Skip to main content
  • Home
  • New Employees

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.

  • Yasser  Alshehri

    Yasser Alshehri

    Teaching Assistant Professor - Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

    My name is Yasser, a Ph.D. holder in Computer Engineering from WVU. I have 12 years of experience in teaching, chairing departments, and leading academic programs and institutions to quality accreditations (e.g., ABET). After many years of learning and teaching, I found that learning is a limitless and enjoyable journey. I still enjoy learning new skills and knowledge related to software, computer, and data. Keeping pace with learning is necessary for all of us, especially with all technological advancements. With this spirit, I encourage myself and my students to keep learning and enjoy the journey. The learning resources nowadays are much easier to access and well-presented, making the learning journey more enjoyable. I still remember the feeling when I developed the first code and saw the outcome of the code on the screen or learned how to do network or security configurations on network devices. For my Ph.D., I learned different programming languages to conduct my research experiments. With every problem I faced related to data manipulation or analysis, I spent significant time developing tools to automate analyzing, sampling and cleaning the data.

  • Makenzie Dolly

    Makenzie Dolly

    Teaching Assistant Professor - Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

    Makenzie Dolly’s first and foremost passion is teaching and learning, which she discovered during her first peer tutoring role at the age of 12. She started her academic journey in the IMSE department as a BSIE student in January 2017. She received her BSIE in 2019, and subsequently started her PhD in Industrial Engineering as the department’s first-ever direct-admit PhD IE student. Her PhD research focused on the gamification of assembly operations for manufacturing, where she explored how the addition of game-like elements to non-game contexts may affect production and the workers. Some of her preliminary research has been published in the Journal of Manufacturing Systems [IF: 9.498] and various conference proceedings including those from Advances in Production Management Systems (APMS) and CIRPe.

    In her current role, she primarily focuses her work on supporting the students in and out of the IMSE department with their courses and work-life balance. She is dedicated to exploring new teaching styles to provide her students with the most valuable learning experience possible and believes strongly in providing real-life applications of course materials. Dr. Dolly finds immense value in working closely with alumni to ensure relevant and timely course materials, as well as partnering with companies in the community to provide unique learning experiences for students and to uphold the land-grant mission of the University.

    In addition to her primary role, she is the coordinator for the Industrial Engineering Capstone Program (IECP), which she launched in 2023. The IECP aims to develop mutually beneficial relationships with businesses in the community and senior-level Industrial Engineering students, by providing free-of-cost industrial engineering support. Using her industrial experiences which lend more towards manufacturing, she leads the IECP student teams and enthusiastically explores the challenges often associated with unique applications of industrial engineering in less common settings, such as healthcare, service operations, and operational excellence.

  • Prashnna Gyawali

    Prashnna Gyawali

    Assistant Professor - Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

    Gyawali research interests lie within the broad area of machine learning for healthcare. More specifically, his research spans unbiased, fair, and explainable ML. He is also interested in generative AI and multimodal AI and their implications in various domains, including health and medicine. Prior to joining LCSEE, he was postdoctoral scholar at School of Medicine, Stanford University.

  • Amy McBrayer

    Amy McBrayer

    Teaching Assistant Professor - Department of Mining Engineering

    Amy McBrayer began her career in an industry role after graduation from West Virginia University in 2012. Her industry experience ranges from mine planning, mine design and project engineering to logistics and operations management roles at large surface coal operations in the western United States. In 2019, she returned to academia to pursue her Ph.D. at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Her Ph.D. dissertation focuses on developing production scheduling models using operations research techniques to integrate variable costs associated with traditional and renewable power sources. She was selected as a 2022-2023 SME Ph.D. Fellow, the 2022 Mining Engineering and Management outstanding graduate student at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and the 2023 Society of Mining Professors fellowship recipient. She is a registered EIT in West Virginia, USA and is a Surface Coal Foreman in Wyoming, USA.

  • Anika Pirkey

    Anika Pirkey

    Teaching Assistant Professor - Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

    Anika Pirkey joined the faculty at West Virginia University in 2023. Her research background combines computational and experimental studies to address questions in both cancer immunology and engineering education. Prior to joining the CBE Department, her teaching and education research focused on promoting engineering problem solving, critical thinking, and metacognition skills through applied engineering mathematics for algebra and trigonometry students in the First Year Engineering Program. Within the CBE Department, Pirkey is the primary instructor for the Biomedical Engineering Senior Design curriculum.