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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 2021-22 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.

  • Imtiaz Ahmed

    Imtiaz Ahmed

    Assistant Professor - Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

    Imtiaz Ahmed received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in industrial and production engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh, in 2012 and 2014, respectively. He served as a faculty member with the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology for three years and was actively involved in teaching, research and consultancy works. He also served as an affiliated faculty member in different universities in Bangladesh. Imtiaz received his Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University in 2020. 

    Before joining WVU, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Texas A&M University for one year. He is an active member of INFORMS and IISE and actively participates in these annual meetings. He won several competitive awards in these conferences. His research interests are in data science, machine learning, quality control and inventory management.

  • Amir Alipour-Fanid

    Amir Alipour-Fanid

    Assistant Professor - Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

    Amir Alipour-Fanid received his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from George Mason University in 2021. He was a full-time faculty member at the University of Applied Science and Technology, Tabriz, Iran from 2009 to 2013. Alipour-Fanid's research interests lie in the area of wireless cyber-physical systems security, Internet-of Things security, connected vehicles, network security, and theoretical and applied machine learning with applications in cybersecurity. His work has been published in premier IEEE and ACM journals and conferences, including IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, IEEE Internet of Things Journal, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, ACM/IEEE Transaction on Networking and ACM SIGKDD. Alipour-Fanid was the recipient of the Provost and Dean Research Fellowship at George Mason University.

  • Omid Askari

    Omid Askari

    Associate Professor - Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

    Omid Askari received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Energy and Combustion Research Laboratory. He was an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Mississippi State University and founding director of the Plasma and Combustion Research Laboratory from 2016 to 2021. He has five years of industrial experience in the automotive and renewable energy sectors.

    Askari's research focuses on the development of advanced technologies for the next generation of less-emission combustion devices and a secure and sustainable energy future, with emphasis on complex reacting flows at extreme conditions, non-equilibrium plasma, propulsion, jet flame, thermal and non-thermal ignition, high-pressure spray, chemical kinetic and advanced laser-based diagnostics. He has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and has received several awards from universities and organizations worldwide including the SEC Faculty Travel Award, NSBE “Teacher of the Year” Award, MSU Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award and NEU Alfred Ferretti Award for Excellence in Mechanical Engineering. He has been involved as principal investigator co-principal investigator and collaborator in different externally funded multidisciplinary research projects from the National Science Foundation, NASA, Department of Energy, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and Qatar National Research Fund.

  • Madelyn Ball

    Madelyn Ball

    Assistant Professor - Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

    Madelyn Ball's doctoral research focused on the synthesis and characterization of well controlled bimetallic catalysts with the goal of developing fundamental structure-activity relationships for a range of systems. In 2019, Ball joined Georgia Tech sd an Eckert Postdoctoral Research Fellow investigating the use of synthetic materials chemistry to develop materials for both catalytic and adsorption applications. She joined the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at WVU in 2021 where her research group aims to enable sustainable chemical production through catalyst design using operando spectroscopic studies.

  • Ankit Bansal

    Ankit Bansal

    Assistant Professor - Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

    Dr. Bansal obtained his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University. He conducted his postdoctoral research at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, University of Minnesota where he collaborated with the Kern Center for the Science of Healthcare Delivery, Mayo Clinic. His research focuses on solving complex scheduling and resource allocation problems encountered within healthcare delivery and production systems. He is also interested in the theoretical and computational aspects of integer programming, bi-level optimization, robust optimization and large-scale optimization.

  • Stephen Cain

    Stephen Cain

    Assistant Professor - Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

    Stephen Cain joined WVU in 2021. Before joining WVU, he was a research scientist in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research is focused on advancing the use of wearable sensor systems for objectively measuring and evaluating human biomechanics, health, and performance. By using principles from inertial navigation, engineering mechanics, biomechanics, and kinesiology, his research group develops algorithms and data collection protocols that utilize data from body-worn inertial sensors and other wearable technologies to quantify human movement and physiology in non-laboratory real-world environments. His past and current research projects include studies of human gait, human balance, human-bicycle dynamics, baseball pitching and hitting, warfighter performance, upper extremity biomechanics in manual wheelchair users, arm use in breast cancer patients, and medication adherence.

    His teaching interests include wearable sensors, biomechanics, engineering mechanics, and instrumentation.


  • Mohamed El Sgher

    Mohamed El Sgher

    Assistant Professor - Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

    Mohamed El Sgher is an assistant professor in the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Sgher has over ten years of professional experience in the oil industry. Joining WVU in 2021, Sgher's research focuses on modeling multi-stage hydraulically fractured horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing in unconventional reservoirs. Other research focus areas include well stimulation, rock mechanics, stress analysis and wellbore stability in unconventional reservoirs. Sgher's teaching interests concentrates on production engineering, well stimulation and completions and natural gas production. Additionally, his teach focuses on topics such as drilling engineering, drilling fluids laboratory, unconventional reservoir, natural gas laboratory and well control.

  • Wenyuan Li

    Wenyuan Li

    Assistant Professor - Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

    Wenyuan Li joined the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at WVU as an assistant professor in 2021. His research focuses on the development and application of high-temperature electrochemical devices for energy conversion and storage. His areas of interests include solid oxide fuel/electrolysis cells, membrane reactors, high-temperature gas sensors, thermochemical heat storage and thermochemical hydrogen production. His research aims to explore materials to accelerate electrochemical reactions, structures to increase the robustness/reliability of the devices, and new concepts to enable the production of hydrogen/ammonia etc. with low carbon footprint.


  • Hossein  Motabar

    Hossein Motabar

    Teaching Assistant Professor - Department of Industrial Management Systems Engineering

    After earning his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 2008, Hossein Motabar worked in industry for over six years. He held various positions including inspector, project manager, data analyst, industrial automation systems designer and ergonomist. These positions were held in the automotive, aerospace and steel industry. During his master’s and Ph.D. studies, he worked on multiple ergonomics, biomechanics and occupational health and safety research projects. He designed and evaluated control strategies to reduce muscle injury during overhead work by simulating actual industry tasks in the human factors and ergonomics laboratory at WVU. His work has been published and presented at various journals and conferences. He received the best paper award at the ISOES conference in 2017. Motabar joined WVU as a teaching assistant professor in 2021. His teaching focus is on systems engineering, quality control and data analytics.

  • Kevin Orner

    Kevin Orner

    Assistant Professor - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Kevin Orner's research focuses on improving human and environmental health locally and globally through the safe and sustainable recovery of resources such as nutrients, energy and water from concentrated waste streams. His research aims to develop, demonstrate and assess innovative technologies for safe, contextually sensitive resource recovery. Orner believes that integrating social context, health risk, and policy into wastewater management at the building, neighborhood and city scales will allow for improvement. He utilizes data science to leverage resource recovery and climate change mitigation. Orner's teaching interests are focused on environmental engineering, water and wastewater treatment and sustainable development engineering.

  • Srinivas Palanki

    Srinivas Palanki

    Chairperson, Professor - Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

    Srinivas Palanki joined WVU in 2021. Before coming to WVU, Palanki was at Lamar University from 2015 to 2021 where he served as dean of engineering and associate provost for research. Prior to that, he was the chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of South Alabama from 2007 to 2015. He started his academic career at Florida State University where he went through the ranks of assistant, associate and full professor from 1992 to 2006.

    His research focuses on the application of systems engineering tools to problems in engineering and biology. HIs research group has made theoretical contributions to real-time optimization of finite-time processes, nonlinear robust control and modeling of nonlinear processes. Experimental applications include implementation of systems engineering tools to a pilot-scale fluidized bed hydrochlorination reactor (Mitsubishi Polysilicon), polymerization reactors (Honeywell), lab-in-a-chip (Applied Liquid Logic), protection against UV-induced skin carcinogenesis (Mitchell Cancer Institute), improvement in baffle-making process (Metalforms), and optimization of methanol production (Natgasoline).

    His Erdos number is 5 (Erdos->Rosenfeld->Feintuch->Tannenbaum->Cockburn->Palanki).


  • Loren Rieth

    Loren Rieth

    Associate Professor - Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

    Loren Reith is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. His research focusses on basic and translational neural interfaces, (Bio)MEMS, harsh environment sensors, thin film materials, microfabrication, materials characterization, applied surface science, electronic materials and solar cells. Reith's teaching interests focuses on microfabrication, thin film materials, materials characterization, neural interfaces/medical devices, biomaterials and electronic materials.

  • Emily Spayde

    Emily Spayde

    Teaching Assistant Professor - Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

    Emily Spayde's research interests include engineering education, energy sustainability and organic Rankine cycles while she focuses on thermodynamics and heat transfer for her teaching interests. Prior to joining WVU in 2021, Spayde received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University.

  • Anurag Srivastava

    Anurag Srivastava

    Chairperson, Professor - Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

    Anurag Srivastava's research interests include data-driven algorithms for power system operation and control including resiliency analysis. In past years, he has worked in a different capacity at the Réseau de transport d´électricité in France; RWTH Aachen University in Germany; PEAK RC, Idaho National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Lab, PJM Interconnection, Schweitzer Engineering Lab (SEL), GE Grid Solutions, Washington State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Mississippi State University; Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in India; as well as at Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. 

    Srivastava is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), chair of the IEEE Power and Energy Society’s PEEC committee, co-chair of the microgrid working group, vice-chair of power system operation SC, chair of PES voltage stability working group, chair of PES synchrophasors applications working group, co-chair of distributed optimization application in power grid, vice-chair of tools for power grid resilience TF, past-chair of the IEEE PES career promotion subcommittee, past-chair of the IEEE PES student activities committee, past vice-chair of the IEEE synchrophasor conformity assessment program and member of CIGRE C4C2-58 Voltage Stability, C4.47/ C2.25 Resilience WG, CIGRE 2.18 Wide Area Monitoring Protection and Control Systems – Decision Support for System Operators, CIGRE D2.52 AI Application and Technology in Power Industry.

    He organized the NSF sponsored “Data analytics workshop for the power grid resiliency” in 2018, Siemens sponsored “data analytics for the smart grid” workshop in 2017, North American Power Symposium in 2014, and IEEE sponsored workshop on testing and validation of synchrophasor devices and applications in 2012. He also co-chaired a workshop on “Modeling and simulation of Cyber-Physical Energy Systems,” supported by IEEE and IES in 2016-2020.

    Srivastava is serving or served as an editor of the IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, and Elsevier Sustainable Computing and guest or past editor for numbers of other IEEE Transactions and IET Journal. He has delivered 30+ keynotes/tutorials/IEEE distinguished lectures in more than 15 countries. He is the author of more than 300 technical publications including a book on power system security and four patents.


  • Soumya Srivastava

    Soumya Srivastava

    Assistant Professor - Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

    Soumya Srivastava joined WVU in 2021 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. Her research focuses on early point-of-care medical diagnostic platforms and environmental bio-separations using dielectrophoretic, transport phenomena, fluid dynamics and dielectric spectroscopy. Srivastava's teaching interests include bioseparations, unit operations lab, microfluidics and transport phenomena. Srivastava also focuses on microfluidics, dielectric spectroscopy, electrokinetic, finite element modeling via COMSOL and MATLAB, bio-separations, cell biophysics, bio-signals characterization and engineering education.

  • Yuhe Tian

    Yuhe Tian

    Assistant Professor - Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

    Yuhe Tian's research focuses on the development and application of systems engineering tools towards process innovation, efficient energy solutions, sustainable process and systems integration. Particularly, her research group aims to develop mechanistic/hybrid modeling and analytics tools, optimization algorithms, and multi-scale systems approaches for modular process intensification systems. Before joining WVU, Tian received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University.