New faculty join School of Engineering & Applied Science

A diverse group of new faculty joins the engineering school at Washington University in St. Louis, bringing the total number to 96.5 during the 2018-2019 academic year

Beth Miller 

"Each year, we compete with the very best engineering schools to recruit extraordinary faculty members," said Aaron F. Bobick, dean and the James M. McKelvey Professor. "This new cohort is incredibly talented, and we are excited about the new research areas these faculty will bring, as well as their knowledge and experience they bring to our students."


Biomedical Engineering

Princess Imoukhuede, associate professor

  • PhD, bioengineering, California Institute of Technology
  • SB, chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Imoukhuede joins BME from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she has been an assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has earned numerous awards, including the 2017 NSF CAREER Award in 2017 and 2018 IMSA Distinguished Leadership Award.

Imoukhuede's research focus examines mechanisms regulating angiogenic signaling with focus on tyrosine kinase receptors, VEGFRs and PDGFRs. She pioneers both quantitative biological measurements and computational biological models to delineate ligand-receptor binding, receptor and effector phosphorylation, and sprouting angiogenic hallmarks (cell proliferation and migration). This bottom-up systems biology paradigm offers mechanistic insight towards directing vascular signaling with translational implications to cancers and cardiovascular diseases.


Abhinav Jha, assistant professor

  • PhD, optical sciences, University of Arizona
  • MS, electrical engineering, University of Arizona
  • BTech, electronics engineering, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India

Jha joins the BME and Radiology departments at the School of Medicine from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he was an instructor in the Division of Medical Imaging Physics, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science since 2015. Previously, he was a research fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

Jha's research interests are in the design, optimization and evaluation of medical imaging systems and algorithms using statistical task-based quantitative image-science approaches. He has devised novel theoretical and computational methods for objective evaluation of image quality (OAIQ), simulating imaging systems, and image reconstruction and image analysis. His research has had several clinical and pre-clinical impacts, such as being one of the first to demonstrate the impact of task-specific imaging in improving diffuse optical imaging and diffusion MRI. A major area of current focus is on improving clinical quantitative imaging using a combination of physics and machine-learning-based methods.


Jai Rudra, assistant professor

  • PhD, biomedical engineering, Louisiana Tech University
  • BTech, electronics and instrumentation engineering, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India

Rudra joins BME from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he has been an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago in the Department of Surgery.

At the University of Texas, he is a member of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, the Center for Addiction Research and of the Human Pathophysiology and Translational Research Graduate Program. His research interests are in the design and synthesis of amyloid-inspired supramolecular biomaterials for applications in vaccine development and immunotherapy.


Computer Science & Engineering

Yevgeniy (Eugene) Vorobeychik, associate professor

  • PhD, MSE, computer science & engineering, University of Michigan
  • BS, computer engineering, Northwestern University

Vorobeychik joins CSE from Vanderbilt University, where he has been an assistant professor of computer science and computer engineering since 2013 and an assistant professor of biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt's Medical Center since 2016. Previously, he was a principal and member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.

His research interests include algorithmic and behavioral game theory, game theoretic modeling of security, electronic commerce, simulation analysis, social and economic network analysis, optimization, complex systems, multi-agent systems, machine learning.


Miaomiao Zhang, assistant professor

  • PhD, computing, University of Utah
  • MS, computer science, East China Normal University, Shanghai
  • BS, computer science, Henan Normal University, Henan, China

Zhang joins CSE from Lehigh University, where she has been an assistant professor of computer science and engineering. Previously, she was a postdoctoral associate in electrical engineering and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Her research interests are in image analysis, machine learning, statistical modeling and computer vision. Specifically, she is interested in developing fast and robust deformable image registration methods for real-time, image-guided neurosurgery; analyzing anatomical shape changes for studying neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, and devising efficient clinical trial-oriented software packages; and leading deep learning research for effective image segmentation and classification, such as tumor identification.


Ning Zhang, assistant professor

  • PhD, computer science and applications, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • MS, system engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • BS, MS, computer science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Zhang joins CSE from Raytheon, a principal cyber engineer and technical lead at Cyber Security Innovations of Raytheon, where he has worked since 2007. In addition, he is an adjunct assistant professor in computer science at Virginia Tech.

Zhang's research focus is system security, which lies at the intersection of security, embedded system, computer architecture and software. He has worked to protect cyber-physical military systems and critical infrastructures at Raytheon since 2007.


Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

Fangqiong Ling, assistant professor

  • PhD, MS, environmental engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • BS, environmental engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing

Ling joins EECE from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she has been a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Biological Engineering. She received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Microbiology of the Built Environment Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Ling's research has employed genomics, machine learning and ecological theory to study microbial diversity and community assembly in aquatic ecosystems at the interface of natural and built environments, such as water infrastructure and aquifers. During her postdoc, she developed new genomic metrics for population census based on human microbiome data. She will lead a computational and experimental lab focused on understanding principles underlying biodiversity, functioning and resilience of microbial ecosystems relevant to sustainability and health, and develop methods to enable ecologically-informed engineering designs.


Jian Wang, professor

  • PhD, MS, chemical engineering, California Institute of Technology
  • BS, physical chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China

Wang joins EECE from Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he has been a scientist with tenure since 2010. He joined Brookhaven in 2002 as the Goldhaber Distinguished Fellow. He also was an affiliate faculty member in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University from 2005-2008 and was a visiting scientist at Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in the summer of 2016. He holds four U.S. Patents.

Wang's research focuses on the processes that drive the properties and evolutions of atmospheric aerosols and the interactions between aerosols and clouds. His current research topics include aerosol properties and processes under natural conditions that were prevalent during pre-industrial era; nucleation and new particle formation; aerosols in the marine environment; effects of aerosols on cloud microphysical properties and macrophysical structure; and development of advanced aerosol instruments focusing on aircraft-based deployments.


Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Jianjun Guan, professor

  • PhD, chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • BS, MS, polymer science and engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, China

Guan comes to MEMS from The Ohio State University, where he has been a professor of materials science and engineering. He joined Ohio State in 2007 after serving as a research assistant professor at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also a postdoctoral fellow and research associate.

Guan's research interests are in biomimetic biomaterials synthesis and scaffold fabrication; bioinspired modification of biomaterials; injectable and highly flexible hydrogels; bioimageable polymers for MRI and EPR imaging and oxygen sensing; mathematical modeling of scaffold structural and mechanical properties; stem cell differentiation; neural stem cell transplantation for brain tissue regeneration; bone tissue engineering and cardiovascular tissue engineering.

The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 165 full-time faculty, 1,420 undergraduate students, 1,614 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.

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