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New Employees

The Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University welcomes 16 new faculty members to kick off the 2022-23 academic year. This cohort brings a tremendous amount of talent to the University and will bolster the College’s growing research programs. Learn more about the new Mountaineers below.

  • Omar Hazbon Alvarez

    Omar Hazbon Alvarez

    Teaching Assistant Professor - Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

    Hazbon began his professional career as an assistant professor at the school of aeronautical engineering at UPB university in Medellin where he combined his teaching with the research and development of UAV systems. In 2008, he was appointed as the aeronautical engineering school director where he managed several consultancy and academic projects with industry. In 2014, he started his research in automatic flight control tolerant to air data sensor failures, earning his Ph.D. in 2001. Hazbon has broad experience in the design, construction and flight test of model aircraft as well as small turbojet engines. In 2022, he joined the MAE department at WVU as an assistant professor.

  • Onur Avci

    Onur Avci

    Assistant Professor - Wadsworth Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Avci joined West Virginia University in 2022. After receiving M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech, he worked at major structural engineering firms in the United States as a registered Professional Engineer. During his industry design experience, he was involved in the analysis, design, renovation and demolition of more than 5 million m2 of structural space, with a wide variety of signature projects in the USA and overseas. Blending his industrial background in structural engineering with practical research needs, he served as a faculty member in multiple universities. In his research, he focuses on structural dynamics, structural steel, and specifically Machine Learning and Deep Learning use in structural engineering applications. These applications include structural health monitoring, structural damage detection and structural resiliency utilizing novel methods, multi-functional materials, and state-of-the-art technologies. His primary goal in research is to optimize the design of new structures and improve the performance of existing structures to create resilient structural systems, intelligent networks and sustainable cities. During his academic experience, he has attracted more than $3.7 million in research grants as a PI or Co-PI.

  • James Bryce

    James Bryce

    Assistant Professor - Wadsworth Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Pat Parsons Asphalt Faculty Fellow - Wadsworth Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Bryce is an assistant professor at West Virginia University and the Pat Parson’s Endowed Faculty Fellow in Asphalt Technology, where his primary responsibilities are conducting research and teaching courses related to asphalt pavements, civil engineering materials and similar topics. Prior to joining West Virginia University, Bryce was an assistant professor at Marshall University and assistant director of the Appalachian Transportation Institute. Prior to his academic career, Bryce worked as a senior consultant for Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. for where he focused on research for NCHRP, FHWA and various State departments of transportation. He received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech with a focus in pavement and asset management, and the topic of his studies was developing decision analysis-based frameworks for project- and network-level pavement management decisions. 

    Bryce is a specialist in the areas of asphalt technology, pavement sustainability, pavement preservation, civil engineering materials, benefit-cost analysis, life cycle costing, and decision analysis.

  • Avishek Choudhury

    Avishek Choudhury

    Assistant Professor - Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

    Choudhury is a recipient of the Paul Kaplan Award, the Fabrycky-Blanchard Award and the Excellence Doctoral Fellowship for exemplary academic performance, excellence in research and promise in the study and practice of systems engineering.

    His research interests include patient safety, artificial intelligence, cognitive human factors, neuroergonomics and clinical decision making. Overall, Choudhury's research is established around cognitive human factors + artificial intelligence + healthcare research. He strives to implement the science of human factors and systems thinking to integrate artificial intelligence into clinical workflow. In his view, patient safety and AI performance might not complement each other. Therefore, his research investigates beyond the algorithmic performance of AI and humanize the technology to foster better usability and adoption.


    A part from academic research, Choudhury collaborates with several international not-for-profit organizations across the globe, particularly in low income countries, to address some of the issues under the SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL (public health issues and digital divide concerns) using the science of human factors and artificial intelligence.


  • Dimas Abreu Archanjo Dutra

    Dimas Abreu Archanjo Dutra

    Teaching Assistant Professor - Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

    Dutra is a teaching assistant professor in WVU's Field and Aerial Robotics (FARO) Laboratory. His research focuses on probabilistic modeling and inference, especially applied to robotic perception, state estimation, mapping and system identification. He also has experience in control systems, optimal control, data acquisition systems and flight testing.

  • Amr El-Wakeel

    Amr El-Wakeel

    Assistant Professor - Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

    El-Wakeel is an assistant professor with the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, West Virginia University. El-Wakeel’s main research interests are in the areas of Intelligent and Connected Vehicles and Systems, the Internet of Things and Healthcare informatics and applications. Prior to joining the LCSEE, he was a Mitacs Accelerate Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen’s University, CA. El-Wakeel’s research work received the Best Paper Award of the IEEE IWCMC 2018, the Second Prize of the IEEE Communications Society student competition 2018, and the Graduate Research Award of the IEEE Kingston, ON Section. El-Wakeel is an active member of the IEEE ComSoc, VTS and ITSS and he frequently serves in several IEEE conferences and workshops as a technical program committee member, session chair, committee chair and workshop co-chair.

  • Nima Karimian

    Nima Karimian

    Assistant Professor - Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

    Karimian is currently an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE) Department at West Virginia University. Before joining WVU, he was an Assistant Professor in the Computer Engineering (CMPE) Department at San Jose State University.

    Karimian's projects relate to biometrics security and applied machine learning in cybersecurity. He has authored several journal articles and peer-reviewed conference papers. Karimian was a recipient of several best paper awards from venues, such as International Joint Conference on Biometrics (IJCB) for the IAPR TC4 Best Student Paper Award, the Best Technical Paper Award at 30th International Conference on VLSI Design (VLSID) and the Best Poster Award from FICS Research Conference on Cybersecurity. He also received Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award from SJSU in 2021. His projects are sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) CRII and NSF SHF.

    Karimian has served on the organizing committee of ISQED, SVCC, and several technical program committees, including HOST, ISQED, InterID, etc. He is currently serving as an associate editor for the Discover Internet of Things (DIoT) Journal.


  • Moriah Katt

    Moriah Katt

    Assistant Professor - Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

    Katt's research focuses on understanding the human blood-brain barrier (BBB) in both health and disease. Using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cells in a 3D microfluidic device her lab hopes to shed insight into how the function of the cerebrovasculature changes and impacts disease progress. During her doctoral work she used iPSCs from patients with different neurodegenerative diseases to derive brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs), discovering dysfunctional transporter systems that were consistent across cells derived from multiple different neurodegenerative diseases. Continuing from these promising results, her lab will investigate how the BBB changes during stroke. In vitro BBB modeling expertise will be coupled with her experience identifying antibodies that target the BBB. The ultimate goal is to use the insight into the blood-brain barrier gained from microfluidic disease modeling to develop novel means of targeting therapeutics to the brain, and potentially uncovering new therapeutic targets.

  • Hang Woon Lee

    Hang Woon Lee

    Assistant Professor - Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

    Lee's research interests lie at the intersection of space system engineering, operations research, and astrodynamics. Specifically, his research group conducts research in the domain of distributed satellite systems, space traffic management, space domain awareness, on-orbit servicing, and space logistics. His teaching interests include space systems design and analysis, analytical/numerical methods, and orbital mechanics. Before joining WVU, Lee received his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

  • JuHyeong Ryu

    JuHyeong Ryu

    Assistant Professor - Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

    Ryu’s research interest centers around human-centered intelligent management systems to maximize occupational performance by minimizing the level of human efforts utilizing emerging technologies such as wearable sensors, IoT, AI, Robotics, and Mixed Reality. He earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada. He was subsequently a postdoctoral fellow at the same university until joined WVU in 2022. He holds an M.S. degree in Construction Engineering and Management from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from Dankook University, Korea.

  • Deniz Talan

    Deniz Talan

    Assistant Professor - Department of Mining Engineering

    Talan's research focus includes critical mineral recovery from secondary sources, environmental assessment, and general mineral processing topics.

    Talan is the recipient of the 2021-2022 SME Rong Yu Wan Ph.D. Dissertation Award for her doctoral dissertation on environmentally-sound process development for extracting rare earth elements from coal and coal byproducts. She is a member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME), Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America (PCMIA), and the Society of Mining Professors (SOMP).

  • Sara Tehranipoor

    Sara Tehranipoor

    Assistant Professor - Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

    Tehranipoor works on hardware security-related research from hardware foundation to applied Machine Learning in hardware security. Topics include hardware security primitives, AI in hardware security, side-channel analysis and hardware obfuscation. Tehranipoor is the leading author/co-author of 50+ peer-reviewed conference proceedings, journal articles and book chapters as well as mentoring 40+ graduate and undergraduate students for their research thesis and senior design projects. 

    She has served in the organizing and technical program committee members of many IEEE/ACM conferences such as ISQED, GLSVLSI, DAC, ICCAD, CODES+ISSS, VDEC, etc. She is actively involved in Women in Engineering-related conferences/workshops/committees as a chair, co-chair and session chair. She is the Silicon Valley Cybersecurity Conference 2020 Women/Minority in Cybersecurity (WMiCS) session chair. Tehranipoor received the “Best Technical Paper Award” at the 30th International Conference on VLSI Design (VLSID) and 16th International Conference on Embedded Systems in 2017. She is currently serving as an associate editor for IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine (ICEM) and section editor of the Discover Internet of Things (DIoT) Journal.

  • Deniz Tuncay

    Deniz Tuncay

    Assistant Professor - Department of Mining Engineering

    Tuncay received his bachelor’s degree in 2011 and his master’s degree in 2014 from Middle East Technical University. His master thesis focused on the reliability analysis of draglines using fault tree analysis. In 2018, he started his Ph.D. at West Virginia University and received his degree in 2021. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on a new geology-oriented loading approach for underground coal mines. His work earned him the West Virginia University Mining Engineering Faculty Graduate Award in 2019, the Syd S. and Felicia F. Peng Ground Control in Mining Scholarship in 2019, the Raja V. and Geetha V. Ramani Graduate Student Award in 2021, and WAAIME Scholarships. His current research focuses on ground control, rock mechanics, and geomechanics.

  • Yuxin Wang

    Yuxin Wang

    Assistant Professor - Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

    Wang joined the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at WVU as an assistant professor in 2022. His research focuses on plastic waste upcycling, natural gas conversion, CO2 conversion, ammonia synthesis, and biomass conversion. These researches across the fields of heterogeneous catalysis, microwave catalysis, reaction engineering and surface chemistry. His group aims to develop energy-efficient processes to achieve sustainable production of chemicals. He is currently leading two DOE projects about plastic waste upcycling.


  • Piotr Wojciechowski

    Piotr Wojciechowski

    Assistant Professor - Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

    Wojciechowski's research is concerned with the application of concepts from theoretical computer science in artificial intelligence and data science.

    Problems in both of these fields arise in practical situations. Thus, modeling such problems using constraints and networks is an important step towards generating efficient algorithms for these problems and problems in related fields.