The College of Engineering welcomed three new faculty member this semester, all in the Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering, or SIE. In addition, Mark Van Dyke is the new associate dean for research, and two departments have new chairs.
Mark Van Dyke to Direct Research Efforts
Mark Van Dyke is joining the college as the associate dean for research. Van Dyke brings an extensive background in academic and industry research, at institutions including the Dow Chemical Company, Southwest Research Institute and the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Most recently, he served as an associate professor and the director of the Industry Partners Program at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics.
In his new role, he’ll be focused on executing research initiatives for the college, growing research expenditures and infrastructure, strategic planning and fostering industry collaborations. He was drawn to the position because it offered an opportunity to make a difference by positioning the college and its faculty and staff as world leaders.
“I became even more interested in the UA position once I saw both the opportunity and challenge it offered,” he said. “Dean Hahn’s vision of where the college can go in the future was very compelling, and I realized that the job may be a once-in-a-career opportunity to shape the future of a dynamic, highly regarded, impactful, academic research enterprise.”
Kim Ogden Takes Helm at CHEE
Kim Ogden is taking on a new role as the chair of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, but she's far from new to the university. She's spent 28 years as a member of the department's faculty and was named the 2013 College of Engineering Faculty Fellow and the 2014 da Vinci Fellow. She's also served as the UA's interim vice president for research and the interim director of the WEST Center. Her research focuses on using algae and plants to produce biofuels and bioproducts, as well as on generating water and energy solutions that can benefit remote communities, such as Native American tribes. In 2019, she was president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
"I am looking forward to developing even more hands-on learning opportunities for students, to complement our existing capstone design projects and active student clubs," she said. "Another one of my top priorities is to mentor the junior faculty and help the department expand its research collaborations within the college, across the university and with other institutions."
Moe Momayez Named Inaugural Chair
Moe Momayez has been in the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering since 2007, and he serves as the energy and geosensing team leader at the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources. In 2020, he was named the interim department head and the inaugural David & Edith Lowell Chair in Mining & Geological Engineering. The chair is named for department alumnus and industry pioneer David Lowell, who passed away earlier this year, and his wife.
“Having known David and Edith Lowell for several years and having had the opportunity to interact with both of them makes me incredibly proud to be the first recipient of this chair,” Momayez said. “It will support the mission of MGE, especially the academic and professional development of our students.”
Hannah Budinoff Returns to Alma Mater
After earning her BS in mechanical engineering from the UA in 2013, Hannah Budinoff went on to work for Honeywell and complete her PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Now, she’s returning to her alma mater as an assistant professor in SIE. Her research is focused on solving problems in design and manufacturing, currently within the context of additive manufacturing.
“Manufacturing transforms crazy, amazing mechanical systems and devices that only exist on paper into physical, functional objects,” she said. “Studying and improving manufacturing processes is fascinating, and I love that it has such immediate real-world impact.”
The self-described Wildcat at heart said she is thrilled to be back at the university, especially because of the college’s focus on providing design opportunities for students.
Afrooz Jalilzadeh Uses Simulations to Solve Real-World Problems
Afrooz Jalilzadeh is joining SIE after earning her PhD in industrial engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on stochastic and simulation optimization for processes that involve uncertainty and randomness. For example, her proposed methods can be used to help determine the optimal amount of power generation, considering resources, cost and integrated renewable energy sources.
“To fulfill my passion for applying the art of problem-solving to real-world problems, I decided to pursue my education in industrial engineering and operations research,” she said. “I specifically decided to work on stochastic optimization because it can address a wide range of problems that frequently occur in the real world.”
Jalilzadeh said she is looking forward to working with collaborators in different departments and being a part of the UA environment.
Erfan Yazdandoost Hamedani Tackles Machine Learning
Erfan Yazdandoost Hamedani is also joining SIE after earning his PhD in industrial engineering at Pennsylvania State University. His work focuses on large-scale and distributed optimization with application in machine learning, signal processing and statistical data analysis. These techniques are particularly useful for solving problems with a large number of variables, which can’t be solved quickly or efficiently with currently available tools. For example, his proposed methods could improve the algorithms that power spam filters or generate online credit scores.
“In machine learning, the goal is to provide systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience, such as the ability to detect hand-written digits,” he said.
David W. Hahn, the college's Craig M. Berge Dean, shared his enthusiasm for welcoming a new group to the college and its ranks of leadership.
“I share Mark’s vision that everyone in our college has the potential to be a leader, and I think this group is an excellent example of that,” said David W. Hahn, the college’s Craig M. Berge Dean. “I am confident Mark will expertly guide our research efforts, that Moe and Kim will foster growth within their departments, and that our new faculty members will work on projects with far-reaching impact.”