The Gallogly College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma has added 23 new faculty to its schools, laboratories and centers for the 2022-23 school year.
They bring expertise across a broad range of fields critical to the 21st century and will provide the best possible educational experience for students through excellence in teaching, research and creative activity.
Vivek Bajpai, M.D., Ph.D., School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering
Before joining OU, Vivek Bajpai was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford Medicine. With a focus on stem cell reprogramming for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, he holds a bachelor of medicine and a bachelor of surgery from Maharani Laxmi Bai Medical College in India. He earned a master’s degree in biological sciences and bioengineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and a doctorate in chemical and biological engineering from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
Yaser Banadaki, Ph.D., School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Prior to OU, Yaser Banadaki was a researcher in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University and a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at Southern University Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He has both teaching and industry experience including a stint as research and development electronics engineer at Samsung Electronics in Iran. With a focus on electrical and computer engineering, he holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s from National University, both in Iran, and a master’s and a doctorate, both from Louisiana State University. His research focuses on neuromorphic devices and circuits for energy-efficient brain-inspired computing and artificial intelligence.
Srikanth Bashetty, Ph.D., School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Before OU, Srikanth Bashetty was a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s in aeronautical engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India. He holds a doctorate in sustainable energy systems engineering from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. His research interests are dynamics and control of systems, offshore wind technologies, aircraft design and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Hanping Ding, Ph.D., School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Hanping Ding has worked as a materials scientist/engineer at the Idaho National Laboratory. While there, he was part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Program consortium supporting seedling projects. He earned a bachelor’s degree in materials sciences from Jilin University in China and a master’s in materials science and engineering from the University of Science and Technology of China. He received a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of South Carolina. His research interests are advanced materials for hydrogen production, electrochemical processing, integrated energy system, additive manufacturing, solid state ionics, all solid-state battery and computational modeling.
G.T. Kasun Kalhara Gunasooriya, Ph.D., School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering
G.T. Kasun Kalhara Gunasooriya joins OU from the Technical University of Denmark where he was a postdoctoral research fellow for the Catalysis Theory Center. Prior to his Denmark appointment, he was a graduate research fellow at Ghent University in Belgium. He holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in chemical and biomolecular engineering from the National University of Singapore. His research explores computational catalysis and kinetic modeling, high-throughput computations and machine learning, material design and discovery, and sustainable energy.
Tierney Harvey, Ph.D., Engineering Pathways
Tierney Harvey comes to OU from the University of Central Oklahoma where she was an instructor and first-year engineering coordinator in the Engineering and Physics Department. She earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in civil and environmental engineering focusing on hydrology and fluid dynamics from Duke University. As a new faculty member at OU, she will focus on first-year engineering curriculum and advise student engineering organizations. She will also contribute to engineering outreach and recruitment programs.
Casey Haskins, M.A., Engineering Pathways
Casey Haskins will serve as the math catalyst and math retention instructor for the Engineering Pathways Program. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in mathematics, and is a doctoral student in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at OU. She recently served as the college algebra coordinator in the OU Department of Mathematics. Her research interests are emotions in problem-solving for first-year students who have been historically excluded from the STEM field.
Alisa Javadi, Ph.D., School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering Physics Program
Alisa Javadi joins OU in January 2023. Presently, he is the Marie Sklodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He also has conducted research at the University of Basel in Switzerland. He earned a master’s degree in photonic engineering, nano-photonics from the University of Tabriz in Iran, and a doctorate in quantum photonics from the University of Copenhagen. His research interests are quantum photonics, quantum optics and cavity quantum electrodynamics.
Javeed Kittur, Ph.D., Engineering Pathways
Javeed Kittur received his bachelor’s degree and master’s in electrical engineering and a doctorate in engineering education from Arizona State University. His research interests include data analytics in engineering education and the persistence of online students.
Aikaterini Kyprioti, Ph.D., School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science
Aikaterini Kyprioti recently completed a doctorate in civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences from the University of Notre Dame. She holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in civil engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. While working on her Ph.D., she collaborated on projects funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation. At OU, she will focus on structural engineering.
Brian McSkimming, Ph.D., Engineering Pathways
Prior to OU, Brian McSkimming studied the epistemological development of undergraduate engineering as a research scientist at the University at Buffalo. He currently serves as an assistant editor for the Journal of Engineering Education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a bachelor’s in mathematics, both from the University at Buffalo, and a doctorate in materials science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests are focused on the epistemological/identity development of early undergraduate engineering and computing students and developing and implementing equitable grading and assessment practices. He is especially interested in supporting undergraduate research activities across engineering with a distinct emphasis on semiconductor material growth and device fabrication.
Jude Okolie, Ph.D., Engineering Pathways
Before joining OU, Jude Okolie was a postdoctoral fellow and sessional lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. His research interest is in renewable natural gas production from agricultural residues and the application of machine learning to optimize biofuel production processes. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Benin, a master’s from Imperial College London, a master’s in materials and sustainable energy from Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, and a doctorate in chemical and biological engineering from the University of Saskatchewan.
Hanjong Paik, Ph.D., School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Before OU, Hanjong Paik held several positions at Cornell University in New York. Most recently, he was a staff scientist for the Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, and Discovery of Interface Materials that helps users design and create new interface materials located on the Cornell campus. He holds a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from Korea University. He earned both a master’s and a doctorate in materials science and engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Research highlights include molecular beam-epitaxy of complex oxide thin films and superlattice structures; ferroelectrics/multiferroics ceramics and thin films; high-K dielectric oxides by sputtering; materials physics of electrical/magnetic/optical properties of complex oxides; and materials analysis technique.
Dominique Pittenger, Ph.D., Engineering Pathways
Dominique Pittenger is a new faculty member in the Engineering Pathways Program. She has taught classes, conducted research and mentored students in local, national and international engineering programs for over 14 years. She is director of the OU Women in Engineering program and technical director for the Southern Plains Transportation Center located on OU's research campus. She earned a doctorate in engineering with a focus on civil engineering and construction from OU. Her industry experience and academic experiences focus on heavy civil project delivery, material design, cost framework development and process improvement.
Allison Quiroga, Ph.D., Engineering Pathways
Before Engineering Pathways, Allison Quiroga served as the Engineering Summer Bridge Program coordinator in the GCOE Diversity and Inclusion Program. She was a volunteer and member of the National Organization of Alpha Sigma Kappa – Women in Technical Studies. She earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering, a master’s in civil engineering and a doctorate in engineering, all from OU. She has practiced geotechnical engineering at an Oklahoma City firm.
Byeong-Min Roh, Ph.D., School of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Most recently, Byeong-Min Roh was employed as a researcher in the Systems Integration Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing systems and design engineering from Seoul National University of Science and Technology in South Korea, a bachelor’s in manufacturing systems and design engineering from Northumbria University Newcastle in the United Kingdom, a master’s in industrial engineering, a master’s in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in mechanical engineering all from The Pennsylvania State University. Research interests are network-based process-structure-property model for additive manufacturing; cyber-enabled in-situ quality assurance for additive manufacturing; AI-based process mapping framework via data-driven surrogate modeling; and development of nature-inspired optimization algorithm for design and complex systems.
Cesar Ruiz, Ph.D., School of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Before OU, Cesar Ruiz held a postdoctoral position in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California. His research interests range from data science for engineering applications to engineering-informed machine learning for additive manufacturing. He has a bachelor’s degree in business engineering from Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios in El Salvador. He earned a master’s and a doctorate, both in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas.
Diogo Merguizo Sanchez, Ph.D., School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Before OU, Diogo Merguizo Sanchez was a researcher at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research. Experienced in the field of aerospace engineering and astronomy, he earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in applied physics both from São Paulo State University in Brazil. He was awarded a doctorate in space technology and engineering from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research.
Safura Sharifi, Ph.D., School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Before joining OU, Safura Sharifi was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has years of industry experience as a research and development engineer and as a quality control manager at Samsung in Tehran, Iran. She holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Tehran University, a master’s in both natural science and electrical and computer engineering from Louisiana State University, and a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering with a minor in physics from Louisiana State University. Her research interests are in atomic, molecular and optical engineering; quantum devices and systems for next-generation communication, computation and sensing; and nanophotonic and nanomaterial structures.
Jakob Townsend, Ph.D., Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering
Jakob Townsend earned a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from Oregon State University and a doctorate in biomedical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. For over five years, he served as CEO and co-founder of Leefa Biotech LLC in Norman, Oklahoma. Prior to his appointment as a research assistant professor, he helped develop crosslinking materials to regenerate cranial bone for traumatic brain injury treatment.
Kim Wolfinbarger, Ph.D., Engineering Pathways
Kim Wolfinbarger is a new faculty member in the Engineering Pathways Program. She also is the founding director of the Jerry Holmes Leadership Program for Engineers and Scientists at OU. She designs and delivers leadership development curricula tailored to the needs of collegiate engineering and applied science students. Her research focuses on leadership development and teamwork among engineering and applied science students. Before establishing JHLP, she worked for the OU School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing, a master’s in industrial engineering and a doctorate in industrial and systems engineering, all from OU.
Shuozhi Xu, Ph.D., School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Shuozhi Xu has held postdoctoral positions in mechanical engineering at both the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. At OU, he will focus on additive manufacturing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in thermal energy and power engineering from Beihang University in China, a master’s in solid mechanics from the China Academy of Engineering Physics, a master’s in computational science and engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. With 13 years of experience in computational materials science, Xu will support OU programs focusing on additive manufacturing of metallic materials via machine learning and multiscale, multiphysics simulations.
Sangpil Yoon, Ph.D., School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Before OU, Sangpil Yoon was an aerospace and mechanical engineering assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to experience at several universities, he was an engineer at Samsung Electronics in Korea. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Yonsei University in Korea, a master’s in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests focus on the development of deep tissue and single cell resolution ultrasound imaging with multiplexed imaging capabilities using super-resolution ultrasound imaging technique and genetically encoded gas vesicles and the next generation intracellular delivery platform for T cell engineering.