New faculty to join McKelvey School of Engineering in 2021-2022

The new faculty bring a wide range of expertise to bolster teaching, research

Beth Miller  
From left: Christine O'Brien, Ian Bogost, Aravind Nagulu, Yiannis Kantaros
From left: Christine O'Brien, Ian Bogost, Aravind Nagulu, Yiannis Kantaros

New tenured/tenure-track faculty will join the McKelvey School of Engineering for the 2021-2022 academic year, bringing the total number of faculty to 99 and further bolstering the school’s research and academic strengths.

“We are excited to welcome these new faculty members to the McKelvey School of Engineering,” said Aaron F. Bobick, dean and the James M. McKelvey Professor. “We are adding Ian Bogost, who brings new areas of expertise to McKelvey Engineering as well as other new areas of research that will further strengthen our robust research and education for our students.”

Biomedical Engineering

Christine M. O’Brien, assistant professor

  • PhD, Vanderbilt University, biomedical engineering, 2017
  • BS: University of Missouri, biological engineering, 2010

Christine O’Brien joins McKelvey School of Engineering from Washington University School of Medicine, where she has been an instructor at the university’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology since spring 2021. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research scholar in radiology, where she developed novel cancer imaging techniques in the lab of Samuel Achilefu, the Michel M. Ter-Pogossian Professor of Radiology and professor of medicine, of biomedical engineering and of biochemistry & molecular biophysics. During her postdoctoral research, she received a W.M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship to develop focal dynamic thermal imaging for point-of-care cancer detection, for which she built and tested a portable laser-stimulated thermal-imaging system in animal models and designed human trials. She plans to join McKelvey Engineering July 1, 2022. 

O’Brien’s most recent research involves a wearable multimodal optical sensor for early detection of postpartum hemorrhage, which is funded by a nearly $1 million Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and a Washington University Women’s Health Technologies Collaboration Initiation Grant. She plans upcoming trials in animal models and human patients.


Computer Science & Engineering

Ian Bogost, professor

  • PhD, MA: University of California, Los Angeles, comparative literature, 2004 and 2001, respectively
  • BA: University of Southern California, philosophy & comparative literature, 1998

Ian Bogost joins McKelvey School of Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was the Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies, professor of interactive computing, of architecture, and in the Scheller College of Business. In addition, he was affiliated faculty with the Graphics Visualization and Usability Center; the Center for 21st Century Universities; and for the Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies. He also has an adjunct professorship at Brock University in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada, in the Centre for Digital Humanities.  He is a founding partner of and chief designer at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent video game developer, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic. He joined the faculty July 1, 2021.

Bogost is internationally recognized for his writing on video games and media studies. He is the author of 11 books, several book series, many book chapters and journal articles. His research approaches media studies from the perspective of both a critic and a practitioner. While in graduate school, Bogost also worked for tech companies in the digital media space. He will bring that technical humanist experience to Arts & Sciences. Bogost will boost the university's growing expertise in video games and new media through his primary appointment in Arts & Sciences and secondary appointment in Engineering.


Electrical & Systems Engineering

Ioannis (Yiannis) Kantaros, assistant professor

  • PhD, MS: Duke University, mechanical engineering and materials science, 2018 and 2017, respectively
  • Diploma (MS): University of Patras, Greece, electrical and computer engineering, 2012

Yiannis Kantaros joins the McKelvey School of Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Computer & Information Science. He received the outstanding dissertation research award from the Duke Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science in 2018 and a variety of other awards and scholarships. He has been a coauthor on 16 peer-reviewed journal articles and 20 conference papers. He will join the faculty Jan. 1, 2022.

His research is focused on enabling safe, robust and distributed autonomy for robotic systems, such as drones and autonomous cars. His work seeks to understand how teams of robots need to coordinate and use their heterogeneous sensing capabilities to safely accomplish complex missions in unknown environments in the presence of sensing and perceptual uncertainty. He has designed safe reinforcement learning algorithms and perception-based control frameworks that constitute the first formal bridge between Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) methods and mission planning and control allowing large-scale robot teams to safely operate in unknown environments in the presence of perceptual and environmental uncertainty.

Aravind Nagulu, assistant professor

  • PhD: Columbia University, electrical engineering, 2021
  • MTech: Indian Institute of Technology Madras, microelectronics & VLSI, 2016
  • BTech: Indian Institute of Technology Madras, electrical engineering

Aravind Nagalu will join the McKelvey School of Engineering in January 2022 from Columbia University, where he is pursuing a doctorate in electrical engineering. He has been an author or co-author of papers in top journals and conferences, including Nature ElectronicsNature CommunicationsPhysical Review XIEEE JSSCIEEE TMTTIEEE ISSCCIEEE RFIC, and IEEE IMS. He was a recipient of the IEEE RFIC Symposium Best Student Paper Award (first place) in 2018, the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society Predoctoral Achievement Award 2018-2019, the ISSCC Analog Devices Outstanding Student Designer Award in 2019, the IEEE MTT-S Graduate Fellowship in 2019, and an IEEE RFIC Symposium Best Student Paper Finalist nomination and the Columbia University Electrical Engineering Collaborative Research Award in 2020. 

Nagulu’s research interests lie in the intersection of integrated circuits and systems, electromagnetic, communications, biomedical systems, and quantum computing systems. He has been a pioneer in the area of novel wave propagation based on time-variance and has explored the use of time-variance to achieve non-magnetic non-reciprocity and wave propagation beyond the delay-bandwidth limit. His doctoral research dealt with the breaking of Lorentz reciprocity without the use of magnetic materials and the implementation of high-performance components in commercial CMOS processes for emerging applications including full-duplex wireless, full-duplex MRI, and quantum computing. 

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