The Young Investigator Program award is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the Army on scientists beginning their independent careers.

 John Tichy

Tribology expert John Tichy, professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering, has received the Donald Wilcock Distinguished Service Award from the Tribology Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Tichy is the seventh recipient of the award, which was established in 1989 to honor “distinguished service to the Tribology Division and the tribology community throughout the recipient’s career.”

 Jian Sun

Jian Sun, professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering and director of the New York State Center for Future Energy Systems, received the 2017 R. David Middlebrook Outstanding Achievement Award from the IEEE Power Electronics Society. He was recognized for “contributions to modeling and control of power electronic converters and systems.” An international authority in modeling and control of power electronics, Sun has performed pioneering work in the theory and application of sequence impedance methods for three-phase power electronics.

 Ricardo Dobry and Tarek Abdoun



For the second year in a row, earthquake engineering experts Ricardo Dobry, Institute Professor and director of the Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, and Tarek Abdoun, the Thomas Iovino Chaired Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, have been selected by the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers to receive the Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award. Their winning paper, “Two Case Histories Demonstrating the Effect of Past Earthquakes on Liquefaction Resistance of Silty Sand,” was published in the June 2017 issue of the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. Lead author was their former doctoral student Waleed El-Sekelly, Ph.D. ’14.

Harry Roy

Harry Roy, professor of biological sciences, died on July 12, 2018. A longtime member of the faculty, he made significant contributions to Rensselaer through the years. In his research, he was a leader in elucidating the assembly and functioning of the key photosynthetic enzyme, ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco). His work was supported by federal agencies and published in the top journals of the field. He also developed a writing intensive course, converted his lectures to multimedia formats, and incorporated integrated problem sessions, computer simulations, and discussions into his courses. Recently, he was instrumental in the design of Introduction to Biology as a course for every student, major and non-major.

Farhan Gandhi

Farhan Gandhi, the Rosalind and John J. Redfern Jr. ’33 Professor of Engineering, has received a 2018 Educator Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Gandhi, an innovative researcher in the field of rotary-wing aircraft who is recognized internationally as a leader in morphing and active rotors, and adaptive cellular structures, was awarded the AIAA Faculty Advisor Award.

 Michael O'Rourke

Michael O’Rourke, professor of civil and environmental engineering, received the 2017 NCSEA James M. Delahay Award from the Board of Directors of the National Council of Structural Engineers Association. The award recognizes outstanding individual contributions toward the development of building codes and standards. During most of his 43 years on the faculty, structural engineering expert O’Rourke has been involved in funded snow-load research.

Li (Emily) Liu

Li (Emily) Liu, associate professor of nuclear engineering and engineering physics, has been named a fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering program—ELATE at Drexel—a professional development program for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. A physicist and nuclear engineer, Liu focuses her research on solving high-impact problems associated with energy and the environment through fundamental investigation into the structure-function relationship of materials.

Jian Shi

Jian Shi, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, has won a Young Investigator Research Program award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Shi will use the three-year, $450,000 grant to pursue fundamental research on nanoscale complex materials that could lead to the development of next-generation resilient and high-performance energy conversion and sensing technologies. This is one of the most competitive awards for young assistant professors and researchers in the United States.