Meet the 2022 Class of CEE Future Faculty Fellows

Thursday, February 24, 2022

By Amy Kim

A record 12 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers have been named to CEE's 2022 class of Future Faculty Fellows.  

In partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning, the program aims to build the next great generation of educators, starting by supporting and mentoring student research. Fellows receive a $1,000 stipend from the School, in addition to one-on-one mentoring with current Georgia Tech faculty. 

This year, CEE was awarded funding from the Provost’s Fund for Excellence in Graduate Studies and used the grant to support six more students than the previous year, expanding its program to reach more fellowship candidates from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering.  

"I am committed to sustaining the excellent processes and programs that make CEE’s graduate programs among the top-ranked programs in the world, while also fostering a more inclusive and diverse graduate student population," said Professor John E. Taylor, associate chair for graduate programs and research innovation. "Increasing the diversity of the Future Faculty Fellows is an important and positive step in this direction."

This year’s fellows  have pursued interests ranging from stormwater pollutants to transportation workplace culture and have shown a bright, promising future in academia.  

Meet them here: 

RAFEGH AGHAMOHAMMADI
Ph.D., Civil Engineering 

Research:
My research focuses on mathematical modeling of traffic dynamics in large-scale urban networks, applications of macroscopic traffic flow models in Dynamic Traffic Assignment and estimation of environmental impacts of transportation, and traffic monitoring and analysis by applying machine learning techniques to urban traffic data.                           

Career goals:
My long-term career plan is to combine my traffic modeling background with the emerging technologies in the transportation realm to find innovative ways to deal with the future transportation systems and mitigate their undesirable consequences such as traffic congestion and vehicular emissions.

Fellowship plans:
I plan to spend the fellowship for to develop my teaching and     leadership skills by attending workshops and conferences.

ADVISOR: Jorge Laval                                                                                                         

LUNA AL HASANI
Ph.D., Civil Engineering

Research:
The wider scope of my research involves providing the Georgia Department of Transportation with simple and efficient mass concrete modeling tools, and proposing best practices for mass concrete thermal management. The focus of my work is to propose alternative modeling approaches to predict concrete’s thermal behavior, which includes both laboratory based and AI based approaches.

Career goals:
My career goal is to pursue a faculty position which focuses equally on teaching and research.

Fellowship plans:
I plan to use the Future Faculty Fellowship to attend the upcoming Spring 2022 ACI Convention to be held in Orlando, FL. I will present on the prediction of concrete’s thermal behavior using machine learning, and I will take the chance to network with concrete professionals.

ADVISOR: Kimberly Kurtis and Russell Gentry

BOYOUNG JEONG
Ph.D., Geosystems Engineering

Research:
My research focuses on the impact of motile bacteria on multiphase flow in porous media

Career goals:
My career goal is to be a good teacher and mentor for future students. I am interested in supporting student growth and achievement through education, particularly integrating teaching and research, and I want to make a positive impact on students to grow up as civil engineers and researchers. 

Fellowship plans:
Future Faculty Fellowship is a great opportunity to develop my academic career. I will take advantage of this opportunity to broaden my knowledge, build an academic network, and share ideas and experiences with people in the same field by attending workshops and conferences.

ADVISOR: Sheng Dai

JUHEE KIM
Postdoctoral researcher, Environmental Engineering

Research:
My research has focused on emerging contaminants, advanced analytical techniques, and treatment processes to remediate the contaminated water. 

Career goals:
My career goal is to be a good educator and researcher who can have a positive impact on students and society.   

I’ve met many great professors and they have had a positive influence on my career path. From those experiences, I’ve learned how important it is to build strong and firm relationships with students so that I can help them accomplish their goals. As an educator, my true desire is to help students achieve their full potential in order to advance in their careers. 

Fellowship plans:
Future Faculty Fellowship will help in the future prospects of my career and educational goals. I would like to develop my own teaching methodology and philosophy from this fellowship. This will be a good opportunity to strengthen my career goal of becoming a good educator. 

ADVISOR: Ching-Hua Huang

BECCA KIRIAZES
Ph.D., Transportation Systems Engineering

Research:
My research focus is on the attitudes and perceptions of using shared mobility during the pandemic.

Career goals:
My goal is to be a professor so I can effectively educate undergraduate and graduate students on their important role as future engineers, serve a diverse student and local community, and engage in impactful research programs to advance the frontiers sustainable transportation engineering. 

Fellowship plans:
The Future Faculty Fellowship has provided me with support so I can prepare for an academic career through courses with Tech to Teaching, professional development workshops, and hands-on classroom experiences.

ADVISOR: Kari Watkins

CHENYING LIU
Ph.D., Geosystems Engineering

Research:
My research focuses on exploiting data-driven approaches to develop next-generation strong ground motion and earthquake damage models to better understand the seismic risk of engineering systems. 

Career goals:
Deepen my research in leveraging statistics, data science, computer science, and earthquake engineering to advance the performance-based earthquake engineering procedures to improve the risk assessment of seismically induced damage.

Fellowship plans:
I will make use of the fellowship to support my future conference travels to build and strengthen my connections in academia, laying the foundations for being a faculty member in the future. 

ADVISOR: Jorge Macedo

XIAOFENG LIU
Ph.D., Water Resources Engineering

Research:
My research is focused on lake water quality assessment using data driven method and numerical modeling. 

Fellowship plans:
CEE Future Faculty Fellowship is a rare opportunity which would support me to attend workshops and conferences to develop my teaching skills and encourage me to become a faculty in the future.

ADVISOR: Aris P. Georgakakos

AMY LUETTICH STYPULKOWSKI
Ph.D., Civil Engineering

Research:
My research involves optimizing the design of post construction stormwater best management practices (BMPs) for performance while minimizing right-of-way acquisition and peak flows. My research has led me to the creation of a model that uses topographical, geotechnical, and environmental characteristics common to the considered region and produces theoretical estimations of pollutant removal. Using theories from Navier-Stokes and Darcy’s Law the model predicts the amount of total suspended and dissolved solids removed in the BMP to optimize its design. Other areas that I have researched include in-situ infiltration measurement methods, geochemistry of urban runoff, and the design and use of runoff simulators to enhance sampling techniques. 

Career goals:
My career goals have always been to impact others and Earth in a positive way. Throughout my studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology I have realized the best way to accomplish this is to continue similar research in academia and instruct similar concepts to young engineers as a civil engineering professor. I have contributed to my career goals by instructing undergraduate geotechnical laboratory courses, participating in Georgia Tech’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Tech-to-Teaching program, serving as a CTL Graduate Teaching Fellow, and being awarded a Georgia Tech CEE Future Faculty Fellow. 

Fellowship plans:
I wrote a paper about overcoming COVID-19 adversities for the undergraduate geotechnical engineering course (CEE 4405) during the quarantine period. In particular the, paper focuses on providing equitable exposure to typical experimental concepts for students who chose to take the course during the quarantine period (Summer 2020). I will be presenting this paper at Geo Congress during the session titled Education for Geotechnical Engineering & Online Education. The conference is in March, 2022 taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

ADVISOR: Susan Burns

HONGYU LU
Ph.D., Transportation Systems Engineering

Research:
I am working on the modeling framework from vehicle activity to population exposure to traffic-related pollutions (e.g., PM2.5) at fine level, which incorporates vehicle emissions (MOVES-Matrix) and dispersion modeling (AERMOD).

Career goals:
I am looking for promoting active learning for the course I am teaching and for those I will teach in the future, while constantly exploring new teaching methods with the integrated technology such as visualization tools (based on supercomputing clusters such as PACE at Georgia Tech).  The privilege to teach is an enormous source of personal reward and inspiration for me, and my goal is to have students with both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations participate in an affective domain of the learning community with instructor and peer support.

Fellowship plans:
The major part of the funding will be spent on equipment purchases for in-field labs, design projects, in-class demonstration, etc. for the undergraduate course of CEE 4600 that I am teaching as an instructor for Spring 2022.  I will spend the rest of the funding on other aspects of my professional development with respect to teaching including conferences, books, and other supplies.

ADVISOR: Randall Guensler and Michael O. Rodgers

ALEX MUSCALUS
Ph.D., Ocean Science & Engineering

Research:
I use field measurements and numerical modeling to study container ship wake and its coastal impacts along shipping channels. My work focuses on the low-frequency wake components, which behave much like a mini-tsunami when they reach the shoreline.  

Career goals:
My goal is to become a mentor for engineering students in a manner that incorporates research and real-world problem-solving. I have not yet decided whether or not I will pursue this goal in an academic setting, but I am certain that the opportunities offered by Future Faculty Fellowship will help clarify career path options. 

Fellowship plans:

I am excited to use my Future Faculty Fellowship to attend the 2022 American Society for Engineering Education Conference and Exposition. This will provide me an excellent opportunity to learn about diverse teaching techniques from a broad group of engineering educators and grow my professional network.

ADVISOR: Kevin Haas and Donald Webster

XINYI WANG
Ph.D., Transportation Systems Engineering

Research:
My research interests include travel behavior, survey method, and statistical modeling. My current work focuses on the impact of teleworking on the transportation system in the post-pandemic world. In addition, my recent publications cover topics such as vehicle ownership, mobility-on-demand transit, and satisfaction with life. I am also interested in studying survey methods to improve data quality used in behavioral research. For example, my Master’s thesis analyzed the representativeness of recruiting survey respondents from previous surveys, which is awarded for the 2021 Charley V. Wootan Memorial Award for the best Master's thesis in the field of policy and planning in transportation studies. 

Career goals:
I plan to pursue a career in academia as I find myself passionate about studying people’s travel behavior. I plan to complete my Ph.D. degree and keep improving my research skills as a postdoctoral researcher in the short term. After that, I plan to seek a faculty position and develop my specialty in several focused areas. I will teach courses to share my knowledge and experience with students, and to collaborate with scholars, engineers, planners, and policymakers to enable multi-discipline studies.

Fellowship plans:
I plan to use the Future Faculty Fellowship for personal development, such as improving presentation skills (e.g., public speaking coach) and enlarging my professional network (e.g., attending conferences).

 ADVISOR: Patricia L. Mokhtarian

 

 

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