The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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College of Engineering Welcomes Nine New Faculty Members

Jianhua Yang

Boris Lau

The College of Engineering welcomes nine new faculty members, some of whom arrived last spring, some of whom are arriving for the fall semester, and the rest reporting in January of 2015. Boris Lau and Eric Gonzales are joining the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Sarah Perry and Jungwoo Lee are part of the Chemical Engineering Department. Daniel Holcomb and Jianhua Yang are new members of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. And Maureen Lynch, Chaitra Gopalappa, and Jae-Hwang Lee are joining the faculty in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. The college is very fortunate to employ these new faculty members with such diverse backgrounds, outstanding academic performance, and cutting-edge research experience.

Dr. Lau comes to UMass Amherst after serving as an assistant professor at Baylor University since 2009. His research involves fate and transport of metal-based nanoparticles in natural and engineered aquatic systems. Before going to Baylor, he served as a postdoctoral research fellow at Duke University and at Northwestern University. Among other honors, he received a Madame Curie Fellowship from the European Commission in 2011, a Big 12 Faculty Fellowship from Baylor in 2009, and a National Water Research Institute Fellowship in 2004. Lau earned his Doctorate and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison, and his B.S. in Environmental Science and Biology from McGill University.

Before arriving at UMass Amherst, Dr. Gonzales served as an assistant professor in the Transportation Group at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for Rutgers University. He had also worked as a research engineer at the University of California at Berkeley for California Partners for Advanced Transportation and Technology. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Berkeley, after getting his B.S. in Civil Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Perry served in two postdoctoral research positions, one at the University of California at Berkeley, and the most recent at the University of Chicago. Her research “utilizes self-assembly, molecular design, and microfluidic technologies to generate biologically relevant microenvironments for the study and application of biomacromolecules.” She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, her M.S. in the same discipline from the University of Arizona, and her double B.S. in Chemical Engineering and in Chemistry from the University of Arizona.   

Dr. Jungwoo Lee comes to UMass Amherst after working as a postdoctoral research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. As he writes, “The foundation for my research is the development of functional and analytical bone marrow models using 3D hydrogel scaffolds.” He is named on two U.S. patents: one entitled “Methods and Compositions for Creating Tissue,” and the other entitled “Cell Culture Well-plates Having Inverted Colloidal Crystal Scaffolds for use in Drug Screening.” After earning his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Korea University, he received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Holcomb has been serving as a research fellow at the University of Michigan, where he does research on medical security, embedded systems and security, and approximate computing. His research interests also include physical unclonable functions, cyber-physical systems, applied formal methods, and VLSI design. His Ph.D. is from the University of California at Berkeley in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. Earlier he obtained his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UMass Amherst.

Dr. Yang has been working since 2012 for Hewlett-Packard Labs in Palo Alto, California, as the Principle Researcher, where he leads an RRAM/memristor device study. He also worked in various capacities at Hewlett-Packard from 2007 until 2012. In addition, he was an R&D engineer at Huawei Technologies Company, Ltd. He has 32 granted patents and more than 70 pending patents. He earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in an interdisciplinary program, and he received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Southeast University in Nanjing, China.

Dr. Lynch has worked since 2010 as the Hartwell Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Cornell University. Among other responsibilities of her research, she “investigates the role of skeletal mechanical forces on secondary metastatic tumor growth and bone growth.” While earning her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell, she received a highly competitive Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. She also got her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University.

Before coming to UMass Amherst, Dr. Gopalappa worked for the Futures Institute in Glastonbury, Connecticut, “providing mathematical modeling assistance and performing economic analysis of HIV-prevention strategies to assist in resource allocation decisions.” Before that she did similar analysis at the Centers for Disease and Prevention in Atlanta working as the Steven M. Teutsch Prevention Effectiveness Post-doctoral Fellow. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of South Florida after getting her B.S. from Visveshwaraiah Technological University in India.

Dr. Jae-Hwang Lee comes to us from Rice University, where he worked as a research scientist in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. There he studied active/responsive photonic/plasmonic structures, carbon-based energy materials, and other subjects. Prior to that, he served as a senior postdoctoral associate at MIT in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering for five years, and as a postdoctoral associate at Ames Laboratory (U.S. Department of Energy) in Iowa. His Ph.D. is from Iowa State University in Condensed Matter Physics, and he also earned his B.S. and M.S. in Physics at Dankook University in South Korea. (September 2014)

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